FOOD STAMP BENEFITS: NOT FOR THE LAZY OR FAINT HEARTED

In 2008, Valerie Belew, a Masters level graduate,  and present free lance writer, worked four part time jobs, and was still living  below poverty level.  It took her four months to obtain food stamp benefits, through a program slashed again in 2013.
In 2008, Valerie Belew, a Masters level graduate, and present free lance writer, worked four part time jobs, and was still living below poverty level. It took her four months to obtain food stamp benefits, through a program slashed again in 2013.

OBTAINING FOOD STAMPS: HARD WORK

Year: 2008

FOOD STAMP APPLICANT: VALERIE DEAN BELEW

AGE: 58

EDUCATION: MASTERS LEVEL

Degree: M. Div.

RACE: CAUCASIAN/WHITE

PRESENT EMPLOYMENT: Listed below

  1. demand Studios: Contract Writer
  2. Curves For Women: Part Time Assistant
  3. googlesense: Professional Writer of On-line articles on Revenue Share Basis
  4. (NAME WITHHELD) Assessment & Counseling Services, Inc.: Contract IN-Home Substance Abuse Assessment Counselor
  5. Hubpages.com

WHY I WAS A FOOD STAMP APPLICANT AFTER 2008

Once upon a time I only needed one source of employment, completing in-home substance abuse assessments on a contract basis for Fulton County Department of Family & Children's Services (DFCS), through an Assessment & Counseling contract Service. I also completed substance abuse assessments in other areas, as well as for the Department of Juvenile Justice. I was paid considerably well, grossing $200 per completed assessment. It never occurred to me I would apply for food stamp benefits less than a year later.

My income level dropped drastically almost overnight to below poverty level when the then republican governor of Georgia cut the Substance Abuse Treatment services budget by 24 percent throughout the state. Shortly afterwards, I applied for food stamps. It took me well over four months to receive them. Here is my story as written in 2009 when this article was originally published.

MY EFFORTS TO EAT REGULAR MEALS

Four months ago, I applied for food stamps after my monthly income through an Assessment & Counseling service dropped to $200 a month. Since the corporation generally paid two months after the work was completed, I still had two checks yet to arrive. Though they were greatly reduced professional pay, they were adequate for simply getting by. I felt no need to apply for food stamp benefits until it became obvious I would earn only $200 in an upcoming month.

PROBLEMS AT THE ASSESSMENT & COUNSELING SERVICE

My contract employer was obviously feeling the affects of both the budget cuts and the present economic crisis. Suddenly my checks were arriving late, first by three weeks, then by an entire month, then by over a month and a few days. My first food stamp application was rejected, because I could only produce one paycheck stub. I could only produce one pay check stub because the Assessment & Counseling service owed me $200 that had been earned three months earlier but was yet to be paid. The late check(s) also caused my bank account to overdraw, costing additional money in overdraft charges, and late fees on all of my bills. In the meantime, family and friends fed me with leftover food whenever they could do so, and I visited a food pantry.

WHAT THEN?

I received my food stamp rejection letter, and immediately drove to the Butts County Food Stamp office with my appeal request. When I did not hear anything, I hand delivered a letter on July 1, 2009, now with the pay check stub I had finally received from the assessment & Counseling service attached to the letter, requesting that I be reconsidered for food stamp benefits.

On July 16, 2009, I had heard nothing, and once again hand delivered a letter to Butts County DFCS requesting assistance with food stamp benefits. Two days later I mailed a letter to Butts County DFCS, stating that I would contact them every other day until I received some response to my correspondence. The next day I received a telephone call at home from my caseworker.

On July 28, 2009, I faxed information related to my income working at demand Studios, where I had began writing articles on-line for $15 each, but DFCS had still received no word from the Assessment & Counseling Service, in spite of attempts to reach them by telephone. I sent an email directly to the Assessment & Counseling Service requesting that they send my income information to Butts County DFCS immediately, and provided my DFCS caseworker with all information I had to make reaching the assessment and counseling service staff easier. She reported that she had reached them on one occasion, but had failed to receive a call back from them verifying my income level or the amount of my last check.

On August 8, 2009, I faxed another letter to Butts County DFCS, reporting that nothing had been done about my application, though I had been living with less than enough income to pay my utility bills, or eat, for well over three months. I also mailed a copy of the same letter to Butts County DFCS via the postal service. I received a call back from my caseworker that day, who reported that the contract service had finally sent information about the amount of my last check, as well as the date it had been sent. Upon further conversation; however, it became obvious the wrong amount of money had been reported, and an incorrect date for its arrival. I drove to Butts County DFCS, and hand delivered the actual check stub, and a bank statement proof of the date it was deposited into my account.

My caseworker approved my food stamp application inside her office at that time, and shared with me the exact amount of my benefits. I drove home, feeling I had finally accomplished something for the first time since I had originally applied for the benefits three months earlier. A few days later, I received a mailed verification of my food stamp approval dated August 10, 2009, and the summary notification informed me I would receive my card within a few days.

Today, August 28, 2009, I contacted my caseworker again to inform her that the card never arrived, and to ask if this is common, or cause for concern. She assured me that the card should have arrived within five days, and suggested I have the card voided, and allow her to request another be sent to my home. I did so, and hopefully, will receive a food stamp card within the next week. It has now been well over four months since my first application was completed for food stamp benefits.

CONCLUSION

In 2009, It took well over four months to receive food stamp benefits after losing a healthy income through no fault of my own. Today, on August 2014, food stamp benefit programs have been cut even more drastically since 2009, thanks to a republican anti entitlement congress that implies often a sentiment that people who receive food stamps are not interested in working, and instead want something for nothing. This line of thinking has been verbalized by conservative thinkers since Ronald Reagan coined the image of the "Welfare Queen," an image demonizing single mothers along with others in need of public assistance. I would like to make it very clear to my readers that the image of "Welfare Queen" has not been my experience.

People who request snaps (food stamp benefits) are not all lazy, or unwilling to work. As food stamp applicants, we have not all been unemployed, unmotivated, or drug addicted, and many of us have worked full time, or part time on two or more minimum wage jobs. I worked as hard on my food stamp application in 2009 as I worked on any of my employment sources. My problem then was that none of my employment sources paid very well; the problem was not that I did not have them. Had my employment sources equaled together a living wage, I would not have been seeking food stamp assistance.

When gainfully employed, I pay my required income tax, both to the federal government and to the state, and nobody expresses guilt about accepting either from me. As a United States citizen, and tax paying resident of the state of Georgia for many years, I believe I am entitled to food stamp benefits should I again become poor enough to qualify, and that I am as much entitled to proper diet and Affordable healthcare as the governor who approved the budget cuts that left me with little or no income. I feel neither guilt nor shame over accepting food stamps should they again be needed, and don't think anybody else should feel bad about doing so. Next time a republican governor wants to cut the budget, perhaps he should consider cutting his own budget, high salary and benefits first, before eliminating those of other vulnerable Americans.


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UNDERCOVER: OUR SECRET OBSESSIONS is a must read for anyone who has been touched by addiction, or treats it. For more information about this compelling NEW Novel, please click the link below:

http://valeriebelew.hubpages.com/hub/UNDERCOVER-SYNOPSIS-OF-MY-FIRST-NOVAL






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Comments 176 comments

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

To anyone presently reading this article, it is important to report that my foodstamp card finally did arrive, four and a half months after I initially applied. At ths point, I am working hard to make my need for these jewels become a thing of the past.


neky 7 years ago

what do you mean not all black, what a racist comment, I live in Texas and when I went into the office for the daycare program, it was majority whites and mexicans, what an ignorant comment


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

No matter what is said, someone will interpret it negatively; however, my comment does not assume that the majority of food stamp users are black, and your comment provides me with the opportunity to make that very clear. This article is actually meant to educate some of my white readers who imply at times with their words and behavior that black people rely on government assistance more than do whites. They probably believe that most food stamp users are black; from the way they talk, you'd think all food stamp users were black. The same people also hold some of the other attitudes discussed in the article, and my intent was to shed light on who the average food stamp user actually is. I do not have statistics on which races have more food stamp users, nor is that my concern. My concern is that people understand that many people who receive food stamps are also working full or part time, and also working as many hours as they can get on their jobs. The issue for me is materialism and greed, and looking down on people of any race based on their income level. Since you obviously already know that all food stamp users aren't black, the statement, which was actually meant to be the use of satire, was not meant for you. While I did not intend to offend anyone, I do find your name calling offensive. If you actually want to be heard, refrain from labeling people who are actually strangers as "racist" or "ignorant." You are showing your own tendency to allow emotion to do your thinking for you. You could have shared your assumptions about the statement, assumptions that were actually incorrect, and allowed me to explain how the comment was intended. If you have any doubts about whether or not I am a racist, perhaps you should read more of my articles. I believe you would realize that you misunderstood my motive in making the statement that offended you. Also, thanks for commenting. Being able to speak your mind is what makes our country free. I may not agree with what you said, or your manner of saying it, but I will defend with my life, your right to say it. (: Smiles


Reesie 7 years ago

thank you for this. it totally makes sense to me. i have been struggling with them off and on for a couple years now in carroll county since my husband got laid off. half the time they lose stuff after I drop it off at their office. everytime i have a review they screw something up. then no matter how many times I call that week to ask why, if I already gave them this, are they asking for it again, then they wait till 4:57 on the last day its supposed to be handled by to finally call me back and tell me im lying and its too late to do anything now anyway and i should just start over. so then, i naddition to trying to figure out how to feed everyone, i have to pay a babysitter again to come back up there again to fill out the same paperwork again for them to lose something again so i can call again to have to start over again again. since i know everything well enough now, maybe they should just hire me and then things wouldn't get lost and i wouldn't need food stamps to help feed my kids.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you for your comments. I have to admit that the question of why so many people have jobs who either don't choose to do them, or don't have the ability, while I am presently working for minimum wage, has occurred, though that was not the focus of my article.

I am sure all DFCS offices are working overtime, and must add that my personal caseworker was working on Saturday, on the day I drove by to turn in my proof of income from S & T, as well as the date the check arrived. I am sure mistakes can happen when people are working overtime, and dealing with unusually large caseloads; however, I did hope to stress in the article, that people who are receiving food stamps are not necessarilly happy about it, or accustomed to taking handouts.

Many of us would prefer to be working on jobs that enabled us to pay the higher taxes everyone else is complaining about, and drop the food stamp option, altogether.

Before my business failed due to Sonny Perdue's extensive cuts on substance abuse services in Georgia, I completed in home assessments throughout Atlanta's inner city, and my experience was that people of all races felt the same way we do. They were often working for minimum wage, either full time or getting as many hours as they were allowed, and preferred full time employment that would have allowed them to stop receiving food stamps, and pay their own monthly bills without assistance. That is the point my article is making. Applying for food stamps is a job in itself. LOL. Thanks again for commenting on my site.


Susan 6 years ago

Great article - I applied for Snap last year after my hours were cut to the bare bone by my employer due to the economy - I have lots of education - including Social Services education - but work part time and receive partial unemployment benefits - I waiting along time before applying for Snap - using credit cards to pay for food - eathing 1 time a day - using credit cards to pay utility bills and such. I have looked everywhere for work. I am over 55 years of age - and it has become obvious that employers want to hire youngster for any jobs out there (not that there are many jobs available). My current employer has a list of people we cannot work for in addition to them - due to compete clauses - and even is angry if employees apply for jobs with competitors. The Snap office has been beyond rude and hateful to me - I am following all the rules - doing the documented job search requirements - and working and getting partial unemployment. I document so much - in one year I have boxes and boxes of work search forms , copies of all the require, all the envelopes and letters, computer forms - because they lose most things - or accuse you of not turning them in. I am not allowed to use any of my work hours or unemployment compensation toward those job search hours (others can). I do not receive Tanf or Welfare benefits. It is obvious that the caseworkers want me gone from this earth. The phone calls they make, the way they speak to me is beyond rude. It seems there are different rules for different people. I would love to have a job - but not even fast food places within a 200 mile radious are hiring. The caseworker has called me names and has accused me of being lazy - says there are jobs everywhere. If that is so - then why am I at an office in another conversation with her and 100 other people are in the waiting room - also not able to find a job? Many of the clients are talking on expensive cell phones and drive to the office in almost brand new cars. If I had it to do over again - I would not have applied - it is totally humilating and abusive. I will never look at the government programs again the same way - there is definitely discrimination in how clients are treated.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Susan, it sounds like you are having a tough time. DFCS offices are pretty busy right now, and I think the wear and tear they endure from the recession causes them to be less than nice in many instances. I'm sure the unemployment office is dealing with the same thing; however, I would insist upon whatever I was entitled to without shame. I would also report anybody who was openly rude to me to his or her supervisor. I have not had the experience of open rudeness or name calliing, but assuredly, I would not accept it, and you should not do so either. Good luck. At 59, I am also having a tough time finding employment. Thanks for responding to my post.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Ironically, a friend and customer from my part time job at Curves For Women, brought me information about a position open at guess where? Butts County DFCS. I sent in my resume via email immediately, and asked my boss, a local business woman in this small town, if she knew anyone at Butts County DFCS. She happened to know the two highest level people there, and agreed to contact them via phone to suggest they take a look at my resume. Unfortunately, her father then had a heart attack, so I don't know if she was ever able to talk to them or not, but the possibility is there. At 59, they may be interested in someone younger, or may know someone already who they want to hire, but this is one way they could definitely get rid of someone on their EBT caseload. I would gratefully give up the "hand out" for a full time state job with benefits. LOL. I haven't heard anything yet, but it generally takes a while for state agencies to respond. We'll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed, as I need a job, and would definitely be empathetic towards clients. (: v


anne 6 years ago

I am so sorry for what you went through, Valerie. Please read my blog, check the early entries for my article "I nearly died the day I applied for food stamps." Hope things go better for you. I can relate, and I am caucasian!


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I have worked part time for Curves For Women a year, now, and never thought I'd be this poor this long. Writing is definitely a release that keeps me from going mad, and I wonder if the recession will ever end. Thanks for commenting on my site, but you don't appear to be a hubpages writer. How do I find your blog. (: v


Lea 6 years ago

I am a working middle class black woman, who just applied for food stamps because I am living paycheck to paycheck. After I pay my mortgage, daycare costs, student loans, and other household expenses. I have like $40 to hold me over to the next pay period. I only make 42k a year, but I have 3 kids in which 2, I pay daycare costs in the excess of $1,000 a month. My husband lost his job so all 5 of us are trying to live off this income. I do not live above means, and my husband cannot find a job, even fast food wont hire him because they say he is overqualified. My mortgage would be the same as the cost of rent on a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment around GA, for those of you who might tell me to get a cheaper home. I anticipate the food stamp people will be denying my claims. It seems that you almost have to be desolate in GA in order to get any help.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I wouldn't advise you to give up your home, and yes, the state of Georgia offers little help. I don't know how it is in other states, but if I did not have a well to do, and very helpful family, I would be homeless, or living with no electricy, water, telephone or heat in the winter. Hang in there, Lea, I know its hard. (:v


michaeljordan 6 years ago

Hang inthere ladies...To Lea- why are you paying daycare cost if your husband is not working, and no they will not approve your application if you put your husband on there. Just apply for you and the kids, and you might get somewhere. I also have a college degree and had to recently apply for food stamps, but I did not include my husband, just me and the kids and my application was approved in 30 days. My pay was dramatically cut do to furloughs. My suggestion is reapply as a single mother. and usually food stamp cases with children are approved much quicker valerie, but I enjoyed your article as well, and yes it IS hard work.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello michaeljordan. This article was written about a year ago, now, so I have been receiving food stamps for about a year now. I have been unable to find work in my field, though I do work part time at Curves For Women at minimum wage. It is tuff, but I am surviving, and still writing. Thanks for responding to my site. (: v


Dee 6 years ago

I hope someone has some information to help me through this forum that might help me. I applied for food stamps in Indianapolis, Indiana a month ago and within a matter of days was granted a benefit of 200.00, however I have yet to receive the card to get this benefit. have called the caseworker and she cannot help. Have called the customer service 3 times and have never gotten the ebt card. Now Im not even sure if they are mailing it, I could see it getting lost in the mail once but 3 times. Each time they tell me they will cancel the previous and mail another. I have verfied my address so much I am blue in the face. I dont know where to turn, so if someone out there can tell me who to call In indianapolis to get to the bottom of this, I would appreciate this. I really need the food. Please help or offer some advice please.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello Dee. I had my card get lost once, and had to have it resent, but it arrived after the first mishap. I know how hard that is, and the only thing I know to tell you is to keep at them until the card arrives in your mailbox. In the meantime, you might find out where the local food bank is, and ask them for help. Sorry, I can't offer anymore help than that, but I had to just keep contacting Butts County DFCS until the card arrived. (:v


Mo 6 years ago

You got a M.Div...Can you work for a religious programme, or some shit like that.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I could, but right now I'm certainly no spiritual giant. If God is out there, he or she doesn't seem to care much about my emotional needs for meaningful work. I can work for any substance abuse counseling program, or doing contract work using my certification. Most religious programs are too dogmatic for my comfort. (:v


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 6 years ago

Great Hub ! Welcome to HubPages too ! I never thought my financial situation would drag on this long either :(

How are things going for you now ?


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Pretty much the same after a year. I work on a part time job, but my hours have been recently cut, and I am looking for other work in addition to it. I finally earned my first $100 on hubpages, but it took me a year to do it, and I earn that much most weeks working minimum wage. I obviously write for recognition and to impact the world, not for google dollars as they aren't many. (:v


armymom2007 6 years ago

hello, has anyone ever had an approval letter with an amount stated only to get two more letters of denial, foodstamp worker claims no mail from corp where my sons boss sent the form to be filled out and corp says they sent it. Now on the approval there is an amount in income, and it looks right for that time. I cant seem to get anywhere for him but to reapply and raise cain where he works to get the info back to us to use to reapply.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello armymom, For the first time in United States history over 40 million Americans are on food stamps, according to the latest statistics. My guess is that those who work for Family & Children's services agencies are overwhelmed, and making many errors. Is is a sad state of affairs for everybody. So sorry you are experiencing these problems. (:v


buttscomom 6 years ago

I am a black mother and I understand totally what you were saying. Unfortunately there are people who will misconstrue or twist what you say, we will ignore those people


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks buttscomom, Sometimes we have to overlook people who just don't seem to understand what we are trying to say. (:v


the unemployeed 6 years ago

I have applied several times. I am out of work, my retirement money is all gone and was told by a DFACS caseworker do she need to call CPS on me. My kids are still taken care of. I was denied foods and TANF. I worked over 10+ years to help others received benefits and sell their food stamps. Okay I need benefits now.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello unemployed, just hang in there and keep applying. if you qualify they will have to come through for you. They try to avoid it because they are so overloaded, but if you qualify they will eventually have no choice. (:v


armymom2007 6 years ago

we just gave up, they could not get the check stubs from marvins to arrive to suit them, and my son had no way of getting them anymore, things had changed not for the better where he was working. He had applied for a further up job at HQ and had hoped he would get it, in tech support, what he was doing in fl before they prorated 49 people out of that school system over two years ago. He has worked one day weeeks, three day weeks, lucky to get a four and five day one, hurt his back and got nothing for a month and a half, we are still trying to get the phone bill caught up for us both, and i am falling behind on the house payment a little, hope to make it up when he is caught up before the end of the year, its not even a full payment so i think we can hang on that way a big longer while trying to do better. His brother rescued his car for him for now he needs to be able in nov to start paying him reg payments, they will be a bit lower so as to be able to catch up in time we hope. But we just have decided to forgo the food stamps and say to heck with them, and eat less, we need to loose weight anyway at this time, and i am buying basics with my 138 and making them go as far as i can, someone asked me why i cooked so much, its the math, i dont do it, we dont eat, because i can make it go further than fast, precooked foods allow it to go. So its a have to be here and cook so others can eat as well situation. I think we end up spending a good 100 between us all or more on food a month anyway to make it, those one pot meals and cheap buys are the only way we are going to make it. God provided me with free peppers and pears this year from my dads and i have frozen and cooked as many as i can, and when i find bananas for .15 a pound i buy them and make cakes and bread and puddings, its all in trying to find the marked down goods that are still good enough to eat and using coupons when possible, but buying store and no frills or outlet buys to get by on at the very least. good luck everyone, its a jungle out there.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

yes, armymom, it really is a jungle out there. Thanks for returning to my site.


val 6 years ago

thanks at least you where brave enough to voice your feelings publicly about the system because it really sucks, and if you are not educated or knowledege about how it works and fight for your rights you loose. By the way Iam one of those black people that was turned down because i made one hundred dollars to much and Iam not being racist.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hi Val,

Food stamps are hard to get, and there is nothing racist about saying so. I finally received a job offer last week, and am working nonstop to meet all the preemployment requirements so that I can start work on November 1rst. There are many expenses involved in going back to work, and many deadlines, and I may have to wait until November 16th due to the need for a chest Xray instead of a TB skin test. If I did not have family who could help, I probably would not even be able to go back to work due to not being able to pay for a chest xray without money or health benefits. It never stops, the financial demands on those who can't meet them. (:v


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 6 years ago from Rural Arizona

Hi valeriebelew - great hub. By the grace of god, or whom ever controls our destiny, I have never had to go through this situation. I can only imagine what it must be like for a person who has been self supporting, successful, self reliant, and proud of their accomplishments to find themselves in this situation. To find oneself in need of one of lifes essentials such as food, but not knowing the system and what it takes to get assistance makes it extremely difficult.

Due to the economy, there are a great plenty of people who find themselves in the "assistance system" for the first time in their lives. Them not knowing the rules, or the shortcuts must make this extremly frustrating. In some cases, they could practically plant seeds and grow some food before they get their first assistance check. I feel very sorry for them.

On the other side of the coin are those who have been on assistance of one form or another for nearly their entire lives. They know and understand the "system" better than many of the employees that work there. They are familiar with "giveaways" that the average working person has never heard of, and they know how to get it. Some were taught this skill by their parents, who were taught by their parents, and they survive.

I'm sure that most first timers, like yourself, would much rather have a decent job, and get out of the system as quickly as possible. The long term system abusers have no such desire, and will continue to take as long as the system exists.

Is there a simple solution to this problem? I doubt it. Can it be fixed? I doubt it. The assistance agencies are so overwhelmed with first time applicants, they don't have the manpower or resources to focus on the abusers of the system.

The best fix I can think of would be to fix the economy so more people can be gainfully employed, and leave this nightmare behind them. Then, and only then, could they start focusing on the system abusers.

Congratulations on your new job and I hope things turn out well for you and others who found themselves in your position.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Dear Old poolman, during Bill Clinton's administration welfare reform was passed and instituted. People under 50 years of age are typically not allowed to remain on food stamp benefits for over three months, though there may be exceptions in this present economy. However, unless that has changed, people cannot remain on foodstamps or other public assistance indefinately or "most of their lives."


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 6 years ago from Rural Arizona

valeriebelew, you might be shocked if you knew the real world truth. Even some dead people still receive benefits and the checks are cashed. I'm very glad you found a good job and dont need assistance anymore. Welfare reform is only as good as the people doing the monitoring and the resources they have available. Do you honestly believe there are no abuses of the system?


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Old Poolman, of course there are abuses of the system, but there are certainly abuses on Wallstreet that cost us a lot more money. (:v


1025simpsoncat 6 years ago

valeriebelew- I am glad to see you have not caved in to the racist sentiment that some are trying to infect you with. Some poor Americans find it so much easier to blame other poor Americans. There is always imaginary "abusers" of the system(mostly Blacks and Mexicans are to blame)instead of looking at the system as a whole. The American government sucks and as a Caucasian, I am ashamed to say that it is mostly old white men that have done the damage. Not only to social services but education and healthcare as well. Revolution is almost a curse word now but it is a word that puts fear into the rich and political. We Americans need to take back our country from the traitors, politicians who have sold us out with their laws in support of big business and foreign interest. How much longer are we going to tolerate this treatment by those we elect then turn on us once they make it? This is not about race anymore. It is about class and if you don't have the dollars to have your voice heard then you don't have a voice...but only if you stand alone. If we all stand together and shout, they have no choice but to hear...and to listen. America is in a pivotal state right now and the Department of Human Resources is just a fraction of what is wrong. This is the first time in American history where the people just sat and did nothing while repeatedly being raped by their own government. Is it true? Are we the stupidest people in the free world?


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Simpsoncat, As for your last question, sometimes I wonder. I couldn't believe America went Republican this last election after so much home when Obama was elected. No one can correct the problems George Bush left us with overnight. People are fickle and expect miracles in a day. Amen to everything you said. Thanks for responding to my site. (:v


Lisa 5 years ago

I want to let you people who say sell ur computers. My parents bought it for my daughter,she needs it for school work, so no I cannot sell the computer. I think the public school district has too many things that you need a computer for. Also If you try to look for work and you do not have a computer you are practically handicapped,from filling out applications. Why are you people so worried anout others who need the food. Stay off this site if you do not need foodstamps, obviously you are fortunate and ignorant. People are stealing just to get by. YOU people are ignorant and have no compassion for others. As poor as I am I was downtown for support payments that I never receive. I had my favorite pair of old jeans in the back of my car and gave them to a homeless woman. Now I do not even own a car anymore. So I would take the shirt off my back for others. Think about giving and not what others receive for free. Some people abuse the system. I agree about that. But some of these comments are heartless.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks Lisa, You are correct that in today's world, a computer is a necessity. I found full time employment since writing this article, and found my present job via computer, where most jobs are found these days. If I had listened to the comments from people who wanted to punish me and others like me for needing public assistance, I'd still be on foodstamps. As it is, I am now contributing to the system as a taxpayer, and yes, I still support everything I wrote in this hub.

Ignorance, arrogance, and greed are the problems here. There is plenty of food and money in the U.S. to feed everyone in it. When those who wish not to share become needers of foodstamps, they will understand their value, and quite frankly, I hope it happens. Thanks for commenting on my site. (:v


spdarkstar profile image

spdarkstar 5 years ago from Benijofar, Alicante, Spain

A great Hub.

All our problems will be solved when all our politicians discover some altruistic values.

I hope we are not waiting in vain.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks spdarkstar, I hope we aren't waiting in vain myself. I'm still waiting for less partisonship, and more concern for the common good. (:v


paige 5 years ago

thank you for sharing this. it's great to FINALLY read something positive about getting benefits. usually all i read is about how we are "lazy, uneducated and don't work". i work, but i only work two days a week at a local grocery store, so i had no choice but to apply for benefits!


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

paige, at the time I wrote this hub I was working part time for minimum wage. I am now working full time and have benefits, but I also have a looooong memory. If I ever vote republican again, I hope somebody shoots me. I voted for Obama and will do so again. (:v


depressed :( 5 years ago

Thanks for writing this article! I am so glad to know that I am not the only person who has to fight with DFCS over food stamps...though my situation is different. I moved in with my now fiancé and his parents and because he is under 22 he was not supposed to be able to be considered a separate household so if he was going to be on my case we were supposed to have had his parents and their income listed as well. Well, being the average citizen, I was not aware of this law and NO ONE (not the call center that added him, not the 2 caseworkers before my current one, and not the supervisor for my former and current caseworker) caught this until this week. He has been on my case for over a year, making the total amount of food stamps he received over 2,000. They are telling me that they have to report me for fraud and I have to pay this amount back. Because THEY messed up. How fair is that???


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello depressed. Basically, I wouldn't accept that if you told them everything you knew to tell them and no one objected until now. I would not accept a food stamp fraud determination, because you'd never be able to get them again if you needed them afterwards. I'd appeal that decision. If you did not deliberately keep a secret you have done nothing wrong. Thanks for reading my site. (:v


Appalled and Appealing 5 years ago

Valerie,

Congrats on landing that full-time job!

I can relate to "Depressed's" situation. To make a long story short, my caseworker has threatened to take my income tax refund in resitution for overpayment of food stamp benefits I requested be terminated IN writing and did NOT use. Even a DFCS representative at the Call Center agreed with me I am NOT liable for money I haven't spent.

Needless to say, I have officially appealed this determination. And, I agree with you--"Depressed" needs to do the same with her case.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

great appalled and appealing, DFCS workers are generally bachelor's level low paid staff who are overworked. Many mistakes happen due to too many cases and not enough staff. Frustrated and overworked people make bad decisions and are neglectful often. Most mistakes are not intentional, but we must make them pay attention to oversights. Appeal, appeal, appeal. That's what I'd do.


Appalled and Appealing 5 years ago

Valerie--

Good news! There is no need for an appeal, as my case manager was able to resolve my claim amicably, once she got with the "right" person and received the "right" information.

I agree. They ARE overworked and underpaid.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Glad to hear it, A and A, things usually work out in time but it is a challenge. Thanks for coming back to let us know. Many need hope. (:v


jman00001 profile image

jman00001 5 years ago from Texas

Glad to hear about your full time job success! However I do have a few comments regarding your job focus and political/ race talking points. A poor, pro-democrat (ie: pro Obama) Caucasian woman complaining about a poor fed system on food stamps?.. Honestly, it may well be a reason why finding a job was so difficult in the 1st place. Most manager’s in my industry would hold your political opinion as a negative if discussed during a job interview.

Your hard focus on staying in a narrow focus of work is risky – as you found out unfortunately. I simply never understood why so many keep doing the same things and expecting a different and better outcome? Point being to try something radically different. Maybe sales or real estate or selling insurance or even pharmaceutical rep?... BY finding reasons to Not do something different and staying in your comfort zone, you simply limit your options for building a better life… (This is just a comment not criticism because most people do exactly the same thing)

Regarding your “Surprise” on the country going republican again?..why are you surprised?.. Obama’s agenda is basically anti-American. The oil moratorium is and was illegal. Judges have ruled against it and Obama’s DOI group. The stoppage of drilling wells has helped drive oil over $100 / BBL again… Do you really think Obama’s inner circle hasn’t made a fortune off this change? Do you really think Obama cared about the thousands of laid off oil field related worker in Texas and Louisiana.

For that matter , do you really think Obama cared about the 11 that died on the Horizon oil rig? .. I KNOW for a fact that evidence showing criminal negligence was buried by BP and the federal investigation because it would have led to a trial and possible prison time by certain BP staff…Staff that were instrumental in setting up the $20 billion fund and earlier in supporting the Obama campaign… To protect them the whole thing again criminally negligent project engineer and manager was hidden… Sorry that is the real world talking and sharing the truth that many will choose to disbelieve because they can’t handle the truth..

You and every other legal voter supporting Obama were tricked and betrayed. Bush was better and that is a sad statement… Anyway best of luck with new job… Obama’s stimulus and health care needs the tax revenues ;)


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello Jman, thanks for visiting my site and sharing. One thing I'd like to say is that you assumed wrongly when you assumed I did not seek work other than in my own field. Unfortunately, in today's world and our present economy, it is not that easy to find lucrative work outside of one's field. I applied for many sales positions, as I had a history in outside sales prior to earning my Master's Degree.

Also, I don't discuss politics or food stamps in job interviews, nor do I discuss religion in them. You assume a whole lot about me, and obviously anyone who uses foodstamps for any length of time. I am wondering what your level of education is since you seem to believe that seven years of formal education should be forgotten in favor of seeking jobs in which you have little or no experience. I found work faster than many have, and there was no problem in the way I looked for it. The problem is that Georgia is a republican state that values wealthy corporations over workers and tends to resent public servants. You certainly have a right to your opinion, but please know somebody a little better before you start giving advice. You know nothing about how I seek work or how I conduct job interviews. Sunny Perdue was my problem, not my job search or job interviews. He cut the budget in services this state needs, and for which I spent many years studying. The solution is to vote the republicans out in this state, not to blame the victims for the actions of greedy corporations and greedy politicians. I support the president and disagree with your view, however, I am glad we live in a country that allows you to express it. (:v


Laura 5 years ago

Getting an keeping food stamps has been an almost full time job since my the non profit agency my husband worked at for 14 years closed in April 2010 because the Executuve Director mishandled funding. I am disabled and was approved medically disabled for SSI but due the fact that my husband receives unemploymnet I can not get any SSI money at this time. We had 2 children, one in college.

We have been though 2 fair hearing where it was decided by the adminstrative law judge that the food stamps caseworkers had made mistakes. We arfe now going through another fair hearing because they are again making miscalations. This is addition to of all the wrong iinformation the caseworkers have given me, them requesting the same documents they already have,


Laura 5 years ago

I just pressed the submit button by mistake.I hadn't head time to go over the grammar and spelling mistakes or edit .I am rewriting the letter now.

Getting on and keeping food stamps has been an almost full time since 2010. Our caseworkers have miscalculated many times which lead to 2 fair hearings where it was decided that the caseworkers had made the mistakes and our stamps were reinstated. We are now again having another fair hearing where I am confident it will be determined again the caseworker was wrong. We had been given wrong information on almost all our questions,submitted the same documents over again after they misplace them,we have been treated disrectfully by caseworkers who are incompetent and most likely less educated than most people in this county applying for food stamps.

I do not think it helps to just complain and not at least try to do something about it. I wrote a complaint letter yesterday on the website I found for complaints to the Govener"s ofice of California for complaints on Social Sercice offices. This seemed to have made the Regional Manager of my local office to take notice and he called me and sent an email to me that he is looking into my concerns and will get back to me.

I then looked up on the internet about how hard it is to get a civil servant worker fired and it is very difficult. However ,I think the more people that file complaints about the same person or dept.,the more likely something will change.

Our local office has already been in trouble for mistakes on food stamp benefits for years,which I read about in the local newspaper. I think if you don't complain to the top level the other food stamps applicants will deal with the same incompetencies of their worker.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Yes, Laura, speaky wheels definitely get greased.


Nomad Jm 5 years ago

Interesting situation with my good friend’s neighbor that relates a bit to some of the topics in your hub. A family was just evicted for non-payment of mortgage. They apparently had not made a payment in over 1 year. The couple was of limited education, no children of their own and no job exactly. The husband had quite his regular job some time back to expand their foster child care.

What they did do full time for last year was to provide foster care to 11 children receiving government support of ~$1,100/ month each as well as participate in food stamp and other assist programs.

They were very upset when leaving and shared a number of comments to my friend about how they were racially discriminated against for being evicted and that loans are harder to get now. They moved into apartment and plan to keep all the foster kids somehow. Interestingly enough they had fancy clothes, apple iphones, 2 very new vehicles ( Ford excursion, loaded and Chevy suburban also high end feature loaded), and ate well off the food stamp program.

The above is a real world example of a ~non working black couple with over $140,000 in government sponsored income with a high school level education.

If these people can figure out how to live well off the social services the democrats put in place long ago, I think college educated can do at least as well if and only if pride and stubbornness does not get in the way. Just a thought based on this near neighborhood event .


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Interesting story, momad jim, though being college educated does even come close to granting the income you described in your comment. This hub was written close to two years ago. I've been working full time for six months now, and no longer need foodstamps, but with the corporate greed our nation is experiencing from the republican supported oil companies, there is little left for many of us after driving to work and back. Your story sounds somewhat fabricated or grossly exaggerated to me. Please don't take offense, but it sounds like the product of a republican written email to the masses with no validity, that no one can prove actually happened. One more stereotyped image of black people similar to what Hitler put out about the Jews shortly before he began gassing them by the millions, but then you probably don't believe the holocaust was real either. College education means little to republicans who only feel that those who are already rich and republican have a right to expect quality lives. (:v


Nomad Jim 5 years ago

Sorry to disappoint, but the story above was shared with me by a trusted friend. He was living next to the couple that specialized in abusing foster care system. They apparently abused other government welfare related systems as well.

The point of the factual story did not relate to race or greed. It wasn’t even intended as a lesson about why liberal politics tend to get abused and misused.

The point was about the unfortunate human physiology of rigid , stubborn thinking and not being honest with one’s self about mistakes in the past. ( I know because I was guilty of the same think for years until I broke through –at least one layer of it- and greatly improved my situation. Many I used to work with are still too afraid of change to follow my example. Instead they make excuses and talk about how lucky I was...)

Point being, people are comfortable in blaming others for their own problems, shortcomings or disappointments. In your case perhaps blaming republicans or big corporations?

With respect, I would be comfortable in betting that your new full time job is still keeping you in a lower income situation. Why? Because you are used to it , accept it and have a large group of other “bad” people to blame for it. (ie: you’re in your comfort zone)

Again with respect –most people are the same way to different degrees. From what I can tell the more formal education a person has the greater the likelihood of that person being rigid or arrogant in their thinking.

Simple question- did you check online to see what foster care rates actually are before commenting? ( I assume the answer is no)

I checked online with respect to foster care. It appears that $150 to $400 day for foster kids is common. See link below.

http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7-124-5452_7117...

That matches up very well with my friend’s neighborhood story. The point is that uneducated couple was “motivated” to find a way to make a lot of money. (I did not say honestly or ethically motivated- just motivated). Therefore instead of doing the same things and complaining about not getting better outcomes or blaming others, they “took action and tried something new” and found ways to succeed –in their own way.

While their example is a corrupted form on entrepreneurism, it is still debatably better than their previous lifestyle. They took advantage of a situation after researching a government policy weakness. The fault is more the government’s poor management and stupid anti American liberal policy support than the couples. What do you think?


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello, Nomad, Hell, I don't know. I made a lot more money at one time, but I'm at my lowest level job and income in years. Still, its a job and I'm grateful for it. Say, did you hear about Osoma Bin Lauden? Probably misspelled the name, but you can figure it out. Whatever my income, I'm in better shape than he is right now. (:v


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

It isn't likely everybody is going to accept the truth of this article hub, and some people are going o insist on blaming the poor or anyone who isn't rich for being not rich when it is the rich who have the power to create the system that keeps them rich and allows few others to advance from their present social class. There is a difference between blaming the rich or republicans and simply stating the truth as it is. The republcan agenda is sort of nazi in that it defends the wealthy and maintains a system that rewards the wealthy and uses the poor to keep the wealthy that way, then stereotypes and blames the poor for being poor. I still don't think anyone is getting rich from doing foster care; however, foster care is a service that is needed and is actually a job since someone has to do it. Why is it any less respectable to take care of kids for a living than to work on wall street or for the republican party. That is another thing that is annoying to some of us. Why do republicans behave as if anything the government pays people to do is not work or shouldn't pay enough to make it worth doing. Government employees pay taxes too and some services need to be done simply because they need to be done for the betterment of mankind, not for profit or the amount of money someone can make. Republicans act as if greed is the only rightful reason money should be paid out and that any service that exists simply to make the world a better place should not exist. Sorry, but I think business needs to be regulated and regulated again. Any entity that exist solely for the purpose of making money should pay more taxes and should have less tax shelters. I'm glad foster care exists so that we don't have homeless kids cleaning chimneys like occurred in the early days of this country before child labor laws were instituted. I wouldn't want to work hard enough to do foster care and I'm glad someone else is willing to do it. Much of the money is required to take care of the kids themselves, anyway, but republican thinking is stuck on only private businesses paying enough money for services to get the job done. Figure it out. Foster kids need to be kept and fed and someone has to do the work. Government employees pay taxes and the services are needed. We don't need to privatise everything to the point to where if there isn't a lot of money things don't get done. Greed is not the only reason for work; some things need to be done simply because it is right to do them.


Nomad 5 years ago

Hi Val,

Yes, I was surprised and happy to an extent to see the fall of Osama. The wild parties over his death are perhaps awkward from a moral position but it is good to see success by the military & CIA for once and some actual pride in the country by so many. We have so few examples of national pride in recent times that anything to enhance that deficit is good to see.

On your other comment- Doing what is right and what you believe in ethically is (or should be) more important than simply making money. I agree.

However resenting financial success of others and looking for excuses is not productive. The American dream was for this to be a land of opportunity that motivated citizens have the right ( and obligation?) to take advantage of and in doing so help themselves and sometimes the country as a whole. These opportunities can be noble or not but the opportunity and risks do exist. Those that choose to hide and avoid have that right but must accept the consequences. In cases that means very low income if they insist of certain types of work. This is fine but do not complain. If a person goes into missionary work for a church then income generation is not high priority obviously. However if that same person wants more income then he or she must make a change and not expect the government to simply give them more because they choose a low income, high ethics activity.

Trouble with regulating entrepreneurism and free enterprise is simply in the qualification and motivation of the “regulator”. If the US government was good at regulating then why is the social security system such a financial disaster? Why is the public school system failing in so many parts of the country, why is medicare & medicade a $ mess with rampant corruption and red tape , why is big insurance so profitable and corrupt ( why did my lady friend’s husband get a $1 million dollar bonus for 2010 , the Obama bonus as they called it (he is SVP at subsidiary of AIG insurance)...list goes on and on. Reason is the system is flawed and yes in many cases intentionally flawed by those wanting to take advantage. Yes, both republicans and democrats are very guilty of this action.

The politics is not that relevant to my point. Being happy and reasonably successful in what we do , at least in our own mind and that of our family and friends, is relevant.

Little is more impressive to me than those with the self motivation & courage and drive to admit they made long term tactical or judgmental mistakes and have the fortitude to make whatever changes they see fit and end up with a better result. This challenge is very, very rarely won by most people as it is much easier to blame something or someone and stay in a comfort zone … no matter how uncomfortable that comfort zone is…


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hey again, nomad. You made some very good points, however, I don't think Medicare or Medicaid are in any worse condition than the private interprises that recently had to be bailed out due to buying loans that weren't worth anything and counting on insurance companies to cover them that could not do it either. Lots of criminals both on Wall Street and in the government. You are probably reasonably young; it is not that easy to start a new career when you are close to retirement age. There simply is not enough time to start over at something new and build a larger income. Your advice is good for someone in his or her thirties or early forties, but I'm too old to begin again. I'm sure I would make another choice if I were young enough to do it and actually increase my income, but at this point the cost and time involved in going back to school and starting at the bottom would negate any positve outcome. There is a point in life at which you have no choice except to stay in your comfort zone as there simply is not enough time left to do anything else. Idealism is for the young, and I started again at 42. It is too late to do that again no matter how disillusioned I might be, and the money isn't there either. The economy also took a downswing and I'm not able to earn in this profession what I once could. Many things changed and left me old and with little money for new beginnings. Things just aren't always that simple. Still, for young people your suggestions are good.


jessie 5 years ago

I was just denied today after applying over a month ago. They say I didn't send in all the paperwork but when I last spoke with my caseworker she said they had everything they needed. My caseworker did not understand how I was going to pay my bills and I explained to her that I would not be able to pay bills in June. I told her I was going to try and borrow money from a family member, this person was not able to help and so I received no money. She now wants me to send her a letter from the family member who is supporting me financially. I also explained to her that before my job ended I had a saving account and have since spent that money to live one. I have sent bank records, a letter from my mortgage company, regime and utilities companies explaining how much I owe and how far behind I am. Can I get another caseworker?


SanXuary 5 years ago

Is it not amazing that many of us pay taxes for most of our lives and others claim we are not entitled to it when we need it the most. You have to be very poor in most cases to receive any of these entitlements to begin with. In other wards you have to remain extremely poor to continue to receive any help at all. There are many reasons to end up poor and sometimes getting ahead is one of those times, ask any college student.


its-ownlee-me 4 years ago

Thank you so much for your story and I hope things get better for you and everyone else who are going through hard times. My husband works a full-time job, the pay is minimum wage and we have 2 kids. I'm unable to work, due to health problems, so we had to apply for Food Stamps and Medi-cal because his job doesn't have medical benefits. It was a long and lengthy process, but we were literally living pay check to pay check. You may as well say that for him to get paid every 2 weeks, one went on rent, and the other bills and the cycle started over again next check. At the time that we waited to first receive our Food Stamps..we were in dire need of food..we survived by the graces of God, and we're doing better now because of the Food Stamps. Some people really need to get their heads out of the clouds and stop thinking that only lazy people are abusing the system. My husband works 6 days a week and only gets 2 Holidays a year off, and now they've cut his hours.

And @jessie...if your caseworker is giving you a hard time, go over their head and talk to their supervisor, and if that doesn't work...go over their head. I have two friends who work for Department of Social Services, and the things they used to tell my about the caseworkers would shock you. Somewhat off topic, but I must say this...when my youngest was old enough to go to Head Start, I applied, but come to find out that you literally have to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. I took his tax return, and they told me that he made too much money and that the amount he made that year was for a family of 7 (there's only 4 of us)!! It was barely over 30,000. I couldn't believe it. So i did what any mother would do, I taught her at home, and at the age of 4, she started Kindergarten and she's doing exceptionally well in school. I never thought that a child would be denied an early education.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Hello its ownly me, I have actually been working over a year at this point, but many are still dealing with this situation, so I leave these articles on hubpages for people to read. It is tough, and no one can live well on minimum wage. Don't blame you for homeschooling. Just be glad you have enough education to do so. For those who can't, its a cycle of lack of education and poverty. Best wishes for you and yours. (:v


Askme profile image

Askme 4 years ago

Hi Valerie, enjoyed reading this hub as sums up my experiences with applying for food stamps in Los Angeles. My husband and I spent 4 hours one day and 6 hours the next only to be rejected. Yes you are not lazy if you get up and stand in line, sit through waiting to be called by your case worker, copy all the documentation requested, complete all the forms and wait and wait only to be told NO without any explanation. We were unemployed and had no means of income not even unemployment benefits. Just as well...it made us fight to find jobs and forced us to look outside the box. Don't care to revisit applying for food stamps ever again!


Reyna 4 years ago

I can relate!!! I just contacted a civil rights activist asking, how can I file a civil rights discrimination when on the form it asks, "What rights has been violated"...Social class is missing. Hello...someone needs to do something about this!!I will be emailing Michelle Obama soon. Especially since here in L.A. they are so worried about people not applying for food stamps. Afraid people go hungry when they shouldn't. Maybe we wouldn't dread applying if we were treated with a bit of respect and not like poor trash. I also am not lazy but a full time time student mother of four finishing up my B.S. in Accounting and planning to start my MBA after, while working I hope!


SWAGHOUSE profile image

SWAGHOUSE 4 years ago from ATLANTA, GA

I went through a similar situation and come out on top by presenting all my information to the supervisor and letting her read the letter I had prepared for her, my caseworker, the local news and government. I received benefits the next day. I could not let my children go hungry due to the laziness of Fulton County DFCS. Check out my article.

I hope all is better and I want you to stay encouraged!


TIREDOFBS 4 years ago

HUBBY LOST JOB AFTER 29 YRS. SIGNED UP FOR MEDICAD AND FOODSTAMPS. 4 TIMES I HAVE HAD TO REAPPLY. THEY HAVE BEEN RUDE. TOLD ME THERE'S MONEY COMING IN WHEN THERE ISN'T. THEY HAVE HIS BIRTB YEAR WRONG WHICH I HAVE GIVE HIS PICTURE LICENSE. IYS BEEN DEGRADING PROCESS!!!!! DOES ANYONE KNOW IF YOU HAVE TO REPORT INCOME TAX OR 401K? THANK YOU VERY MUCH!GO DEMOCRATS!


Fedup 4 years ago

I live in PA, but I work for the city of NY. I haven't had a raise in 4 years and I'm a single mom with three children. I have a BA degree but it doesn't do much in this economy. I just recently apply for Food Stamps in PA and was disqualified, not because of my income this time, but because my mom lives with me and I didn't list her as applying only because of a slight misunderstanding on my part.

It's a shame that you have to be dirt poor to get any government assistance, in a country where you faithfully pay your taxes.


Sandra 4 years ago

Oh you soon find yourself stared at like you have two heads at the cash register. I was injured at work. I will never find a job in this economy. My degree will be of no service to me, as soon as the repo man can file the paper work we will lose our home. The bank does not want to negotiate. The truth is I am too tired to care. Thanks to all of the filthy politicians for allowing prices to inflate groceries and gas. Shame to them all!


AltantaJeff 4 years ago

Sounds like it is your DFCS Office that is simply very poorly run. I live in Atlanta - I have no children and I am a single male and I was laid off. I went online for food stamps (Georgia EBT card). I got the card in the mail 4 days later!


KiminTuck 4 years ago

I understand your pain. My son is 18 years old and he goes to school but has no other source of income. I told him to apply for food stamps only until he goes into the military in Sept of this year. He applied and they told him he has to at least work 20 hours to receive it. Ummmmm really what if he's going to school and just moved back in with his mom. I'm already receiving food stamps for myself and 2 girls and I'm self employed. I don't understand this state they are so backwards.


lost in texas 4 years ago

It is pretty bad. I got laid off and had to apply. I have 2 young kids. They told me I only qualify for $40 a month....


Eoo 4 years ago

Sorry to hear about good people with bad luck stories above.. If you read the comments thread you will see that the author " admits" to not trying a new job or Career .. Reason was she was to old to try? Real reason is she did not have to since our stupid modern government bails out everyone via socialist programs like food stamps.. Guys .. If u need a helping hand due to Kay off etc.. That is for "you" to take responsibility on.. If needed ask family, friends and church for help.. Maybe even salvation army etc... The evil of liberal policies that destroy thecountry is based in entitlement programs like food stamps and welfare .. Most of those using the program abuse it.. Fact... Many eat better than people with $80,000 plus yearly incomes... Fact.. I have seen three local Texas examples of this fact first hand....


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Eoo, I didn't have to try a new career at 60, and I would have been a fool to do so, since I never would have graduated from college before retirement age, and didn't have the money to do so anyway. Because I had better sense than to do that, I found a job in my own field, and have been working full time for well over a year now. As for your philosophy, I couldn't disagree with you more. The problem is conservatives who have no compassion for anybody who isn't successful that day. Many who draw foodstamps go on to find work and once again contribute to the system as I am doing today. It is ridiculous to say that people on food stamps eat better than the wealthy. Food stamps hardly feed you. If anyone earning 80,000 is not eating any better than someone on foodstamps, the person has an eating disorder and needs to see a shrink. But why am I wasting my time arguing with someone who obviously hates the poor anyway. Take your conservative talk elsewhere. No one here is listening to it, because we know its coming from someone who is out of touch with what it feels like to fall on hard times.


Katherine 4 years ago

Indianapolis DFR seems to have gotten a lot better. I applied in January before the offices moved and they said that I did not turn in information that I had completed and denied me. I promptly went online and filled out a whole new application. I then received a letter informing of a phone interview I did the phone interview on Tuesday received benefit card on Saturday. I work full time, Go to school full time, care for my small child and his father who recently had his leg amputated due to medical malpractice. Not everyone on food stamps is lazy of unemployed some just fall on hard times. I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever tried to get food stamps and the minute we no longer need them we will be done.


SKS 4 years ago

Hi Valerie... I want to say that many many years ago I worked for a Food Stamp District office. It was the WORST job EVER. Not because of the clients, but because of so many LAZY employees that could care less about the needs of their clients. These caseworkers spent most of their PAID non working hours complaining about their salaries. Pleeeeease. Go find another job if your unhappy with your employment. I have NEVER seen so many workers with so many complaints, yet they had many hours of time to gossip with their co-workers, while clients waited & waited in the reception area. This is a nationwide problem. I now live in Indiana. I have NEVER seen such horrible laws or LAZY state workers. Of course, not all state workers are LAZY, but most are. And the serious problem is that the GOVERNOR doesn't see this statewide problem. Yesterday (after calling the Governors office to get through to anyone that would help a relative of mine that was given such a difficult time to get food stamps (an AUTISTIC relative); in their doing NOTHING to get this relative FOOD STAMPS (CLEARLY ELIGIBLE), This CLUCK of a caseworker (if that's what you can call her) REMOVED relative from his much needed MEDICAID. To date, Relative STILL has NO food stamps (going on for MONTHS) and months... The UNCARING INCOMPETENTS that receive a PAYCHECK from OUR TAX

DOLLARS should be investigated for FRAUD.. Please call your Senator and your Congress person; Food Stamps are federally controlled. The states screw them up, except if it's a state employees relative that needs them. hmmmmmmm. DON'T VOTE FOR ANY IMCUMBENT.. THE ONLY WAY THE USA MAY IMPROVE THE CALIBER OF WORKERS.


boo 4 years ago

get rid of Obama!!!


Confusedgirl 4 years ago

Here's what I don't understand: I work very hard, and pay my taxes, and do not own a home. However, my taxes pay for someone to get a free phone, energy assistance, and food stamps, even though they have $$ in the bank and equity in their home? How is that even fair? They could sell their home and use the $$ to RENT a smaller or not as nice home or apt, and still have money to eat, buy fuel, and pay for a phone, just like many other people do. This drives me nuts.


NathanMBickel profile image

NathanMBickel 4 years ago from Mid-Michign - USA

Perhaps, you would have had more success had your caseworker been a minority employee. Or, another possibility, - perhaps, you were stereotyped as to much of one color. Yet, another possibility - perhaps, you had some assets or some life insurance policy which was the deciding criterion to kill your chances.

Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel

www.thechristianmessage.org

www.moralmatters.org


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you for your comments. I don't agree that state employees are lazy, as I've seen them work harder for less, and with more criticism than those within the private sector. I also don't believe Obama is the problem. I see the republican mindset and state governement in Georgia as being at fault.

Still, thanks for your comments and lets just agree to disagree on these issues. As I wrote earlier, this post was written many months ago, and I have been working full tme for well over a year, now. Foodstamps are no longer a personal issue for me, but workers rights are, along with large corporations being able to donate money to political compaigns and obrain more power even than they already have, which is way too much. Republicans like to talk about lazy state employees and lazy or incompetent federal employees, yet it was the high level CEOs in the private sector who were bailed out using MY tax dollars to the tune of much more money than foodstamps have ever cost us. There is so much hatred and blame geared in the direction of the poor. Kinda reminds me of Hitler's Germany. I really hope we don't start putting the poor in concentration camps....... and imposing gas chambers on them. The little bit of federal or state money that goes to the poor is nothing compared to what was used to bail out the rich, and nothing compared to the dollars we lose to high level corporations and individuals who don't pay over 15% in taxes on capital gains and never have to punch a time clock. Why aren't we calling those freeloaders lazy? Most inherited their large amounts of money and never had to work on a job a day of their lives. Please spare me the attacks on the poor. They are only scapegoats, just as the Jews were for Hitler.


NathanMBickel profile image

NathanMBickel 4 years ago from Mid-Michign - USA

Valerie,

While I can agree with much of what you say, especially about the hurting poor, I am having a difficult time understanding why [and that] you would apparently, turn my comment into a personal and partisan attack.

My comment was directed at stating some possibilities, as human nature is, not perfect. I, too realize that there are many public employees who work hard. I also, have much respect for the financially, poor as I think that they are often used as the subjects of some unnecessary budgetary cuts by politicians who use the poor as scapegoats when they (those same politicians) are under attack for their needless and frivolous spending of taxpayer dollars. Please take a look at one of my topical online messages, as that will give you an indication of what I think about the poor:

"What Does the Bible Say About the Poor?"

http://www.thechristianmessage.org/2012/02/what-do...

Valerie - Please, next time, if you ever (again) respond to an online comment of mine, please be more careful not to stereotype me, generalize and / or, take offense. I assure you that with my comment, no offense was intended upon my part.


Cathy Bann 4 years ago

I DYID MY FOOD STAMPS REDERMATION PACKET THREE TIMES AND ITS STLL NOT IN THERE SYSTEM


David 4 years ago

And who was it that doled out those bailouts to the rich? Democrat President Obama and the Democrats who were in charge of both the House AND the Senate. Judging from your hateful comments towards Republicans, it may surprise you to learn that the majority of millionaires in the congress are Democrats. So when you condemn the rich you are condemning your own political Party.

Jesus said the poor will always be with you. And He was right, they're still here. Which in this country is surprising seeing how trillions of dollars have been transferred from the working class to the non-working class in the form of welfare. This can only mean that being poor in America is a lifestyle "choice", which many choose because it pays well.

I'm in Montgomery Alabama and the "poor" that I see are fat, have gold teeth, tattoos, cell phones better than my tracfone phone, $100+ tennis shoes, while I wear Walmart brand, have their nails and hair done in salons while I clip and cut my own. I see with my eyes a poor people that's actually living better than I am, meanwhile Democrats are telling me I'm selfish and uncaring because I'd like to keep just a little for myself and my family.

No, sorry. That "poor" drivel doesn't wash with me. I will not be made to feel guilty because someone chooses to be "poor". Public education is free in America. Anyone who desires an education can get one including a college education. But because it is free for so many it has no value to them so they do not take advantage of it. So many people are on welfare because they do not have an education and that's due to a choice that they made. Many single women chose to lay up with a stray dog that crossed their path and surprise!! They accidentally got pregnant. Being single with a child, and in many cases with no education, hurts their ability of getting a good paying job. Again, a choice they made. No worries though, because here comes the Democrats telling these people who made BAD CHOICES, if you vote for me I'll FORCE someone else to take care of you.

The only reason why anyone cannot find a job in America OTHER THAN because the Democrats are destroying private sector jobs with their endless socialist/Marxists mandates, is because they don't want a job.

The REAL "poor" people in America are those who play by the rules and make good decisions and vote against those who encourage bad behavior (Democrats and RINO Republicans), but have their money taken from them by force to pay for those who sell their vote for a government handout that is actually in most cases a career.

When was the last time you had a welfare recipient knock on your door and offer to cut your grass or clean your house or something in exchange for having received the kindness of your giving? I can answer that - NEVER! That's because they have been made to feel that they are "entitled" to other people's property (money). Where did they get such an idea? FROM THE DEMOCRAT PARTY.

There used to be a time in America when this was not the case. Those with little were helped by those with a little more. That was true giving. And those that received usually gave something in return - mending a broken fence, chopping firewood, painting a porch or something. There was joy in giving and appreciation shown in return. But the Democrats destroyed all that with their socialist ideology. Now, those that receive only have contempt for those that had their property taken by force and given to those who today simply make bad lifestyle choices.

Voting Democrat destroys people's lives. It is the most contemptuous thing one can do. That and voting for RINO Republicans.


Mandy 4 years ago

Well my city is only 10% blacks and 12% hispanics. I am white and went to apply for benefits after losing a job. I was the only white applicant there out of about 50-60 people waiting to be seen. Many of them brought there 3,4, or 5 children along and I honestly thought they should talk to applicants about contraception! I was denied medical assistance because I don't have any children (how messed up is that?) So, I have a lump on my breast that can't be checked out because I don't have insurance and don't have the pay-in-full amount the doctor's office requires before being seen. GEEZ this country sucks.


ms jackson 4 years ago

its suprising how many people have the same issues.i reside in michigan and its disgusting how the state treats people!we have a five year limit here and someone in lansing decided to say ive never received state help so it might be good to take it away.we have families and older people going homeless every single day. we have many murders due to stealing because some people are forced to feed their families trust me im not saying its right but i know if my babies are crying i would have to figure something out.this world is getting outragous completely.


debbie 4 years ago

i have been very fortunate so far , but anything can happen. up until now i've always felt embaressed of the thought of food stamps,but i must say you couldn't have put it in words any better. you go girl!


Amanda 4 years ago

I have had nothing but rude case workers in louisiana i was laid off from my job last july due to being out at hospital on different occasions my husband is still working full time we worked at same place teleperformance technical support we have 2 year old son i applied last october after we just couldn't make it i couldn't find a job because couldn't afford child care anymore i was denied food stamps because my last work place denied me termination papers i went up there several times and called several times to try and get proof of job lost then after fighting got nothing my case worker was suppose to send me a form stating i couldn't get it but never did and was so hateful to me i sent in all other needed info i was denied so now march 1, 2012 i applied again it's now may 18th 2012 status still pending i'm very frustrated with system my husband still works full time and for past 2 months hours have been cut we're trying to live off of 800 dollars a month bill are months behind no groceries thankfully my mom has been helping with some meals as much as she can this economy is impossible have been applying night jobs so when my husband gets home i could work but never get called back it seems they pretty much want the poor to die out i try to keep my faith with god sometimes i question it though we pay our taxes but get denied any help am not lazy look for work constantly but it's hard to get a job when you have 2 year old with no where to go in day no family in town other than my full time working 63 year old mother who has major heart problems runs a realestate company doing manager position relocation and accounting only gets payed for one of the positions who struggles herself


LivingLife 4 years ago

I am so glad you wrote this article even though it is 2 years old. People do assume the only race that are on the system are blacks and like the one person said in Texas there are so many whites and hispanics or food stamps. Then you move to areas as Georgia where they feel blacks are scum and food stamps but if you look a little closer whites are also on food stamps they just to shame to say so. My take is when you need the help there is nothing you can do and if getting food stamps will help until you get back on your feet I say go for it. I have applied for food stamps to help while I finish school and when my family get back on our feet I will cancel just like I have done before. I pray I get them bc why would I allow pride to cause my family not to eat.


Chris 4 years ago

WOW! Love the article, but freaked out that some guy thinks that people are paid $150 - $400 a day to be foster parents! And such an easy thing to verify, there is a set amount per state, reimubursement in our state for one child 0 - 5 is about $250/month. Does that pay all the expenses, well, heck no! Yes, people will abuse the system but its crazy talk "I heard from a good friend who knew" that keeps the insanity going in this country.

Glad to hear you have a job, sorry to hear about others suffering.


Trying to Believe 4 years ago

I'm shocked that some people think trillions are paid out in welfare when its 30 Billion. Granted not an amount to sneeze at, but only a drop in the bucket compared to the almost trillion paid out in social security, another almost trillion in health care, another trillion for war. Really in the scheme of things welfare and the poor are not the problem. Maybe the 179 Billion paid to the middle class in tax incentives to spend might be a better cut, but when you see their absolute hatred of people in need and wonder where their handout is. Its starts to makes sense.

Food stamp usage has grown over the years because people need it. This year it was cut back to 72 Billion. Still very high than we have ever seen. For those confused why people don't sell their homes to eat. They are trying to keep people in their homes and off the streets. If it hadn't been for the benefits that so many are upset about we would have seen a great depression the likes of the 30's. Unless you've been hungry, homeless or suffered under the terror of this economy than many don't seem to get it.

I'm now on the whirlwind of sucking in my pride and asked for help with the dreaded foodstamps. You know that thing they give to us deadbeats who are too lazy to work. Its going on months. Got my first decline letter because I couldn't get the information mailed back in time. Had 5 days to return the information and they counted the Memorial holiday weekend as that time.

Was finally able to land another interview to work and for whatever reason could tell the second person to interview me didn't like me. Had to control the urge to get on my hands and knees to beg for the 10 hours a week they were offering. He couldn't seem to understand that someone with my credentials would want the position. I don't know a 20% unemployment rate in my town, I'm aging, the longer I'm out of work the more 'stale' I seem, the fact our cupboards are bare, and I happen to like things like toilet paper. I could be wrong, but those could be factors.

This morning I finally sat on the porch and just cried. There is nothing left in our deep freeze. Unless you count that empty brown bag I don't have the heart to throw out. I really should unplug the thing. There is a lovely bag of long green beans in upstairs fridge. I could serve it to my husband when he gets home from his minimum wage job that he accepted and was just grateful to finally find after an awful accident with a shopping cart that left him unable to go back to masonry work. It makes me sad because today he is finally going to know how bad things really are for us. I've managed to control and stay caught up on bills with the 800 he brings in. Mind you so many cuts had to be made I don't even flush the toilet until just before he gets home because every flush costs money.

A few weeks ago our Republican leaders decided they needed a missile site on the East Coast. One that wasn't requested or wanted by our military. I suspect some pockets are about to be seriously lined with this future endeavor. They decided the 5 billion they needed could come from foodstamps. Their plan is to kick off the able bodied deadbeats who need to get off their couch and get a job. Those of us who don't have dependants and apparently are strong enough to go beg in the streets. Bonus, we don't need childcare to go do it. I was a staunch Republican, but my card got burned in a fiery glory. Now I'll go back to my couch on the sun porch and cry a litte more. Wait until my husband gets home with my car from work (his broke down a year ago and we have no money to fix it) go drop off some more applications and resumes. Hope I don't get anymore of those letters asking me to stop applying. Is 15 times in one year too many? Here I thought it was initiative on really wanting a position with their company. After watching another news program about the whining class poor and the fact they have flush toilets and cable. That they live better than kings of old and how they should start being grateful for their plight. I wanted to call him to come see my flush toilet. You know the one I don't flush until just before my husband gets home. Maybe give him an eye full on the pile of poo he is dishing out.


Veronica 4 years ago

I have three children, ages 8, 5, and 10. Their father left us and we don't know where he is. Im a waitress and was trying to support us, mortgage, bills, insurance, food, everything, on 40 dollars every two weeks and about 100 dollars in tips a week, if im lucky. I applied for food stamps six months ago. The first time they lost all my information. This is the second round. I've done everything that was asked of me, and heard nothing back. They cut off my electricity today because I can't pay it, all my money is going towards feeding my kids. I feel hopeless. Even to get utility assistance it takes months as well. My husband had lost his job due to the economy, and then ran off. My kids and I will be in a shelter soon, but we can only stay there for two months. Then it'll be another shelter, then another, to keep from being on the streets. We have no family we can go to, friends, nothing. I literally have my government to thank for our poverty.


wendy 4 years ago

I just wanted to say that not all hispanic looking are mexicans.


Trying to Believe 4 years ago

Veronica, you need to be calling your case worker. Blow up the phone with messages. With what I'm hearing you should have been allowed to get immediate assistance. I'm on 6 weeks waiting and finally got a call from my case worker after blowing up his phone. It appears some of the paperwork I sent in is now 'stale' and needs updating. Either the employees are over worked and bombarded in paperwork or they are dinking around. I don't know, but he did admit my paperwork arrived weeks ago and he was just now getting to it. It took everything in my power not to tell him he shouldn't be surprised if neighborhood pets start to go missing..............I'm hopeful to be working by the time the foodstamps come, but not holding my breath. Everyone seems more interested in the fact I'm not working than anything I would bring to the table as a new employee. There is definitely some kind of descrimination going on out there for the unemployed. Its so palpable you can almost taste it at an interview if you're lucky enough to land one.


food stamp worker 4 years ago

That's the problem...You were working! Unlike the majority of lazy scum that comes through our doors..They don't work, therefore, there is nothing to verify.


fs caseworker 4 years ago

If any of you ever have the misfortune of taking the job of being a fs caseworker, run for the hills. It is "The" absolute worst job I have ever had in my life. The state is so cheap, we don't even have handsoap in our bathroom. The state says it's not in their budget. They cannot keep anyone there long enough to go through their horrible "laughable" training. We are under trained, under paid $12 an hour and no dental insurance and not appreciated. There is so many people coming through our doors that we don't have time to even go pee when we need to...We interview back to back from the time we walk in, up past the time we are supposed to get off and the state "can't afford" to pay us overtime! So, we work for free a lot and admin just looks the other way, pressing us and pushing us until we snap and run for the hills...When are we supposed to work people's cases when we interview 8 hours a day? The state doesn't care, they can't won't hire the help we need...When they do, they don't stay because we are treated so badly by client and supervisorks alike! Everything is blamed on us by everyone. It is not our fault...we are humans and our job is humanly impossible. My family goes hungry too, but me and my husband make about $10 too much to get any help! Do you know how tired we get of hearing people's sad stories when our's are probably sadder..Yes, most clients are black and hispanic..it is a fact..like it or not.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

FS Caseworker, Thanks for your comment. I have been working for a Merit System CSB as an addiction counselor since finding work in November of last year. It is the same with us as what you described, we are understaffed, expected to work long hours, and criticised constantly as if we aren't working hard enough. In this economy, there is little respect for workers since employers think we can be replaced easily, and there are no cost of living pay raises, related to pay that was extremely low to begin with. I feel ya, and yes, the state is cheap now. It used to be a good place to work, but now the pay is low, we are overworked, and the general public disrespects us. As an addiction counselor, its about the only place I can make a living, so I hope to publish my book next year. It is being edited at this time. I really want work hours that don't kill me before my time. (:v


StrugglinginOhio 4 years ago

I will never understand how the government or whoever comes up with the rules come up with them. A few years ago my wonderfl husband became very ill, and was very close to death, we applied for social security disability, and thankfull he was approved just 3 moths later (that shows you how sick he is) it not alot of money a month but it pays all our bills so at least that is not a worry, we qualified for food stamps which was a big help since all the money we have goes to the bills. I deceided to go back to school, so now I am a full ime student online because I still have to take care of a sick husband, but I wanted to find a way to get a better paying jobto take care of my husband like he has taken care of me all these years. I just got a lterr in the mail today they took away my food stamps, apartley if your are a full time student and dont have kids under a certain age and you are not over 50 (I'm 48) they you can't get food stamps. I don't understand that I still live in the house I still need to eat, and I live in such a rual small town there are not jobs but a fe fast food and they are never hiring. It is sad I am trying so hard to better my self so I can get a good paying job, but in the mean time I can't get help, you would think that would be a reason to give someone a hand up and help them. I have workrd since I was 15 and dont have a proble working I have a problem finding work. I think the worse part is there is no one a Job and Familys who can even answer your guestions I had to ask for the law that said I cant have food stamps so I could understand why I couldn't have them. The caseworkers couldn't give me the answers...


its-ownlee-me 4 years ago

@StrugglinginOhio

One thing I've seen and learned is that the system is designed to help and fail at the same time. You have some people who cheat the system, and get everything. And then you have the honest ones, who just need a helping hand, and get screwed (it's true). If you're trying to better yourself, and this makes no sense at all...you get penalized. I never have and never will understand who came up with the rules. I have a friend who was an eligibility worker (she quit and moved out of state), and she used to tell me there would be 200 cases on her desk to go through. The workers are underpaid and over worked and they have no intentions of hiring any one. You have some good workers, and then you have the ones that make you wonder "how did you get this job". It's a problem, that will never be solved.


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DT 4 years ago

This hub just seems to go and go... Looking at past "conservative" comments from eoo, david, etc.. and the responses and other compassion-based/ challenging stories it is quite a mix of opinion.

It seems the poor liberal agenda that this article's sob stories align with May reflect recent learning’s... regarding religion, American patriotism and mental health.

1. Religion - President Obama's support of gay marriage and the mass media attack on Ms State Rep Andy Gibson "for not apologizing for citing the bible". .. QUESTION – are you a Christian? If yes do you believe in the bible verses in Roman condemning male homosexuality being correct or in Obama’s support of those people. ( I bet most liberal’s side with Obama = pro gay= anti Bible)

2. Patriotism – land of the free, home of the brave,? Belief in small, limited federal government so that Local family, friends, church, etc would provide PRIMARY support to those temporarily in need? Belief in USA being #1 and staying competitive to be such?... these are among the Founding principles of the USA. DO you agree with that statement and that such principals are positive to support a superior American society? ( I bet most liberals will say no- as they believe in survival of the weakest and other 1984 book type socialist mindsets)

3. Sanity- While the definition of insanity may not be “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, that pattern is in the service of avoidance, which is a defense mechanism. Rather than facing their fears, a person may grab on to this saying for protection against possible failure, pain or rejection… Some forms of dementia, traumatic brain injury, anxiety and OCD can cause people to perseverate. They repeat words and tasks or try repeatedly to solve problems, but are left frustrated and unsatisfied. They're not necessarily insane, but stuck in a non-productive pattern due to a glitch in brain function. Some medications or CBT tools may prove helpful… psychodynamic construct called repetition compulsion where people unconsciously repeat past conflicts in an attempt at mastery. We want to finish unfinished business, so sometimes we re-create old, unresolved problems for the potential of a better outcome… Published on July 27, 2009 by Ryan Howes, PhD, ABPP in In Therapy

Regarding the “sanity” article excerpt ..do you think a successful hubber, proud to share their full name and photo to the world and describe how unsuccessful in business they have been- apparently due to the evil, white male conservative republicans (lol)- May have a problem? ..certainly a defense mechanism working to keep them feeling good about their righteousness and how it is rich peoples fault they suffer..yet insist on staying with the same exact ultra low paying job?...

You do NOT need to go back to college to change professions- You commented on that and your age as an excuse/ defense toward change.. You could get a job in the oil & gas industry in HR for example… heck most admin assistants ( secretary’s) in telecom firms are getting ~$30- $50,000/ yr now


Britt 4 years ago

I love this article you wrote. I understand exactly what you meant about the black comment. YOU were not being racist (as some of the other air heads might think). If they had read and also UNDERSTOOD what you meant, they would know that you were telling OTHER PEOPLE to stop being racist in their remarks about people on food stamps. I am also trying to receive food stamps through the state of FL and it is soooo difficult, because they send me the same paperwork over and over and over again just to try to wear me out so I'll stop trying to apply. I wonder how well someone in their department sleeps at night knowing they got a raise in their salary based on how many people they denied help. It makes me wonder why the state will even offer help when they really don't want to help at all. I applaud you for fighting your way through and not accepting no as an answer. Thank you for empowering other people with your example.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you. (:v


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

You are obviously a republican who has problems with compassion for those less fortunate than yourself. While I disagree with you completely, and couldn't even make it through your entire post, you certainly have a right to your opinion. I did catch a glimpse of some insults towards me for the fact that I was poor at the time I wrote the article. That also does not surprise me coming from an obvious republican who only cares about or respects people who earn a great deal of money.

You may be interested in knowing that I did eventually find a position in my own field, and am presently using my Masters Degree again. I was not "making excuses" for anything. It was just as hard as I said it was, and many are still in the same state of poverty. My vew of God is obviously different from yours as well, but I could care less about what the far right thinks about religion, as what they say is just the opposite of what Jesus stood for, and Jesus never even mentioned homosexuality. I don't worship Paul, nor give him the same respect I do Jesus, so you are barking up the wrong tree to talk religion to me. Thanks again for responding to my article.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Many state employees have not had a raise in a few years, so I don't know that they are obtaining raises for turning people down. I think the financial state of our country is seriously bad, and only the richest 1% are seeing an increase in pay at the point. If Mitt and Ryan get elected things will be even worse. Hang in there. I wish you the best and hope you are approved for the help you need soon.


vaporcat 4 years ago

actually most are black and/or Mexicans. if you dont believe this research it


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I've already researched it, and have found your belief to be inaccurate. Most black people work, now that they are able to obtain reasonable incomes. Some people abuse the system, but many use it until they can find gainful employment as I did. I have held full time employment for over two years since this hub was written. Thanks for your comments. Freedom of speech is something for which I am grateful. (:v


Nationalist Aswse profile image

Nationalist Aswse 3 years ago

There are many Illuminated groups, with different kinds of secret knowledge. Anything you might say about them (including this) will be false for some of the Illuminati, but true for others, which only adds to the confusion and mystery.

The Illuminati infiltrate and take over organizations of all kinds, from churches to the post office to the corner grocery store, and turn them to their own ends.

And, just as a black joke, some of their subject organizations advertise themselves as Secret Societies.


Billy 3 years ago

Enjoy your blogs. But my question is why is the elderly discriminated against for their age. I am 72 going on 73 in a few days and I am constantly turned down for jobs. I want to get back in the work force because my social sercurity doesn't afford me the good life such as food gas, car insurance, etc, and yet every app. put in I get the answer we're not hiring anymore yet everytime time I turn around I see people getting new jobs everyday. Kinda crazy Huh

I'm losing everything I have and probably wont be long til I'm in the street begging . Where's the helping hand for folks like me who are willing to work and probably do a much better job than some of the younger generation does. Sorry but I feel completely and utterly discusted with the way we are treated by the government and big business.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Age discrimination is real. I just resigned from a job in which people thirty years my junior, fresh out of college with no experience, were made my boss, even though I have years of management experience and the same level, or more education as well. Of course, I was also a racial minority, so it is hard to tell which type of discrimination, ageism or racism. I was dealing with.


Caseworker 3 years ago

I came upon this post because, as a caseworker (of sorts), I was interested in seeing things from the other side. After reading the different sides of the issue, I felt compelled to give my two cents.

I work as a "fixer" of sorts, doing casework and auditing of existing cases. I stay away from politics, but I see a bit of irony in the pro-Democrat sentiment, because one the major platforms of Democrats is behind many of the challenges acquiring benefits and being treated with respect; unions. As someone alluded to, it's almost impossible to fire state workers. I have a large mental list of worker names and numbers that make me cringe when I find their cases on my desk. Moreover, talent is suppressed by efficiency-killing seniority rules, causing the more capable workers (I count myself among them) to seek fair compensation for their skills. Trust me, you can only take seeing workers several notches ahead of you on the pay scale doing less than half the amount of work you do for so long before you start sending out resumes.

Also, try to understand that in addition to heavy caseloads, we are bound to all the quirks and policies that you are and then some. Under-the-table work, support from relatives, and multiple job changes are a quality control nightmare.

The pay doesn't help either. My state pays the same statewide. Where I live, I'm quite comfortable on my salary. I wouldn't consider working for the same pay in an urban area. It's unfortunate, because in areas where quality workers are most important, the pay prohibits many from even considering the job.

I'd also like to dispel the welfare queen myth; yes, they do exist. It is possible to live forever on welfare as long as you know how to game the system. There's a waiver or exception for pretty much anything. I've had my fair share of cat and mouse with some recipients and it amazes me how well they know the policy and how to manipulate it.

So bear in mind, when you're struggling to get benefits, it may be an entrenched union worker who should've been fired long ago, you may have an overworked caseworker, or you may unfortunately fall into one of the dreaded policy grey areas.

I've worked (surprisingly, with some success) to improve the application process in my state. There's a lot to be done. Unfortunately, the ones who are capable and care to effect change will inevitably, like myself, move on to better things sooner than later.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you for your comments. This hub was written well over three years ago, but still draws traffic and comments. I found work, worked two and a half years, then retired to promote my novel about meth addiction.

The seniority thing related to unions would annoy me, but certainly no more than management imposing huge workloads on employees who are exempt from overtime pay, and threatening them with termination when working through lunch and breaks is not enough time to get all the work done. Yes, I am a democrat, and one reason why I am, is the greed and abuse I have experienced from my most recent employer and the limited support for workers rights I see within the Republican Party. I support overtime pay for anybody who works overtime, period.


Corey 3 years ago

I know that this is an old post, but I felt the need to comment. Valerie, I agree with you 100%. I just recently applied for food stamps myself. I remember when it used to be sooo easy to apply for FS because my mother applied for them 15+ years ago. It only took her a 2 weeks to get approved then. She has since been ejected from the program for 'making too much money' when she barely makes enough money to cover the rent on her apartment. I think they need to update their low income guidelines...anyway I applied about 2 months ago and it took them ten weeks to approve me...and that was only because I was being a nuisance to them. As to your story, I have only this to say. the fault goes to our state's social services offices, their incompetence is what causes these problems, but like my stepfather always said, and this applies to both of our stories. "The squeaky gear gets the most grease." We got it done.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Corey90, the only thing we disagree on is that I feel it is republican budget cuts, and not incompetent social workers causing the problem.


Corey 3 years ago

Different case for me then...I was given specific dates and times by my case worker to expect a call or letters in the mail for further instructions when applying. No calls ever came. I didn't think budget cuts had anything to do with getting me the information I needed to apply for FS...but I guess I could believe that they ran out of envelopes or something and had to break bank to buy more. I'm just kidding of course. Bad sense of humor. It just ridiculous that it should take this long and be this hard to get hard working Americans the help and support they need to get on their feet/provide for their families.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

It is ridiculous, but the greatest impact of the budget cuts is that agencies are pathetically understaffed. There are not enough workers to cover the workload.

I recently retired early due to the ridiculous workload demands, because I insist upon having a life outside of work. That is what I was referring to about budget cuts. They equal staff cuts, and unreasonable demands on those staff that are left. It's not about supplies, but people to do the work.


Lauren 3 years ago

Ive been trying to get foodstamps since February 2013 and Medicaid for my 4 1/2 month old since May 2013 when it was canceled because we moved to alabama for 3 weeks just to have to move back due to financial reasons, I applied immediately when I got back. Ive turned in the documents 4 times and applied 4 times since then and we haven't had anything to eat and I cant afford my kids shots. Im really stressed out about it because Ive tried so hard and they keep closing my case saying they didn't get the documents in on time.


John 3 years ago

At least you could reach your caseworker. Mine Never returned phone calls and then her Mailbox would then be full. 2 Months later I contacted the regional office only to be called by my caseworker and she was livid and rude. The people that work in these offices are 9 times out of 10 completely inept, however the people who work above them are very competent. Just go over your caseworkers head and things will happen, however they will be unprofessional to you if you do.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

They will likely be unprofessional and rude anyway, so I'd do what gets results.


mike 3 years ago

Ok. Hear this one. My 72 year old Mother-in-law was getting food stamps for approximately 2 yrs. about $20 a month. She has a sister similar age who was receiving 160.00 a month (for comparison). My mother-in-law worked as a hotel maid most of her life. Her husband died several years ago and he had left her a house (that we found out was deeply in a reverse mortgage) so she has no equity left in the house. However she would be able to live there till her death if she chose to. He also left her ample credit card debt. Her heating of the very modest split level 1 1/2 bath house was excessive due to the age of the heater and very minimal insulation and deteriorating windows. So after two years of receiving the $20 a month, her claim finely came back that she would be receiving $200 a month. Now she could actually get the help she needed. However, after 8 months of receiving the $200 a month they call her in and is told that they made a mistake and that she would need to pay back some of the money they gave her. She asked how she was supposed to pay back the money when she is asking for help. They said they would just deduct an amount from what she was allocate. There was a number and address of an attorney to talk to, for free legal help. So, she visited the office. She was informed that it would be useless to try and fight because she was getting something from them. So she didn't want to make a fuss. So, she allowed them to deduct an amount from what they would give her. she accepted the fluctuating checks from the net amount ranging from $10 to $5 a month. Actually really not getting any assistance at all. She did this for about 18 months. Now she receives a letter to inform her that they will no long give her any assistance. And to insult her ever further they have asked her to pay back $1600.00 by paying them $46 a month. The first payment due in 30 days. And if not paid on time would result in some sort of federal action.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I think it's time to see an attorney. They are no longer paying her anything, and have been deducting for some time.


Karmallama profile image

Karmallama 3 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

It is a sad day and age right now. No one is working together to help others because we're all strapped. I currently hold 3 jobs and I make just enough to keep myself in home. I have a 3 year old. I'm a single mom. I have $800 in rent, plus bills, student loans, and daycare. I make $2400 a month with 3 jobs and I barely make ends meet. I do live in Minneapolis, Minnesota where taxes and rent are high, but its sad that I have to work 3 jobs just to barely make it. I haven't applied for benefits yet, but one of my jobs is going to do cut backs so I will loose at least $100 a month soon. I'm not sure how I am going to recover


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Karmallama, thanks for this wonderful story. I think all animals need to feel like family members. Your dog appears to have wonderful insights. Mine seem to know when I'm not feeling well.


Brian 3 years ago

I came here for a related reason. But circumstances are different from yours.

So you have a problem and you write a little blog (hub... whatever) about it. Then you plug a book at the end, like a big giant prostitute. What did you wear to your interviews. Maybe they treated you unfairly for subjective observations, rather than objective observations. Try that angle. And write another book. And plug it, too. Maybe you'll become RICH!


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Dear Brian,

I don't only write about my own problems. Writers sometimes use their own experiences to bring attention to social problems that effect many. Also, this is a very old post, and I have since worked full time on a job within my field and retired on social security. My own issues are very different today. I am seeking part time work to supplement my retirement income, but no longer qualify for food stamps. I did publish a book, but it did not make me rich. Hopefully it did help some people with addiction problems.


John Nevre profile image

John Nevre 3 years ago

Valerie,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and for setting up this page. Ignore unkind comments such as Brian's.

Having lived in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, must say this - Our only hope for a quality of life is to go to a Western European type model. France, Germany are great countries who have safety nets in place for those who need assistance. Having been a Republican (for religious reasons), but now AN ARDENT DEMOCRAT, I truly can say that the Republican party does not have the best interests in mind for the majority of the people. Obama is not perfect, I am unhappy with some stances he has taken, but he is much better than what Bush and the Republican party stands for. Red states normally have more poverty than Blue states, more ignorance, and more social ills. Our fate could have been different...watch Michael Moore's movie Capitalism: A Love Story - especially the part about the reform proposed to the Bill of Rights...we were heading towards a European type model - but it got shelved... I am sorry that you have had to struggle, Valerie. I am sorry that so many people on here have had to struggle as well. It makes me sad, as a human being. I have had my own crosses to bear. I know I will probably work 'until I drop'. I don't mind working, but what I mind is the lack of quality of life in this country. Also, as I age, I find it more difficult to get hired. I am qualified in my field, yet I find younger people get the jobs more and more nowadays.

The Republicans want to block Universal healthcare, what the French rightly call (un droit de l'homme=a right of humankind). I implore all your readers - become politically active. Do what you can to take the power away from the Republicans. Demand we go to a more European model. Yes, taxes will be raised, but hopefully, the wealthy will be taxed more - they must shoulder the bulk of the burden. It is only fair. Remember the 4 'non-negotiables' as I call them - 1 Universal Healthcare, 2 free college, 3 good, liveable retirement, 4 four (4) weeks of vacation -completely apart from sick leave. Don't settle for less. Let your voice count. Call your representatives in Congress. Email them, write them. Don't be complacent.

Thank you again, Valerie, for setting up this page. I am glad to have found it.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you John,

When you write publicly, you are going to hear from people who express anger. Often it is misplaced aggression. In the case of Brian, he seems to resent people on food stamps AND resent people who attempt to earn money as writers by blogging or publishing books. I fail to understand exactly what he was angry about, but like many on the far right, he probably doesn't know either, and just tends to spew venom at anyone who does not appear to have extreme right views.


jt63301 3 years ago

I see comments all the time on social networking sites slamming anyone who endeavors to collect benefits of any kind. People seem to forget we have all contributed to the system and therefore have the right to use the resources if we need them. That is why it is there. Many of these people have experienced a decline in household income due to a spouse losing work or reduction in pay. They apply for benefits and get turned down. They become angry and lash out at those who qualify. Suddenly people on Food Stamps are living the good life, eating very well, better than them. Silly! People who receive benefits have lost enough to where they need it. After all, the Republican party has done it's best to cut the program every chance they get. The Democrats are no better, they will trade benefits for pet projects. The real issue is that it is easier to blame poor people than to go after the Corporations and Government who have completely failed the people of this country. When people say the dumb things they do I realize they are just parrots for those who have these extreme views. If you challenge them for facts, you will get just anger and frustration. They have no sources because they believe everything they see on mainstream media. Most are not bad people but frustrated ones. They have seen a shift in their company attitude abd things are miserable at worl. people also know the corporate model is part time positions with no benefits. They are afraid of losing their jobs and their house among other things. Funny, the people they fear most are the ones who form their social opinion.


Amanda Vargas profile image

Amanda Vargas 3 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

Stacy Hartley https://www.facebook.com/stacy.hartley.94

11hours ago via mobile ·

Alright. I just saw a food stamp post about people complaining about the decrease by $35... Quit complaining. Get off your lazy butt and go work SOMEWHERE! I stand behind you at the grocery and see you have $60 in steaks, $30 in Twinkies, oh and let's not forget the 10 two liters of DIET coke. I can't even afford to buy one package of steaks or buy a box of Twinkies, and I go to work everyday as a college graduate! People need to shut up and get a life! If you don't like my two cents, then delete me! And you can kiss my SKINNY, TAXPAYING ASS! — with Jerriahmy Hartley.

In regards to the above, I politely tried to help her gain insight. Its definitely given me some of my own. How rude people can be, especially by classifying everyone who gets food stamps to be abusive of them and lazy.. i guess by the ending comments she is trying to say they also don't pay taxes and are fat. Posting on the internet means you're making your soapbox stand for the entire world to criticize or agree with. Feel free to do so.


Dee 3 years ago

Ur article is right on!

I'm in PA but my friend is a full time worker who lives and supports his son and $736 is auto deducted from his check per month for child support on a daughter in NY. He has less than $800 a month for rent and bills but food stamps won't approve him cause he "makes too much" for household of 2. It took six months of a constant run around (no calls returned, office visits where no one would or could help, "mail not received" excuse used over and over, send us your paystubs again and again, appeal not received, etc) before they finally just said apply again when you're under the allowed gross amount. It was hell and he couldn't be approved cause he makes $11 an hour and child support isn't considered until after you meet the gross allowed. NY courts won't lower his support even though he makes less. He can't afford a lawyer. He's just SOL all over the place.


jt63301 3 years ago

Ahhh.. Amanda... The mind of a young girl. I can guarantee you you cannot hold a candle to what I have donated throughout my lifetime. I was not able to worry about affording steak. I have a family and I prepared home cooked meals. I did not live at drive thrus or on Twinkies...who really does that? What I see are people ignorant of life and history using this to voice an opinion only parroted from some bafoon they admire. Sounds like most people are jealous because they cannot get benefits. I worked hard my whole life. Truth be known, I have managed people in all age groups. Really, let's put this in perspective. None of this matters if the job market is good. People have jobs and benefit levels drop. Pretty much common sense..do not need a college degree to figure that out, especially the tailored degrees they make up now days. Those guys whoe embezzeled funds, stole money from retirees and continue to take your money are just too scary for you to go after I guess. Cowards pick on the vulnerable and we are seeing much cowardice these days. Our young are becoming spineless complainers with crappy work ethics. The upper crust is happy to keep us pointing fingers at each other. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." Ring a bell? You are creating division. Stand for something noble, do not be a mealy mouth complainer. Pay attention to what you need to do also and quit being so concerned about people doing what they need these days to raise their family. You are 15 years away from the same scenario that is happening today. When you get older though, through your own efforts, you may cut any help available to you in the future. Most of these people you see are depressed and angry. When you take enough from them, it will not be safe for you to walk anywhere because you will represent a certain value to desperate people. Mothers and Fathers will do what they need to to feed their kids. You addresss a tiny portion of the number of people receiving benefits. Use your head for a change. Do some research and see exactly what it takes to get benefits. See how much people have lost and the pride they have had to swallow to become first time benefactors of the program. Grow up and learn something. Young people these days are becoming more and more clueless. PUT PEOPLE TO WORK FOR FAIR WAGES WITH BENEFITS! Easy! Actually I guess it is easier to just talk crap then to actually do something productive to improve our lives here in the USA. Get involved in something besides yourself. Also, if you need Twinkies and Steaks, I am poor but I can make that happen for you. After all we cannot have you lacking in proper nutrition can we. For pete's Sakes Kid.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

When we consider people on public assistance, we really need to consider the number of people unemployed, and those who are working full time at minimum wage. Most do not even consider food stamps when they can live reasonably well without them.

Work conditions are worse than I have seen them in my lifetime, even for those who hold full time jobs with benefits. Since I wrote this article, I obtained full time employment in the addiction field earning 33k annually with benefits, but work conditions were very punishing. The agency was understaffed, and I was immediately required to work 18 hour days. That was in addition to a three hour daily commute.

The longer I worked, the less willing I was to work the incredibly long hours, as management laid off support staff, and loaded professional staff with ever more work. After two and a half years of a hostile work environment, I retired early at 62, something I had never planned to do. I only draw $876 social security, and do not qualify for food stamps because my income is too high, if that gives you any indication of how poor you have to be to get them.

Also, the comment that people should get off their lazy asses and get jobs was not fair, since there aren't many jobs available right now, and the older you get the less able you are to work 18 hour days. Today's workplace is punishing and disrespectful to workers. I can hardly blame people for retiring early, and we will see more of the same until employers again respect those who work for them. Corporations are making record profits off the backs of the workers they work overtime and show no respect. If it doesn't stop you won't have to worry about food stamps, but civil war.


jt63301 3 years ago

Sad to say Valerie but education and experience have been devalued. People are not getting the return they were promised. The pendulum is soon going to swing the opposite direction. When the security bubble (working model) of society burst, people will have no choice but to see the plain truth of things. It will be up to decent folks to take up the crusade to once again put things right. I really do not see many younger people picking up the stick and running with it as far as a civil war. It will take millions to cooperate and pull together. If everyone in the country refused to work or purchase goods for 2 weeks control would be restored and perspective found. I found the laziest people are the ones too involved socially to see the real world. They are productive for now so that is what is important. A new corporate structure needs to be formed and implemented. People need to stand together and invsest and hold all shares. With the right management, old schools and neighborhoods could be redeveloped by these corporations of the people. Loans made available to workers at fair rate to employees through their corporation. The better the product, the greater the return. Just a silly simple notion I had. So many older people with skillsets just being wasted. We need to stop the waste and poisoning our children with modified foods. We need to take back our country again. In addition, those of you who do not know the difference between Fascism and Socialism need to pick up a book. Fascism is what we have now. Socialism helps the people. If you removed private funding from Government, you would be left with a Socialist society. Who else would the Government work for? "A socialist economic system consists of a system of production and distribution organised to directly satisfy economic demands and human needs, so that goods and services are produced directly for use instead of for private profit driven by the accumulation of capital." Sounds horrible does it not. In other words, it reduces or eliminates corporate profits. I guess that is why they like to link it to Fascism, even though there really is no connection. A lie? Imagine that.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

You are correct. If people refused to work or buy products we could bring these big profit capitalists to their knees. They could not survive without the consent of those they are abusing in the workplace. That would actually be a civil war.


jman00001 profile image

jman00001 3 years ago from Texas

Difficult situation I agree. America seems to be in more of an oligarchy masquerading as some kind of modulating democracy that swings between liberal socialism and corrupt capitalism. However the only real truth is big government & big company control & effective enslavement of the masses. The big capitalists are pawns under control of the powerful elite just as the Obama administration and our ridiculous excuse for a congress is under that same control.

Millions of people are on habitual, generational welfare with absolutely no desire to learn, fight or expand into anything else. Hundreds of cases of the cunning in this welfare group have been identified where they can earn a family income over $80,000 per year off the various forms of welfare including foster care. I and other see large families using food stamps buying expensive steaks and ice cream at places like Wal-Mart and food town any day of the week. The “aristocracy “ that controls our government wants this. The people with some honor and dignity and stubbornness to live their lives as they see appropriate will suffer – just as this hub’s author has. Huge challenge and suffering exists in the $30,000- $60,000 per year families as well. Even high income brackets have trouble since their tax raters are higher. Only the low end rich – those earning over say $400,000 to maybe a million see some latitude but again pay huge tax and Obama care tax fees threaten to add over $1,000 per month for all middle class and above families. The Romney types pay a lower % but then again they have businesses that enslave, I mean employ, many people.. They also are most likely within the real leadership anyway just like Obama..

You mention civil war? Well good luck with that. The government has been stockpiling ammunition for more than 3 years now and severely limiting what is for sale to the public! Go to Wal-Mart sport goods or Academy or Gander Mountain..”Sold out” is the only message you will find for most ammunition types. For over 3 years? and yet again no press coverage by anyone including Fox News or CNBC?


jt63301 3 years ago

Yes they have been stockpiling ammo and backordering to prevent citizens from getting it. Also, there has been a huge effort to conceal strategic placement of equipment around the country. Lots going on here folks! I believe Food Stamp and Welfare recipients are the least of your worries. Pay is going down and prices are going up. As far as taxes, that law was never properly ratified among the states and income tax is voluntary. Originally only corporations paid taxes. They lobbied through the years and with some help I believe from the Rockefellers came up with the Income Tax. Now you get taxed and the corporations have had theirs reduced since about 50% and you get to bail them out with the income tax you paid. Then they have the audacity to cast judgement down upon the very folks who bailed them out. Silly people. Hey...but we have great cable packages and technology, lots of distractions. Good luck to all and I apologize if I offended anyone. Just trying to gently shake you awake. Also the closing line from the previous poster points out lack of coverage by major news networks. Seek out news other places. Talk amongst one another. This is how we get things done.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Sorry, Jman, but there is nobody drawing $80,000 in welfare, and most people getting public assistance are dirt poor, way below poverty level even with government assistance. Where did you get your figures, because this report is ridiculous. There are no habitual welfare recipients other than the corporations whose full time employees we supplement with food stamps while they these corporate giants pay no taxes, and pay their staff such low wages they qualify for food stamps..

To say anybody is drawing $80,000 in welfare is just uninformed. I'm sorry. Also, nobody on food stamps can afford to eat expensive steaks. Someone has lied to you. Unless someone is somehow lying about their income, and guilty of fraud, anyone on food stamps is getting barely enough money to eat at all. If you know of anyone drawing $80,00 a year on welfare, or eating expensive steaks on food stamps, please report that person for fraud, because no one can legally do that. Anyone who is able to do that is either drawing benefits as 100 different people, or even more than that, has a full time job too, and is scamming the system. The average person on welfare is getting about $600 a month. The average person on food stamps is getting a little over $100 a month per family member. You can not eat expensive steaks on that, unless you only eat one meal a month. Please do some research and come back. Your figures are way off base.


jt63301 3 years ago

Okay, so let's be honest here. I have met very few people who really have a clue what an expensive steak looks like. I have to wonder what cuts of meat these people have. Probably Sirloin is what people see. If I had round steak in my cart it would still be expensive. I do not see people with Porterhouses, T-Bones, Rack of Lamb, Prime Rib. Most people could not properly prepare a home cooked meal to save their lives now days. Too many spoiled people. Overhyping credentials is in style today though. Improperly trained management is very common. I see more people in management positions who have no people skills what-so-ever. The most satisfying part of their job is the "because I said so" phrase they get to use. The work place is becoming a thing of the past. People who have been "out in the wild" too long do not fit the current corporate model. Why? We have become free thinkers and that threatens the established system. Once upon a time, corporations wanted a free ride. The people did not want that because as usual you give a corporation an inch and it will take a mile and then act like it is their right. They took their business over seas. Now some are back and through the use of some HR programs are importing the cheap labor they crave. An easy way to put it is, if you are buying a house in a depressed area and there is one nice house for sale. The price reflects the condition of the house (more than the surrounding properties), the price will drop to sell the house. Same here. We import cheap labor and the value of every working person in this country drops. Corporations now days are nothing more than slum lords. It is a shame that the only thing people develop a spine for is putting poor people in their place. People become angry when you challenge their beliefs. I will always, always push those people past the point of their beliefs to reveal their sources. They have none other than main stream media (owned by the corporations). They spoon feed you the stew hoping you will swallow it. They do not expect you to like it but just get used to it and make it the norm. Do some research. Look up how many unemployed people there actually are in this country. As the skinny young girl on here said, "I can't even afford to buy one package of steaks or buy a box of Twinkies, and I go to work everyday as a college graduate! People need to shut up and get a life! If you don't like my two cents, then delete me! And you can kiss my SKINNY, TAXPAYING ASS!" I guess I would be more concerned as to how it got like this. You went to college and obtained a degree in your field of choice, was the career choice a good one? Sad to say that your credentials will not get you squat anymore besides more in debt. Don't be mad at people trying to feed their families, be mad at the people who devalued your life.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

JT, agree completely. People are scapegoating the poor and powerless, and imagining those on public assistance are living well. People on public assistance are getting nothing compared to what the rich and powerful corporate CEOs are getting.

American workers are devalued today, and are losing more freedom and power in the workplace. Until we refuse to accept the current hostile workplace conditions they will continue. Credentials and education mean nothing unless we refuse to accept the status quo.


Susan Mauney 3 years ago

Just because I am back in school, and not working or doing work-study, my food stamps have been cancelled. It seems like it to me that this government does want to see people succeed in life, because if they did they would want to help people especially if they are trying to better themself. I don't agree with people sitting on their butts and doing nothing and able to get food stamps, when you have people out there that is trying to go to school and they not able to get food stamps.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 3 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

There is must frustration about food stamps right now, and income inequality. Unfortunately, the lawmakers making budget decisions are not in touch with how the average American lives these days, with few exceptions.


jt63301 3 years ago

The House is recommending more cuts to the Food Stamp Program. Some Republicans in the House are not in favor as they feel it is too much too quick. I think they may be figuring out that Food Stamp Recipients are voters also. I talked to a Christian woman the other day who is hitting the food pantries and relying on her church to help her out. She is not applying for fear of judgment by her congregation. I told her they have already judged her and that God only has the right to judge. Apply and feed your family. God does not care about food stamps. God does not care about Government. God could care less about organized religion. God cares about what is right. Feed your poor, take care of your sick and elderly and treat each other with kindness as well as respect. I see the poorest donating these days. I guess we have all seen the Wal-Mart story of donation bins they placed in the employees break room for employees to donate to other employees, food items so they can have a Thanksgiving Dinner. Pathetic. Things are starting to stir though. Keep an eye on the news, not so much mainstream.


son ya 2 years ago

I am glad to see this blog. I have a degree (no help in this local economy) and four kids (two that take medication, so they can stay in school). I have been in and out of work so much, it stinks. I do report what I am supposed to and still get no relief. I renewed and received my approval letter, but no benefits. I am down to the last of our can food and visit food banks when they have food to pass out. It upsets me a new system that we were told would make it easier (for them maybe) has made it worse. There is not bus where we are and we are down to borrowing rides to get around. This is a job in itself, and it is not for the faint of heart.................


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Jt60001, really enjoyed your comment. My sentiments exactly.


RA 2 years ago

One of the earlier comments regarding large amounts of expensive foods being purchased on food stamps sounds accurate. I saw dozens of family examples of that in the shopping lines this at weekend the local walmart lines. Yes, I saw thick filet minion and porterhouse. Yes they had expensive dessert. Yes , many children were with the Moms. Yes, I saw the 2 shoppers in front use food stamps. While they may have a limit of $100/ person they sent over $400 at that time. The local walmart and low end Food town store a block away are overrun with people doing this. Walmart now has 2 check out lines that do NOT accept food stamps in order to let the rest of us shop with pout waiting in long lines.

Look the percentage of “ bad” people using and ripping off the system is debatable. However are using multiple methods and drawing from multiple sources. They engage it like a serious, business like scope of work. They use foster care extensively they probably use fake ID’s and who knows what else. I can also confirm from personal experience at least 1 family that was evicted nearby last year did indeed “earn” almost $100,000 based on what he was yelling to the crowd during the eviction. He had 6 or 7 foster kids and no real job ! Yet another total failure by our federal government regarding program oversight. Each kid under foster care is worth almost $1,000/ month. If handled well, I bet they can scam more food stamp monies on top of that… Of course they are committing fraud but with little to no consequence..

What about when Enron went under and thousands lost their job and life savings? Hundreds of families for the first time ever got on welfare. A security guards shared the story with me first hand. Guess what happened? The local welfare office had to SEGREGATE the people coming in into 2 lines!!! Blacks in one line and hispanic, etc and the large surge of extra whites in the other! More security was added because of a number of the blacks threatening the whites about taking their welfare money. They were afraid the government would give the welfare money to the newly added whites and they would be left out of their fair share! Yes, the media and on duty police did eventual did show up. Guess what no coverage was given on as that would be racist. After a few weeks the issue went as many of the new people got off welfare and things went back to normal.

Whether you people like it or not, that is the real world.

It is the reason those on food stamps should surrender their right to vote while they are on such government subsistence.

Respectfully yours,

RA (Real American)


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Sorry, but people on food stamps are American citizens and have a right to vote. When fraud happens it needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Nobody who qualifies for food stamps could eat expensive food on the little bit of money the program allows per person. I am sorry, but your information sounds like hate propaganda to me. It has been years since I qualified for food stamps, but I could hardly eat at all on the small amount I was allowed. Again, the foster care system is a different program entirely, and I do suspect you are correct that there is room for abuse there. Fraud of any kind needs to be reported and prosecuted. Thank you for your comments.


jt63301 2 years ago

RA, Well how about that! First of all know that income taxes do not solely fund the food stamp program. They collect a mint in sales tax, taxes on phones, public utilities etc.. The banks stole money from people and engaged in fraud, none went to jail. I believe it was trillions. Do some research, the amount of money spent on social programs is a drop in the bucket compared to out of control and rampant military spending, bailouts for the rich and aid sent to other countries sent as political payouts. It sickens me to no end to listen to people who carry so much hate in their heart blanketing everyone under the same veil of dishonesty and incompetence. It does not take a genius to figure out that when you stop manufacturing, dismantle your workforce and produce nothing that people are going to be poor and desperate. Do you know what the cut off amount you can have as far as funds are concerned in your state for qualification? If you did, you would be embarrassed to have written what you did.

There are always people who are going to take advantage of the system. You call for more oversight? This is so laughable as we can not even provide accurate oversight of our financial sectors. Now we have the new Volker rule. In the end it stipulates that the banks will oversee and regulate themselves. This is a step back folks! As long as we are judging each other and dividing ourselves along societal boundaries that no longer apply to this country we will see nothing but misery in the future. When I see people with food in their cart and kids, I feel happy they are able to feed their kids. God knows, this next generation will need to be strong to face the challenges that arise on a daily basis, many kept secret. You counted 12 families, tried to determine their budget amounts and then decided they were not worthy of the food they chose. These people have a very finite amount to spend a month. If they buy expensive food, they will run out of funds quicker, simple as that.

I have met people who live very comfortable lives that had over a quarter of a million or more in their accounts. When things went south financially they applied for food stamps and were rejected. From then on as far as they were concerned everyone getting food stamps was crooked. I thought that if I had a quarter of a million or more I would be able to use a little of that to start a business, procure a revenue source. They were just scared, angry and disappointed in our government. But let's look at your view. Let us just stop all social programs since the potential of abuse exist. I suggest you buy a gun and learn how to use it. Install 4 deadbolts on your door. Keep you children close because people will go to extremes to feed their family once they have lost everything. You will not be safe in your own house. Scary huh? We see it in poor countries everyday. It is in our nature to try to survive and humans are capable of horrendous acts. Once desensitized to suffering, one can only imagine the beast that will be unleashed among the populations. All because of a couple of steaks. I'll take mine medium well please.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Jt6301, thank you. I agree with you completely. Keep defending the poor.


RA 2 years ago

People, I think there is a misunderstanding here. The abuse of that broken system IS the issue! That is why it took over 4 months for you to get on the program. This has nothing to do with putting down the poor?

The American government was NOT designed to support a large segment of poor, non productive people. Temporary emergency acts in the face of the 1930’s Great Depression and World War’s created this Federal charity support system. These temporary emergency acts were never cancelled and instead expanded long after the depression was over. That terrible mistake is the fundamental problem! Because of this horrible mistake, a large part of society has been deformed into an “entitlement based mindset”.

Does anyone remember the phrase “ ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you can do for your country”? A real president said that and he was a democrat by the way. What a joke now…

Anyway, the federal govt is historically very bad at managing such programs. Their failures with social security , Medicare, etc and all the billions in waist corruption and gross error simply translate to the welfare programs as well. Federal & state directed welfare is fundamentally wrong as they have stunted and redirected the growth of large parts of our society BECAUSE of the abuse.

I agree that no amount of additional oversight will help much. A fundamental restructure or total abolishment is needed.

Most of the people I described earlier in 1st comment DO CHEAT and take great PRIDE in their cheating the system. Wake up! Your suffering and delays in service are literally because you are not cheating and abusing the system!!

Same phenomenon goes with work visa, green cards and new citizenship. I person know it is much easier for Mexican illegals that work the system to get lock down citizenship quickly than PHD educated immigrants on proper work visas from China and India that have good paying professional jobs from day one. The problem IS the federal government and it focus of fa

What I am suggesting is to focus on productive change to get off welfare entirely and get better job or similar. If you need help it should come from local church , non government charity and neighbors, friends and family. That is how the world was designed to work.. Not the federal & state government –they are not designed to be charities, or churches!

It is the welfare cheats , which likely number in the millions whose children are literally being training to do the same, that need to lose their right to vote. Yes, a number of other good people in tough spots will unfortunately lose their right to vote temporarily as well (only while taking welfare).

Again “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” If you actually loved the country itself you would agree.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I don't agree that the government is the problem or that programs assisting the poor are the problem. I believe the private sector created the present recession and continues to add to the problem by overpaying their CEOs and under paying workers. The richest Americans also don't pay taxes in proportion to their incomes.


jt63301 2 years ago

RA, I want to respond to your comments. I agree that the system is broken but I believe our opinions as to why vary.

"People, I think there is a misunderstanding here. The abuse of that broken system IS the issue! That is why it took over 4 months for you to get on the program. This has nothing to do with putting down the poor?"

Most of the delays and functionality of these programs can be attributed to poor staffing, lack of facilities and equipment. When you constantly make cuts and take revenue away from a program then it will eventually become dysfunctional. By not properly funding programs they become ineffective and a drain.

"The American government was NOT designed to support a large segment of poor, non productive people. Temporary emergency acts in the face of the 1930’s Great Depression and World War’s created this Federal charity support system. These temporary emergency acts were never cancelled and instead expanded long after the depression was over. That terrible mistake is the fundamental problem! Because of this horrible mistake, a large part of society has been deformed into an “entitlement based mindset”.

Simple enough. I do not consider anything I have paid into all my working life "charity" when I collect it. I did not donate my money to the federal government, they required me to pay it in advance in the event I may need it in the future.

"Does anyone remember the phrase “ ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you can do for your country”? A real president said that and he was a democrat by the way. What a joke now."

He was also a civil rights advocate, a humanitarian, a visionary. I also believe Kennedy was a supporter of social programs for the poor. He was a great leader.

"I agree that no amount of additional oversight will help much. A fundamental restructure or total abolishment is needed.

Again, that requires funding. Abolishment without proper employment opportunity, fair wages and a realistic benefit package solves nothing.

"Again “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” If you actually loved the country itself you would agree."

You know, we have sacrificed prosperity, honesty, our privacy, the lives of loved ones who serve in the military and some of us our retirement. Our country has allowed legislation, "Corporations Are People Too" to occur. Money pours into political campaigns from Corporations in hopes of funding legislation which not only infringe on our rights as individuals but steal from us as well. This is not the country Kennedy was speaking of.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Once again jt63301, you have spoken for me. I couldn't agree with you more.


RA 2 years ago

Interestingly enough I agree with some of what you shared!

Although it appeared you skipped over the key statement and perhaps mistook my comment about the great JFK.

Yes, JFK was a great statesman , leader and person. When I think of great American President’s he is always in the top group. The “joke” mentioned was how he and his vision would be treated now if he were the same person and trying to run for office. The reality of what society would do is the Joke. He would never get elected in these modern times. The people and their expectations and desire for government entitlements is the real issue.

Yes, I agree that our society is not what it was and is less “effective and less positive” than before.

However saying the “Abolishment (of welfare) without proper employment opportunity, fair wages and a realistic benefit package solves nothing.” Is not true

It solves many issues over time. This country was NOT founded with a Government designed to support the ultra poor. Doing so sends the wrong message and our current society and, education and employment issues reflect that. As stated before “ poor can go to LOCAL churches, charities and community based organizations for help.. Have faith in local people and their innate goodness. Nothing is perfect but overall it would be better than ADDING even more broken oversight to a permanently broken fat government system. If local only support were policy then less tax need and more employment as well as honor and decency would occur over time….

Again , the key point is = “The federal & state government are not designed to be charities, or churches”. However you and most of the left wing liberal types absolutely treat the federal government as charity + church which is why the ultra right winger joking calls Obama the “Anointed One” . The insult is to his mindless followers and not the man himself. Admit it – you want to be led and controlled and protected in all ways by a big government because you have been brainwashed into that way of thinking and worshipping. The excuse is the evil big rich corporations hurting you, but that is a weak cover story..to explain not standing up for yourselves , your community, and your country’s need to succeed by personal effort and ability to make hard changes and choices..

Much of the mindsets shared on these hubs align very well with that 1st Avenger’s Movie where the evil Loki says: Kneel before me. I said, KNEEL! [everyone is scared of his powers and does], then Loki says “ Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.

By the way, in the real world a more energized, action oriented version of that “slave & total dependence on government” mindset worked for a while in Germany some years back. Fortunately America was not aligned with that in those days and WW2 ended well. If modern America society and government was around then, we would all be speaking German as our main language I suspect.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

There are not enough people donating to churches to take care of America's poor. Also, church people are often judgmental of those needing help.

Many of us who pay taxes want safety nets there for us in case we lose our jobs, get sick or experience a natural disaster. I don't see what you refer to as entitlement programs as a problem, but as an insurance that there wi be help for me if I need it. Our government can be a source of security for its Citizens and many of us think it should, since the many can do what one person alone cannot do. We just disagree on the purpose of government, and I do not see that abolishing programs for the poor would be a positive action. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage in addition to keeping food stamps available for those who need them. We also need to tax the rich in proportion to their incomes, and tax corporations in proportion to the record profits they are making AT&T the expense of everyone else. We need to overturn citizens united so the wealthy can't buy our elections with unlimited funds they don't have to report. Unfortunately, we see the problem in opposite ways.


JT63301 2 years ago

RA - A Response.

RA - Yes, JFK was a great statesman , leader and person. When I think of great American President’s he is always in the top group. The “joke” mentioned was how he and his vision would be treated now if he were the same person and trying to run for office. The reality of what society would do is the Joke. He would never get elected in these modern times. The people and their expectations and desire for government entitlements is the real issue.

JT63301 - Would you vote for JFK now? Probably not. So, now he is dead, he is a great president. When Ronald Regan was president, those were some scary times. Unemployment was up over 19% and we were still engaged in The Cold War. He was raising taxes and at the time breaking the unions. I do not believe he was evil, but a man conflicted at many times by the issues that divided, to some degree, him from his party. I hear a lot of Republicans talk about what a hero Regan was and yet by their own admission state they would not support him as a candidate today.

RA - However saying the “Abolishment (of welfare) without proper employment opportunity, fair wages and a realistic benefit package solves nothing.” Is not true.

JT63301 - So, no jobs, no insurance or public assistance equals national prosperity? You should be embarrassed to make such contradictive statement. As a matter of fact, much of what you say contradicts itself throughout your posts. Most people like to call that filler.

RA - It solves many issues over time. This country was NOT founded with a Government designed to support the ultra poor. Doing so sends the wrong message and our current society and, education and employment issues reflect that. As stated before “ poor can go to LOCAL churches, charities and community based organizations for help.. Have faith in local people and their innate goodness. Nothing is perfect but overall it would be better than ADDING even more broken oversight to a permanently broken fat government system. If local only support were policy then less tax need and more employment as well as honor and decency would occur over time….

JT63301 - The Government was not designed with a Federal Reserve system in mind as well, yet we have it. The Government was not designed with Civil Liberties in mind, yet sacrifices made by great people with vision recognized oppression for what it was and fought against it. Many great strides were made by people in the past benefiting people of all ethnic groups and families as well. As stated before, if corporate influence was removed from government, more social programs would exist. The people would determine the path of government.

RA - Again , the key point is = “The federal & state government are not designed to be charities, or churches”. However you and most of the left wing liberal types absolutely treat the federal government as charity + church which is why the ultra right winger joking calls Obama the “Anointed One” . The insult is to his mindless followers and not the man himself. Admit it – you want to be led and controlled and protected in all ways by a big government because you have been brainwashed into that way of thinking and worshipping. The excuse is the evil big rich corporations hurting you, but that is a weak cover story..to explain not standing up for yourselves , your community, and your country’s need to succeed by personal effort and ability to make hard changes and choices..

Jt63301 - Again, programs I pay into and use are not charities. I paid into them. Please grasp this simple concept. I do not want organized religion to become the source of substance for my family, nor should it. Why not just cancel your health and car insurance and petition your church to pay for any bills incurred as a result of that decision. Well, I would guess, because you paid into it. With Banks and corporations walking away with trillions of taxpayer money, making record profits, pouring millions into political campaigns, I really cannot understand how feeding a hungry family makes a taxpayer the bad guy. There is no weak cover story here, facts are all over the web. Again, research. By the way, I am neither democrat or republican, I am a human being who has compassion for other people and do not like to see people suffer. While the poor suffer, the rich get richer. They bribe their way out of prosecution and yet all the while they blame everything on the poor. Hey, but at least they go to church, or are they just brainwashed by the government to worship.

RA - Much of the mindsets shared on these hubs align very well with that 1st Avenger’s Movie where the evil Loki says: Kneel before me. I said, KNEEL! [everyone is scared of his powers and does], then Loki says “ Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.

JT63301 - I loved the Avengers. I do not believe Loki fared well at the end of that movie. But I guessed you missed the part where the elites were running the show and were going to detonate a nuclear device in the city. Where was the Government? I think they were trying to make a point. Political parties today are just fronts for the people who bought and paid for them long ago, simple as that. Human nature does not so easily accommodate subjugation as indicated throughout history by wars and uprisings. But what the hell, Maybe Loki will make it into politics one day.

RA - By the way, in the real world a more energized, action oriented version of that “slave & total dependence on government” mindset worked for a while in Germany some years back. Fortunately America was not aligned with that in those days and WW2 ended well. If modern America society and government was around then, we would all be speaking German as our main language I suspect.

JT63301 - I suspect you need more of a lesson on history. Not everything you hear on Fox news is fair and balanced. Pull your head out of mainstream media and look around. It seems you have ignored the past 100 years or so. Read some history, pursue facts and use sources which have no political affiliation. Educate yourself and let knowledge be your guide. Quit judging yourself and others by your place in society. Society is a fragile thing. Norms and value change approximately every 10 years. You may just end up finding yourself one day at the bottom of that pyramid. You know, The Freedom Of Information Act has brought many things to light regarding our government, the world and the decisions made not only by government but elites who made great fortunes from wars fought by the very people you would choose to punish because they yearned to achieve "The American Dream." Yes we were let down by our Government! We were let down by Corporations! We will always have greed so we will always have poor. I think this all comes down to you just do not want to pay your share. I did. Now it is your turn and whether you agree or not you have no more rights than I do. You will never take anyone's right away to vote because you stand among the minority. Nice try though. Republicans will try anything to decrease the amount of voters for that reason alone. Most of what you say makes no sense and is nothing more than right wing rhetorical hogwash.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks again. You make some valid points again, JT63301, but my favorite is that since we contribute to our government through our tax dollars, it is not a charity when we need it. About the only thing I get from my government today is the social security I paid into for years. I work part time, and don't qualify for public assistance. I grow weary of hearing people say progressives depend on the government. In my 63 years, I never qualified for welfare, and spend a total of two years (not together, as I worked full time between them) drawing food stamps. I spent many more years than that paying taxes, paying into the system I support, not taking anything from it. To believe otherwise is to believe right wing elitist propaganda, because many progressives are quite wealthy, and never received a dime of public assistance from the government, while paying quite a bit into it.


RA 2 years ago

Interesting feedback again.

I appreciate Valerie’s honesty and clarity is what she wants at this point in her life. She wants a safety net run by a big brother federal government and everyone is to pay a fair share as defined by the elite rich & powerful running the big government.

The social security example shared is a good one. You are right that you paid into it for years and are not being well compensated from that investment. As I understand it most get less than they invested back from social security program run by the federal government. Wow, a negative return on a long term investment that is MANDATORY law per your beloved federal Government via a system set to go bankrupt by 2033? ( ref: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/social-security-not-... ) . It will not go bankrupt because taxes will again increase on the working to cover the shortfall.

You favorite point “since we contribute to our government through our tax dollars, it is not a charity when we need it.” Please stop and think about what your saying. You NEVER donated anything to the government for social security- it was mandatorily taken from you. You had no choice. If this social security and welfare were such a Good deal, then it would be voluntary and optional for each citizen..right?

Remember back when we had individual rights and freedoms that people could take responsibility for?... And if each person could “opt out” even if that meant surrendering future benefits and even all previous monies paid in for the right to live free untaxed by that aspect of our government, how many would I wonder? I and many patriotic old school Americans would without question, although giving up hundreds of thousands already paid in is disappointing.. Oops, I forgot we live in an Socialist America now so no worries since you & I do NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT.

The same disgrace and mismanagement WILL happen with the new healthcare system. ACA was a huge bonanza for the insurance companies. I know of a insurance VP that receive a huge $1 million bonus the other year which was far more than his regular annual pay. Bob was buying drinks for a bunch of people and I know his wife so attended. At the “Tasting Room” the others in his office called it the Obama care bonus. I am not just trying to make a point and swear that story IS True! I do not blame Obama for this travesty. I blame broken citizen like you that crave leadership and parent like guidance their whole lives from the federal government.

JT63301- hopefully those with your mindset and beliefs will always be at the bottom of the pyramid with your slanted view of history to try and justify your socialistic beliefs. Successful businesses including big corporations are critical backbone infrastructure for this nation. Only a bleeding heart liberal , probably with a trust fund or being financially supported by someone’s would think otherwise. The natural law of this world is survival of the fittest. Your ridiculous dogma turns that real law upside down and punishes success and prosperity.

Unlike you and Valerie I both work hard and can adapt to change. Blaming others for your problems and begging big brother to save you is not a healthy way to deal with the need to change –especially on a nationwide level. Valerie’s earlier comments about refusing to change what she does work wise because she is too old (and stubborn?) are evidence of lack of ability to change with the times or even know what you should fight for… Can you imagine if the supposedly evil corporations thought like you and say Microsoft or Apple decided we like our products the way they are and will not change them cause our staff is comfortable with things..

America used to be “the Land of the free and home of the brave”. Trying living with that mindset instead of worrying about what broken government program you might qualify for or why the supposedly evil rich don’t pay more in taxes to the ultra expensive middleman (ie: the Federal govt) to better support our poor ..


jt63301 2 years ago

RA - You say many things with no facts or sources. Your promises and observations from a personal perspective carry no weight. As far as who I am, I am the person at the bottom of that pyramid, lending it support so those of you self righteous misinformed right wing extremist can find a footing. You know nothing of my life history or history in general. You pick tidbits and try to group them together to form a coherent thought. You make yourself look like an undereducated bigot with no empathy for your fellow man. The wealthy funnel their money into accounts in Bermuda and many other places which charge no tax. Sounds a little like tax evasion to me. But then we have you, railing on the poor trying to get by. This is why we have these big corporations bribing government, paying fines instead of incarceration. I agree with you on more than you think. I believe that the Government is not broken but flawed. I think we disagree in the ways. Until you remove corporate interest from politics and government it will remain flawed. Allowing corporations to send revenue out of the country including jobs is an obvious problem you cannot deny. Elimination of manufacturing goods is an obvious problem you cannot deny. Importing cheap labor into our country to fill positions which could be filled with qualified citizens of this country is an obvious problem you cannot deny. Over taxation of the population while under taxing corporations is an problem you cannot deny. Why not take some of that bailout money that was supposedly paid back and invest it in the SBA. Let's start growing industry again. The answer is simple, Corporations do not like competition. So when you call me a bleeding heart liberal, I take it as a compliment. It says I care about people. It says I believe every person should be able to work full time for a fair wage and have insurance. It says that one day I hope people never need to use an EBT service again because they are doing well and able to provide for their family. It says that maybe Republican Governors will stop cutting educational funds and take care of their poor instead of dropping their homeless off in cities who have programs to help their homeless. Again, you are short on facts and in need of research. How much tax did Google pay last year. Who are the banks lined up now to pay large fines to avoid further disclosure and prosecution. I think you need to expand your horizons a little more. The other possibility is that you are just some paid blogger here throwing around opinions as facts as a means of disinformation. Anyway you look at it, we have bigger things going on right now other than food stamps. If you do not want to pay, do not pay income tax. Believe it or not, it's voluntary. Look it up. Watch Cspan. Do something to further educate yourself.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

RA, I am grateful for the "mandatory" deductions for social security my government took, because as poor as I often was, I would never have saved a dime. You can call my government "big brother" or whatever you choose, but your posts are so filled with hate for all humanity, because no one can be guaranteed he will be able to survive totally on his own, that I usually can't make it all the way through them.

Why are you so angry? Why do you hate anybody who ever had to work for a living, rather than inherit enough money to buy politicians or steal billions and never spend a day in jail. Bankers and corporate CEOs are the true welfare recipients, getting something for nothing and voting to keep it that way. And yes. I do want a government that is there when I need it. If you don't, move to a third world country where both labor and life are cheap. If you did so, you would grow to miss both compassion and empathy such as we experience from many in this country. I do not want a cold greedy environment ran by people like you that only values people based on how much money they can steal from the middle and lower classes. The only problem with our country is people with attitudes such as yours. The majority of Americans do not agree with your thinking, thus those who share your philosophy keep losing elections.


RA 2 years ago

Lady & Gent,

Clearly my real life statements carry weight as you cant deal with or comment to them since they help define why I and others think the way I do. It has nothing to do with Fox news reports since they happen where I live in real life.

Avoiding those issues again illustrates your unwillingness to test your convictions or potentially admit you have been dangerously wrong in your thinking for years.

Based on your statements, it is hard to tell if either of you cares about American society? I suspect you care about yourselves which is natural, and to a limited degree the poor who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. However, I and other RA’s care about that particular poor group in society. It is both important and traditional to provide the motivated, ethical, poor with the environment and opportunity to grow and prosper. Guess what, we belong to and sponsor local charities that do things including providing scholarships to poor children that do very well in public schools. Local churches help with local poor with day to day needs. This experience is what my earlier comments were based from and why I think a major redirection of funding from big government welfare to local charity and churches would be advantageous..

Also, I do have major concerns about and ongoing battles with corrupt aspects of corporations. I actually deal with some of that in my work unfortunately. However that is part of life in working America when taking on certain jobs. Bad comes with the good and your person ethics, strengths, passion, etc get tested. That said, having a blanket believe and matra athat all big companies are evil and corrupt is scary and incorrect.

Did you know that the IRS has been blackmailing big corporations for decades? Threatening the C-Officers is they don’t make political contributions? Yes much of that is by Republicans but both parties are involved. Did you know that corporate officers are under Federal gag orders to not expose much of what they deal with and hear from Congress? Did you know that oil companies pay 45% of every barrel of oil produced in the USA make to the Federal government? They do when you add up royalty, lease holder fees, and taxes, yet they are political limited in what they can share publically about actual “fees” paid to the government.

Did you know about the current secret attack by the IRS against small 1 and 2 man businesses and 1099 contractors? To force them to close shop and instead become W-2 employees of bigger companies, the IRS is threatening the bigger business they have as clients to NO LONGER hire them. I am directly affected by this issue now. Further, I may have been wrong in thinking it was an Obama IRS/ DOL initiative started in ~ 2011. Based on a recent feedback from an ex-CEO that left the USA, it sounds like the move may be by Republicans! I don’t really care much sicne my distrust is bipartizan, but the News channels wont touch this infrigment on people’s right to work issue including Fox. This in spite of some limited public news shared by the big companies regarding their change in hiring and contracting practices. So much for the free press concept …

Hopefully my point above regarding my limited trust of your avowed compasionate, warm, ethical, loyal Congressmen is clear.. It is why hearing people with the belief that the big, wonderful Federal government and its Congress are the only hope for America’s people and their welfare and treating the government like it is your church, charity and ruler all roled into one is more scary and tends to spark emotion. (per Milton Friedman) ""The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both. ""

Trouble in this debate is that your viewpoint of a warm, human, positive mega sized Federal Government with it growing absolute control over all people is seen as a GOOD thing by you… However is considered near slavery by others (which I see as a BAD thing).

The problem in this world is to avoid concentration of power - we must have a dispersion of power.


jt63301 2 years ago

RA - Another Tea Party Nut! Go read some Dr. Suess with Ted Cruz please, the adults are talking.


RA 2 years ago

jt63301 you appear to be a govt hired blogger and an overt coward. Hub pages is designed for real people interested in debating real life and sharing real experiences.

So please leave as your only purpose is to hide and distort the truth from real adults reading this pages. Very disappointing to see your child like temper tantrum responses mixing in with real data. Hopefully others will see that your only trying to maintain the spread of lies and half truths to the public and ignore it.

To the real people on this blog, every example shared above by me is true. I have no Tea Party or other political affiliation and the negative feedback your reading from JT is an attempt to dissuade you from thinking for yourselves and standing up for the rights that thousands of real Americans in our military have paid a huge price to preserve over the years.

In my opinion, big government and big business are virtually one organization and political party affiliation has about as much meaning as taking sides on professional wrestling. The game is fixed and staged to keep the masses distracted. Long term, the only hope any segment of our population has for a better life is to strengthen each individual’s freedom. "The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both "


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thank you for sharing.


jt63301 2 years ago

Hit a nerve did I? Believe me, the greatest thing I have done today is disappoint you. Good luck with that inner turmoil you call an opinion. Hope nothing but the best for you as long as that does not mean the worst for good people. Thanks for your thoughts.


Kidd 2 years ago

Oh, how so true. Thank you...somewhat of the same thing is happening in Mobile, Alabama. Now, I am black and the Food Stamp employees (workers, supervisors and security guards) that I have seen are black and very, very rude at the food stamp office on Broad Street. I cannot go into details because I am going to write the Director in Montgomery Alabama about the issues that they are putting my daughter through. Got a complaint, look on your food stamp letter, get the director name and address off of it and address the matter to her or him. If all else fails contact the Governor. You can reach them both online through email after you look them up. She or he may be a just person. There are people you can talk to concerning your problems, but when ask, the Food Stamps employees will not tell you. However the Food Stamps Employees will give you a phone number knowing that no one will pick up the phone. I had a house fire. I lost my food, clothes and furniture in the house fire. The Food Stamps worker and her supervisor denied me food stamps. They said I waited to late after 10 days I was no longer eligible for food stamps. Get this, the tenth day fell on the weekend, which was the day I was told by a friend to go to the Food Stamp Office and applied on Monday. Now, that Monday was the eleventh day and I really needed food. Thank God I am not on Food Stamps. Just think, how many more people are out there that are being bullied, by Food Stamp Employees.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Very sad, Kid 6, I get very unhappy about the disrespect the poor get today. Good for you for taking a stand.


hlo 2 years ago

It is very sad to read of the difficulties you experienced and I am glad you FINALLY received assistance. I understand what you have gone through. I have endeavored to get assistance from 'Welfare' and know it is a humiliating fight that can easily demoralize people. Employment opportunities, conditions and compensation are dreadful now. It is particularly hard for persons who are over 50. After paying bills, I struggle to afford food. It amazes me that lower-income WORKING PEOPLE are increasingly unable to afford the basics (food, shelter, transportation, utilities) - but NO ONE addresses this. It is impossible (and often fruitless) to sit in 'welfare offices', if one works full time. Why is this not the PRIMARY CONCERN for Politicians in our Country? WHY are WORKING and earnest EMPLOYMENT-SEEKING adults degraded & impeded & stalled? It is crazy, yet it is the 'New Normal.' There is growing group of educated, working people (and those who WANT TO WORK, but can't find employment) who have become marginalized. It's a terrible, alienating position to be in. I wish I knew of a PAC that had real strength - I would volunteer. I fear, however, that none of our Politicians are paid by the working poor, so few if any in Government have much concern about this disgusting mess. It appalls & angers me; I do not know what, if anything, can be done about it. I contacted my DEMOCRATIC Senator's office - his staff was insulting. Some of us remain in 'The Great Recession'. Glad to hear you received food assistance!


Angie 2 years ago

I am an ex health care worker who just relocated to Georgia I had to go on food stamps until I am able to find work it took 3 months and tons of phone calls there is a woman named Ms.Oates you should call Fulton county was so overloaded they threw out all back log cases so that is where you should start


lpd 2 years ago

there are people who want a job but cant find one that will pay enough to cover the cost of childcare and all living expenses. I know because I had to raise 3 boys and we lived on sandwiches,cereal and milk


Omenophis 2 years ago

Don't know about Texas but in FL. you can literally count the number of white people on three fingers at any given time that are in that office. Also in Florida it is the same hassle for a white person, meanwhile as long as your black or Mexican you have no where near the hassle that you would if your white. That is the point that most white Americans that need help are trying to make.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I relate. I have ran out of food two weeks before my next paycheck. I have eaten noodles and pasta with no meat, and glad to have that.


Sue 2 years ago

I applied for food stamps here in Colorado. It has workfare so if you receive them you MUST volunteer 23 hours a month in order to receive them month to month. A found a job the same time I was approved and thought that would make me exempt from volunteering but since I work less than 20 hours a week she said no but it would cut down the hours needed to volunteer. Made me mad that someone who IS working at least 48 hours a month still has to volunteer while the unemployed has to only volunteer 23 hours a month to receive them. I basically told her where she could stick them and she said if I didn't show up for my monthly meeting she would say I was non compliant and be sanctioned. She won't have to because I plan on calling the people who issue them and telling them to take me off them. I'm 53 and considered a non able bodied adult without dependents. They don't even follow the program for the state-people on food stamps are supposed to have a choice about how different programs to help them find jobs. It's run by the Goodwill BTW.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 2 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

In Georgia, one person does not even get $200 worth of food stamps a month. If you're working 20 something hours a week, you're earning them. I believe I would do lawns or clean houses first, and to think we've paid taxes for years so they would be there when we needed them. I don't qualify due to working part time. Fine with me. If I'm going to work, I will earn over $200 a month doing it.


beckylou26 22 months ago

Overall, it is very stressful to have food stamps. I have to re-certify every 3 months. My spouse gets OT in the summer so we get our benefits cancelled and then I have to reapply. My job as a substitute ended when the Head Start center I worked for lost their funding. It always seems like I am reporting. Just today I get a notice that they are investigating my eligibility and I must go meet with a woman in 2 weeks. Like I am committing fraud! It is just not worth the stress. I just re-applied this October, you would think they would determine my eligibility before giving me benefits. I started working when I was 12 years old, as soon as I could get a work permit. I also have a child with a disability. I could go on, but obviously I'm very upset. People say don't worry, but when you read on the notice, you can have a lawyer present, I do not take it as a joking matter.


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2besure profile image

2besure 17 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

What a courageous way to inform people about the plight of many who are forces to seek assistance from the government. You are right, it is the hardest thing to do, when you have been fully employed and self-sufficient and then lost everything. Many hard working people have to apply for Food Stamps, because their income to so low. No one says, "I want to live the high life on $2.50 a day to feed my family." Great journalistic piece! Please check out: http://freefinancialhelp.net/how-to-get-financial-...

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