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  #21  
August 11th, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Well apparently a lot of people out there feel like they are owed an explanation because we've had a couple of these comments about larger families being on assistance lately. Its getting kinda old. I'll explain my situation because, like I said, I don't give a whoopie **** what anyone thinks....but yeah, for the most part, I agree babymakes8.
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  #22  
August 11th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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UM, I totally understand, and these kind of questions irk me, too. I take them as people's way of trying to pry.

It irritates me when people judge people on assistance, especially for when all you know their spouse may have been the main income, or bigger income, and suddenly finds themselves physically unable to work due to an injury AFTER they had their children. Which is what happened to us.

Once my BIL gave my Dh a hard time because he assumed we were on cash assistance. DH said we weren't, and BIL came back with "you're getting food stamps!" To which DH replied, "So what if we are? You're just jealous because I can eat steak every night!"

edited to add: We can eat steak every night because we raise our own beef lol and chickens and pork. In fact, we grow A LOT of our own food. Not everyone is able to do that, though, so I'm glad the assistance and food banks, etc are there.
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  #23  
August 11th, 2012, 08:41 PM
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yeah, anexia. I'd prefer to pay all our own bills, and it does bother me that right now we can't. I'd love to go to the grocery store and have the cash in my wallet to buy groceries and not have people see my bridge card and then glance back and catalog my purchases too....omg, did she just buy ICE CREAM????? Was that a bag of chips??? I'm just waiting for the day someone has the balls to say something.

Its hard. Currently we can't afford car insurance (which for a good driver in our area runs $150+ per month for basic), or insurance on our house. We have two broken windows that need to be repaired and a billion other little things. The money just isn't there no matter how hard we work. Zays birthday party was today and he got his older brothers DS game and a couple new games from the resale place.
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  #24  
August 11th, 2012, 08:43 PM
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UM, liked your post for the first paragraph, because I've been there. Cashier gave me crap over m&m's for my kids. I offered to give her my SNAP and I'd take her job.
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  #25  
August 11th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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Thanksgiving last year I used the bridge card for a turkey and a ham plus the fixings for dinner. The cashier found it within herself to make a comment about "at least someone will have a good holiday"...really snarky-like. Then I asked for the manager and complained about her. Its NOT the cashiers job to provide commentary on what or how I buy it.
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  #26  
August 11th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repti.Mom View Post

I think it's quite different for people who live in the states than it is in other countries am I right Cybele? There's not so much EXTRA benefit unless you really need it, but everyone gets more than we get in the US. More time off, more benefit for our children, different, dare I say better, health care etc.
*nods*

Every family with dependants under 18 here earning under x amount combined (from memory it's $150,000 per year), whether you have one child or 20, gets family assistance payments. It's means tested, so those earning more get less, and those earning less get more, but it isn't deemed by number of children, rather, income.

We also get a baby bonus $5000 for each child you have (and yes, many assumptions have been made regarding large families having babies, to be fair though, this didn't exist when I had Dita and Azriel, so I didn't get as much money as people assume)

We don't have programs like food stamps and such, you're either on the dole and not working, or working. If you get "the dole" then you have to attend x amount of job interviews per month otherwise your benefits get cut off, you go to classes to learn how to interview properly and they can find you jobs.

We don't have so many programs for those in the middle ground, but we have public health care, doctors are free, a heath care concession program for low income earners so most medications are very cheap, some are free, we have the child care benefit where childcare costs are subsidised by the government for everyone (means tested) those struggling get free childcare, one of our close friends currently gets 109% of her CC fee's paid for (she doesn't get the extra, haha, it's just how her means testing worked out) we are currently on a 62% subsidy for the younger kid's after school care.

Cost of living is slightly higher than America, but our pay is much higher. Last time I checked minimum wage for an adult was around the $19 per hour mark. Dita earns $19.30 per hour at her job as she is over 18, prior to turning 18 she was on $17.60, that is with a veterinary clinic, so a better example would probably be Violet who earns $19.85 per hour at Subway.



So I think it is a little easier here, despite us not having as many avenues for benefits. That said, I am tired of hearing "She must be having them for the baby bonus" but that is usually coming from the name idiots who made comments about my niece building a house just to "get both the first home owner's grant and the builder's grant" almost as if that now the government has introduced a builders grant no one should ever want a build a house ever again, otherwise they are greedy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMomma View Post
Thanksgiving last year I used the bridge card for a turkey and a ham plus the fixings for dinner. The cashier found it within herself to make a comment about "at least someone will have a good holiday"...really snarky-like. Then I asked for the manager and complained about her. Its NOT the cashiers job to provide commentary on what or how I buy it.


What a strange woman. A turkey and a ham is food, isn't food what that card is for?
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  #27  
August 12th, 2012, 06:15 AM
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Yes it is for food, however some people feel the need to comment on what type of food you can buy. So some people think that a turkey and ham is "high end," or they think you shouldn't buy chips, or snacks, or ice cream (because kids never deserve a treat).
Really the program makes no sense. There are many markets around here who don't accept the food card, the "upscale" markets, that have wonderful produce and butchers, but you can use the card at gas stations or party stores for crap like candy and pop.
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  #28  
August 12th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybele View Post



We don't have so many programs for those in the middle ground, but we have public health care, doctors are free, a heath care concession program for low income earners so most medications are very cheap, some are free, we have the child care benefit where childcare costs are subsidised by the government for everyone (means tested) those struggling get free childcare, one of our close friends currently gets 109% of her CC fee's paid for (she doesn't get the extra, haha, it's just how her means testing worked out) we are currently on a 62% subsidy for the younger kid's after school care.
It seems like here in the US a lot of places claim to offer services like that. Especially when it comes to childcare...head start, universal pre-k, etc.... And then they have massive waiting lists and you can't actually use it. The "universal" pre-k kills me. Does that not kind of imply everyone gets to go? But nope! Same thing happens with daycare assistance. Always full, always a wait, always backed up. I'm a homeschooling mom so I don't have to deal with that stuff for now, but it still drives me nuts.
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  #29  
August 12th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anexia View Post
This is something that has been realy bugging me. We were scraping by and I was ok with that but then we had a financial disaster and I dont know how we are ever going to dig ourselves out. I have always tried to avoid assistance but I have never grudged anyone working hard and still needing some help. Dh has a BA plus and I manage property from home but we just cant make enough to keep up.
Most of the time I figure people can just bite me. But its tough to let it roll off my shoulders when I really cant pay my bills. Anyone ever feel this way? You don't have to answer. I guess I'm just full of stress tonight and this caught me on a bad day.
Most of America is on disaster away from, homelessness, It's a shame really. Currently we are in a financial crunch. Everything going wrong at the same time has left us beyond broke, framkly I am over it lol. We just have to hold off a few weeks to a month and we will borrow from our 401k. don't want to, but we have to, it's the only way to dig ourselves out. We're lucky to have that option though.

Food is our biggest thing, everything just keeps going up, like green onions. They were .50 a package, now they are $1.50...that's a hell of jump. I thought about FS, we had them for a while years ago, but I am not sure we qualify and it's a lot of paperwork to be told no. i know my oldest (get's ssi) can get medical and food assistance plus a little more cash, but I feel bad getting it for him. so no, you are not alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMomma View Post
Yes it is for food, however some people feel the need to comment on what type of food you can buy. So some people think that a turkey and ham is "high end," or they think you shouldn't buy chips, or snacks, or ice cream (because kids never deserve a treat).
Really the program makes no sense. There are many markets around here who don't accept the food card, the "upscale" markets, that have wonderful produce and butchers, but you can use the card at gas stations or party stores for crap like candy and pop.
I can't stand people like that, honestly I could care less what people buy with FS..short of alcohol/cigs which you can't get anyways. Like you said, everyone should have a treat every now and then and if people are only feeding their children chips and ice cream there is a bigger issue then them being on FS kwim?

I'm actually jealous of my sister she get's $1200 a month in FS...that's twice my food budget and they eat good lol...oh yeah, I am jealous!
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  #30  
August 12th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Also there is a lot of FS abuse.

I get food assistance and guess what we use it for.....FOOD!! I clip coupons, shop early for the discounted/clearance food, watch sale items, blah, blah. So I make mine goes as far as I can.

We always end up short at the end of the month and have to buy groceries with cash. Food assistance is supposed to help with (up to) 80% of your food bill. So it isn't like we are over here eating shrimp and steak every day. We still eat tuna casserole, and leftovers, etc. We even have days when there just isn't much left. I've taken the kids for dinner at my moms so they can eat, and my grandma's sister and BIL (who are in their 80's) help me out with extras from their church food bank too sometimes.

Now I personally know people who get stamps and sell them. Their card cuts on and they either have people who already "buy" it from them or people who stand in front of the store and "offer" their card for cash.

They usually get 50% value. Even though the temptation is there, I don't buy cards when we are out on ours, it's just not right. Its not what the program was meant for and I'm not supplementing someone's crack (or whatever) habit. Which ****, I shouldn't even say, because someone might be trying to sell their card to keep their lights on....you never know. I guess if it was a one time thing, but I see the same people every single month.
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  #31  
August 12th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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We've been really lucky the last few months and I've only been paying like 50 out of my own cash. Which we don't really have either, but that's a different story. There are 4 food pantries a month here that are the 'good ones' and then one weekly one for food and one weekly one for breads. I go to the bread one, have only gone to the other one once, there's a really long line, because they don't ask for ID or anything, and they stick you in this really hot hallway, but it's there if you need it! We still eat really cheap stuff. Once in a while we'll get to have something 'special' like buffalo wings, and you know what?!? I get free doughnuts almost every saturday at that bread pantry. :O lol
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  #32  
August 12th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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My sister was telling me that it's 50% value on a dollar. I thought that was horrible...let's kick them some more while they are down. My sister sells her's to my mom, straight value and only when she needs help paying for something. Usually her power bill.

I've only been to the Salvation army and you can only go once every 60 days. There are a few other places but I have never tried them.
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  #33  
August 12th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Oh yeah forgot about them, they have a food pantry here too, and give you dog food and cat food vouchers if you want too. You can go once a month. I only went once to them too, just because it involves making an appointment, and it's been pretty busy lately with registering the kids for school and 'birthday season'.

I don't see how selling food stamps would get us ahead, I'll just need food later in the month and have to spend that out of our cash instead.
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  #34  
August 12th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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yeah, selling fs will just put you behind. I don't do it. People have asked, nope.
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  #35  
August 12th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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If you have very little income they give you insane amounts of food stamps. We used them for a few months when dh was finishing school and couldn't work because he was taking so many classes his last symester. My work had cut back hours so I think we were only making about $600-$800 a month and they gave us something like $500 a month for just 3 people. dd was a toddler. that was over 10 years ago. I think back then I really only spent maybe $200. We couldn't have spent that much on food if we tried.
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  #36  
August 12th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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What I get breaks down to a little less than $1 per person per meal.
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  #37  
August 13th, 2012, 05:44 AM
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I finally applied for foodstamps last december when I was stuck between paying for my brakes on my van to get fixed or grocery shopping so I decided to apply and see if we would qualify, I was spending $550 a month on groceries shopping at aldis. With dh making $800 a week we still qualified for over $800 in food stamps per month. I was blown away. No more adding everything in my head and making sure we had enough in the bank to cover it. With that help I can breath a little easier. My dh has worked since he was 15years old and before we had kids we had to pay taxes in I worked full time since I was 17 until I after I had Xandria then I would work parttime until I just couldn't anymore after #5 it was sense less to even go to work. I don't feel bad for getting food stamps if the economy hadn't of tanked so bad we could still swing it.
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  #38  
August 17th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Sorry I haven't been on in aaaages but there has been so much going on with us that I could write a novel!

I had to reply because I've lived in two very different countries with regard to 'state aid'. In South Africa it's pretty much non-existant so if you don't have a job you starve and live on the streets.

In West Australia the cost of living is very high compared to South Africa, but the salaries are good. As Cybele has mentioned there is a baby bonus and I do sometimes wonder about the 15 year old 'mums' I see walking around but I keep my opinions to myself as I don't know their situation.

Assistance does not depend on the number of kids you have but is worked on a sliding scale according to salary. We no longer qualify for assistance as my dh has just started a new job at a higher salary. But, we are still struggling.

We have a mortgage that will only be paid off when we hit 70, well passed retirement age, we have 4 kids who are still in primary school and the state high school in our catchment area is so undesirable that we will have no option but to put our kids into a private high school. That will equate to around $1000 a month for the first two kids which means I need to find a job once my youngest starts school full time. However, as my husband earns a good salary we don't qualify for state assistance for after school care so I will need to find a job between the hours of 9 and 2 and I will need to earn enough to cover the private school fees for our kids. They won't get to do any extra activities (soccer, tennis, swimming) as we will only just be able to afford the school fees.

We don't have couponing over here I don't think and we don't have cheap supermarkets so food is expensive. After school activities are expensive so we don't do those and with carbon tax coming into play electricity and gas prices are going through the roof.

And my DH is now earning $150k pa. Go figure?
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  #39  
August 17th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Last edited by cybele; September 29th, 2013 at 10:36 PM.
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  #40  
August 17th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Basically our costs have risen by 13.8% in WA, according to my calculations on the last 2 bills we have received, one in May prior to carbon tax and one in July after carbon tax was instituted. That's a pretty big jump, especially as the house we bought has an electrical stove rather than gas. I personally would have preferred gas as it is cheaper, but at least we have a solar geyser so during summer we don't pay much for gas.

Food prices here are ridiculous and we don't have Aldi like the East does so we are forced to buy from Coles and Woolworths so I 'special shop' wherever possible!

I can't complain too loudly though, it is like living in heaven (literally) compared to South Africa and I am so, so happy here that I don't really care if we have to live on bread and butter for the rest of our lives I love Australia and Australians (the born and bred ones) so even though we are struggling I wouldn't live anywhere else.
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