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Old 10-10-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon
4,536 posts, read 3,409,650 times
Reputation: 9612
Default Oregon trail card issues

OK- Here's the issue. I am a full time unemployed student and my wife is a CNA making $12/hour. Up to about a year and a half ago, we both had fairly lucrative jobs. Then the recession hit along with plenty of bad luck, and our combined income went from about 80k/year to roughly 25k/year.

Prior to four months ago, when we applied for Oregon Trail, we had never used any state assistance programs in the past, with the exeption of very limited unemployment compensation for my wife. They set us up with $180/month. This helped out greatly, and we were very thankful.

We recently made the decision to send our son to live with his grandparents out of state, as we cannot afford medical insurance and we as a family decided it was the best option for the meantime, until monetary conditions improve. Now that our household has been reduced from three to two people, our OT benefits are being cancelled entirely, as they deem we "make too much money".

Now, I used to work for Schwan's, and many of my customers used OT. I know for a fact that many were in a better position than us and collected MORE than we ever did. As a taxpayer, I hate to believe what many say about the people who depend on OT. But the more I see, the more I believe.

Is it really fair that struggling people who hit a temporary rough spot should suffer while many of these benefits go to recipients who are making absolutely no attempt to better their lives and/or are trading their OT benefits for drugs or other illegal things? The more I see, the more I believe that these benefits are geared towards people who abuse this type of assistance, or lie their asses off to get it. As a taxpayer, I have spent my entire working life paying into state programs, and when we needed the assistance for a change, it left us hanging. Our problem is obvious - WE'RE TOO HONEST.

Has anyone else had any similar issues? I'd just like to get other opinions on this matter. Thanx!

 
Old 10-10-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,367 posts, read 9,814,429 times
Reputation: 12734
Sadly, the biggest mistake you made was sending your son away. I was in your position about five years ago. As a single woman with no dependents, I was eligible for zero, zip, nada in state benefits even though I had been paying Oregon taxes for almost 30 years.

I was told if I had a child I would be eligible for all kinds of help. And if I had more than one, I would be eligible for even more assistance. Adults don't count by themselves unless maybe they are trying to get off drugs or are criminals seeking rehabilitation.

But there is some hope. There may be some religious organizations that would be willing to help you out. I don't know who they are but I have seen them mentioned on this forum. Hopefully someone will read this and know where you can go to get help.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you get back on your feet soon.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene Idaho
794 posts, read 1,379,501 times
Reputation: 475
I witnessed a woman in a "Center Market" store on the coast use her Oregon Trail card to buy a bunch of regular food and immediatly return it for cash and purchase a case of beer. Now this sure seems like it is illegal to me.. It's people like that lady that ruin it for people who really need it.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,797 posts, read 17,758,087 times
Reputation: 6646
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearnofish View Post
I witnessed a woman in a "Center Market" store on the coast use her Oregon Trail card to buy a bunch of regular food and immediatly return it for cash and purchase a case of beer. Now this sure seems like it is illegal to me.. It's people like that lady that ruin it for people who really need it.

Most parents don't game the system, but there are those that do. I worked as a child and family therapist with families that were losing their kids to the state. I can honestly say that situations where they abused food stamp programs did occur, but they were not common. I think I had one client that traded food stamps for drugs and alcohol, but most families used them for their intended purpose. One of the point of going to the cards was to make abuses like that harder.

I also agree that sending your son away will remove you from many services. I think the thought is that with so few resources out there we need to save them for children.


You are in a rough boat with MANY, many others. There are so many that have had pay cuts across the board at companies. No one qualifies for unemployment because they still work, but their incomes have been slashed.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon
4,536 posts, read 3,409,650 times
Reputation: 9612
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearnofish View Post
I witnessed a woman in a "Center Market" store on the coast use her Oregon Trail card to buy a bunch of regular food and immediatly return it for cash and purchase a case of beer. Now this sure seems like it is illegal to me.. It's people like that lady that ruin it for people who really need it.
I thank all three of you for the input. Sadly, **** like this current example is allowed to happen. It is no wonder that state assistance recipients get the reputation they do. If there are any other opinions, please give your feedback, as I know I'm not an isolated case. Thanx.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene Idaho
794 posts, read 1,379,501 times
Reputation: 475
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchlights View Post
I thank all three of you for the input. Sadly, **** like this current example is allowed to happen. It is no wonder that state assistance recipients get the reputation they do. If there are any other opinions, please give your feedback, as I know I'm not an isolated case. Thanx.
I want to make sure I was not saying all people on assistance are like this drunken idiot. My wife and I are on W.I.C. since she is a stay at home mom and I am the only source of income.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,299,356 times
Reputation: 3326
[
Quote:
we cannot afford medical insurance and we as a family decided it was the best option for the meantime, until monetary conditions
Curious.
was your child not eligible for the Oregon Health Plan?
I know there are some income restrictions.
You can not expect as two able adults to receive any type of welfare.
The programs exist to assist dependant children. If I were you I would consider reporting that business. They should be requiring receipt for returns and it would clearly state method of payment. Most markets will not allow WIC items to be returned just because of this problem.
Can you not pick up a part time job. I say this because I worked all the way through college, had a husband and a mortgage payment although then they were in the 500.00 range But I was making 6.50 as a CNA back in the day and the husband was making 7.00 as a welder.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,299,356 times
Reputation: 3326
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearnofish View Post
I want to make sure I was not saying all people on assistance are like this drunken idiot. My wife and I are on W.I.C. since she is a stay at home mom and I am the only source of income.
WIC is a great program with much education info and you have many things to keep track of between each appointment. This program is one that is monitored closely. The help is there, good for you to use it!
 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene Idaho
794 posts, read 1,379,501 times
Reputation: 475
Quote:
Originally Posted by seven of nine View Post
WIC is a great program with much education info and you have many things to keep track of between each appointment. This program is one that is monitored closely. The help is there, good for you to use it!
WIC is great.. the woman in our area who runs it can be a pain in the rear from time to time. Our child is doing great and she will sit there and insist we feed her this or that.. example.. our child is alergic to a certain type of milk not all milk just the D milk i think it is.. the red labeled milk but does beautifully on 2%. Well we went rounds and rounds with her on how it was endangering our daughter to let her drink 2% and alergic or not she needed the D milk. It's just frustrating some of the time but all in all we love it and it definatly helps a lot.
 
Old 10-10-2009, 07:18 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,299,356 times
Reputation: 3326
For a responsible parent like you it is "overkill" but it does get some parents more engaged.
Enjoy your precious little treasure! They grow up fast!
Every time I look at the ridiculous price of milk and formula I say a little prayer of gratitude that WIC is still in force.
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