Friday, March 20, 2009

F is for Food Stamps

So, like perhaps many, I am reduced to below the poverty level by my ex’s expectations of being able to live in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed.
But someone said to me; “Hey! You have your kids a whole lot of the time, and you are below the federal poverty threshold! You should apply for Food Stamps!”

In a different year, a different month, I might not have gone.

But this year, with no interviews, no prospects, no one answering my calls or requests for part-time work, or any kind of work… …with everything up in the air, and out of my hands, - I went.

I mean, I have $2.00 in my bank account, and that doesn’t buy food, and although I have a few extra pounds here and there, the kids need to eat.

So I do some online forms, get an invite to the local SocialServiciesAtorium, (which is almost impossible to find) and arrive in time for my ‘appointment’. Three hours later, they call my name, and I go in.

And what do I find out? I find out that the needs basis for food-stamps is GROSS income. The fact that the courts take all that money away (alimony and support) - 65% of my unemployment income, is immaterial.

Divorced men, it seems, are supposed to shrivel up and die; at which point the insurance that the court requires us to take out against our lives will ensure that even our deaths do not inconvenience our heartless ex-spouses.

The agent who helped me suggested that I go back to court. I told her I had been there, and that they had increased the amount, and the term, and charged me my ex's legal fees, because she was unable to live in the manner which she had expected, or hoped to.

I'd like to expect to eat. She's worried about her ski trips. Inequity? Not in New Jersey, in New Jersey, its...

Just another day in the Gynocracy.


Additional comments:

If you are looking to try and get food stamps anyway, don't bother with the online form, that information is autmatically lost, and will just end up kicking out a 'you must come in for an interview' letter. Call your local contacts for social services, and outline the basic numbers of your case. They can probably tell you if it is worth your time to do anything more.

I also recently passed one year out of work. Unemployment needs to be recertified at that point, and that takes a phone call. No one will tell you this, though. Instead you are told you will recieve a credit for your filing, but that it is not payable. You talk to a human to get the payments flowing again, assuming that you fall within the extended unemployment benefits guidelines.

If you have a LITTLE money, try for assistance with your eating needs. Also call your towns and churches for information about food pantries.

Best of luck!

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