In a HEAP of Trouble

Last November I applied for Ohio’s HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program). I called three weeks or so later to find out the status but was told it could take up to 12 weeks to hear back! That made it February. When I called them they told me they did not have an application for me, that I wasn’t in their system! All of the documents they called for that I worked so hard on getting were somehow lost…where? In their system? In the mail?

They suggested I make an in-person appointment as those applications are seen more quickly. I had my appointment with a counselor who said I probably had too much income to qualify. Tyler collects Social Security because of my disability and I said that his father took money from the account too, but she said it was based on income flowing in. She wanted to see what I paid for in insurance premiums for Tyler’s health and dental insurance. After hours spent on the phone trying to get from the insurance companies what I wanted, I went back with the information needed to complete my application.

I heard back quickly, I was not qualified because I made too much money. If you take out what I pay for in doctor’s visits and in medications I would have qualified but they don’t take out for that.

I was really upset. Jacques said I shouldn’t be upset because I never had the program in the first place, and he also said he would help out if needed and Grant wouldn’t let Tyler and I freeze.

The whole thing threw me for a loop depression-wise and I had a bad couple of days. Like so many people who get turned down for food stamps or SNAP (Supplementary Nutritional Assistant Program), I feel like I have fallen through the cracks. I worry the whole month until I get my disability money direct deposited on the 3rd of every month. I almost feel like it would be better to have a little less income in order to qualify for these types of programs.

Thankfully, there is not much cause for heat this time of the year.

I’ll try to save a little money by going to the food bank and for meals at various churches. Tyler gets free lunch from school so that does help out.

Have you ever felt like you have fallen through the cracks?


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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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2 Responses to In a HEAP of Trouble

  1. Paula Kiger says:

    I am so sorry, Emily. I can only imagine how frustrating. Although you asked if I have ever felt like I have fallen through the cracks (and I have), the main thing this post made me think about was the almost two decades I spent working for Florida’s SCHIP program (health insurance for people “between” Medicaid qualification and private insurance). The process was SO frustrating for them, and I felt so powerless when I could not resolve the problems (or change the guidelines). When I would say “I understand” and be told, “Oh no you don’t” I “got” why they said that and why my empathy did nothing to put food on their plates or medicine in their sick children’s stomachs. Sending many supportive thoughts your way.
    Paula Kiger´s last blog post ..Is Your Mind “in the Boat”?

  2. mamasick says:

    That must have been a difficult job, I’ve never thought about it from the other side! We haven’t “talked” in a while but I remember you from twitter! Thanks for stopping by!

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