Thursday, October 2, 2014

End of Benefits Tomorrow

     Here's hoping you enjoyed today's Top 10 list but now it's time to get serious.
     I was having a pretty good day until the mail arrived. I'd finally resolved the issue with my publisher, CreateSpace, regarding my final galley proof for Tatterdemalion. In fact, they were so apologetic, they even agreed to send me five free copies of each of my four previous books plus four additional proofs of my current project, with expedited shipping. Then I put up today's post right before Mrs. JP brought up the mail.
     The first envelope I opened actually contained more good news. COLA adjustments told us we were getting $10 extra on our EBT card, which makes up for half the money we lost a year ago when the Obama administration failed to reauthorize the ARRA. The second envelope contained the kicker:
     No benefits for October. We've been cut off as of now.
     The form letter we'd received gave no specific reason but a list of possible reasons, the last one being basically, "Maybe we haven't gotten around to processing your recertification so you don't eat this month. Sorry!"
     The recertification process was last month, I did everything I was asked to do and in a timely fashion. I've tried calling my case worker, her boss and her boss, and it looks as if we won't hear from them before they close at 5 (which, at the present time, is in less than 30 minutes.).
     We have next to nothing left on the card from September's benefits and little food in the house. Our card was due to get topped up on the 4th and, failing that, we're going to be left high and dry with little or no time to prepare for this momentary disaster. The impression I'm getting  from the Dept. of Transitional Assistance is that they're not too interested in solving this matter. Whatever their reasons are for cutting us off, they're completely without merit as I've been up front and aboveboard with these people and have done everything they've asked to the letter.
     We just paid our rent yesterday and, after some car repairs we've had to make recently and our other bills, we're almost completely wiped out. If you guys could help us out this month, you'd literally be lifesavers. And I'd like to give something back. So, if anyone kicks in $50 or more, I'd love to send you free copies of my books, at my expense, since I'm getting a big box of freebies from my publisher.

(Update 1.Since yesterday, I've been aggressively pursuing anyone and everyone at the Dept. of Transitional Assistance all the way on up to the Director herself, without success. My case manager's inbox is perennially full so I can't leave a message and no one is answering their phones or responding to my messages. So it looks as if our card will not get topped up tomorrow, as they promised us, and that means we're far, far from being out of the woods. About a dozen good souls have chipped in what they can but if this is going to be a lengthy, drawn out fight to get our SNAP benefits reinstated if at all, we're going to still need some serious help. Thanks, btw, to Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors for putting the call out on our behalf.)

(Update 2: You're not gonna believe this.)


At October 3, 2014 at 1:55 PM, Blogger john_m_burt said...

So very sorry. I wish our own household were not so close to the edge ourselves, or my wife and I would right now be discussing the whether and the how-much.

At October 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

That's OK, John. No apologies needed. It's the thought that counts and thank you for the nice thoughts.

At October 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM, Anonymous Becks said...

Hey Jurassic, just set you a lil love. Hope it helps and I hope things work out for you and yours real soon. Came here via MPS... Keep the faith man.

At October 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Goddamnit, that, well, sucks is such a lame word for it and "fucking sucks" isn't strong enough. Any emergency food pantries available?

I'd send phynance but we're in a similar boat here; just took out a "loan" at usurious rates (230% APR!) so we'd have *some* money until the middle of the month. Have I mentioned I hate South Carolina?

--Gary (aka Pere Ubu)

At October 4, 2014 at 1:25 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

230%?! Who the fuck did you go to? Tony Soprano?

At October 4, 2014 at 10:59 PM, Blogger MJ said...

That is actually pretty good for a pay day loan in some states. They typically run over 500% (521 is average)around here.


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