Food Stamps in San Diego County – a Disgrace! – Here’s how to get them:

by on February 18, 2009 · 38 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Health, Organizing, San Diego

Originally posted on Feb.14, 2009.

At a time when jobless rates are hovering around 8%, one in ten homeowners can’t afford their mortgage payments, and the average cost of staple foods have risen astronomically, we should all be proud to know that those of us living in San Diego County reside in a region with the lowest accessibility to food stamps in the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, only 29% of eligible recipients receive Food Stamp benefits, good for last among the 24 largest metropolitan areas in the country. As a case manager working with this population directly, I have found that this number is indicative of the many hoops one has to jump through in order to enroll in the program in the first place.

The first challenge that any potential recipient must overcome is the all important income limit. These guidelines are almost impossible to fall between if there are one or two adults working and bringing income into a household.

A family of four, with a gross monthly income of about $2,400 dollars would be automatically disqualified from receiving food stamps. Expenses not including food eliminate all possibility of disposable income – starting with rent for a two bedroom apartment at approximately $1,200 dollars. This does not include transportation to and from work with gas at $2.30 a gallon (or public transportation), car payments or other monthly bills, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses such as new clothing for growing children. This begs the question: is there any way to create a spending budget when your entire paycheck is spent before you even receive it?

With all that aside, assume you are “lucky” enough to fall within the guidelines. You then submit an application to a local Family Resource Center office, where families go to apply for Medi-Cal and CalWorks benefits. The discrepancy here is that Food Stamps are fully funded by the USDA, whereas Cal-Works and Medi-Cal are supported by both State and Federal taxes. (In other words, when food stamps go unused the money is distributed to other places instead of San Diego – which makes a good case for having a separate office or at least separate case workers for Food Stamps applicants.)

After submitting an application, you are assigned a case worker, who then scrutinizes your entire life in what is called the “assets test”. Applicant households, regardless of size, can only have up to $2,000 dollars in “resources”. These resources include: Cash, Savings, Stocks/Bonds, Lump-Sum Payments, Building, Land, or Property, and even burial plots if you happen to own more than one. Luckily owning a home or a car does not count towards a family’s resources, but that leaves room for interpretation: imagine owning a $25,000 dollar car, a $500,000 dollar house, and still qualifying for food stamps? Technically it is possible as long as you have no money in the bank and you fit within the income guidelines, although it would be unlikely that an investigator would approve such an individual.

In contrast, a family of eight that falls within the income limits, rents their home, and happens to have $2,500 dollars in the bank is not eligible for food stamp benefits. Imagine you have six kids to feed; how long is that $2,500 dollars going to last? The expenses that come with having a large family like that are astronomical. In that situation, a case worker would tell the applicant to come back when the money is gone, further delaying the application process. This is another way in which people are dissuaded from applying for food stamps.

Additional scrutiny includes applicants being asked to provide birth certificates and social security cards for all claimed children (and even divorce decrees to prove someone is no longer cohabitating), a scheduled home visit by an investigator to determine if there are discrepancies in the applicant’s description of the home, a required two-hour orientation for all adult recipients, and a general delay of approximately 30 days (if you believe the case worker) which is more likely to stretch out to two months. Also, if you receive SSI you cannot receive food stamps, as the monthly payment includes food expenses.

Fortunately, advocacy organizations such as the Hunger Action Network, Food Research Action Center , California Food Policy Advocates, and the San Diego Food Bank are working doubly hard during this time to educate potential recipients, lobby for policies that streamline access to food stamps, and demand that the federal stimulus package includes further access to food for those affected by the economic crisis. More recently with the passage of Assembly Bill 433, California (and 20 other states) can no longer use the “assets test” in determining eligibility as of July 1, 2009. The effort to implement this procedure will take time, but at least there will be less scrutiny for eligible participants in San Diego.

Anyone who has ever applied for San Diego County services (such as CMS) knows how the personal attacks and continuous scrutiny of the process can deter applicants, and food stamps are no different. What is unfortunate is that during one of the worst economic climates in recent history (here is a report by the San Diego Food Bank showing a dramatic rise in food pantry demand – check the statistics for Council District 2!) the neediest individuals are being denied access to food – a basic human right. We can be critical of the income guidelines, the application process, the case workers and supervisors at the Family Resource Centers, and other facets of this disturbing trend. But above all, there are thousands of families struggling to put food on the table every week who are missing out on affordable, healthy food. Nothing will change until the system is challenged.

In the meantime, try to volunteer services, take part in progressive foods movements (Food Not Bombs is a great one) or donate non-perishable goods to any legitimate food distribution program. It is surely going to take community efforts to get through these tough times, and the last thing our communities need is families going hungry when there is plenty of food to go around.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar mr fresh February 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

why don’t poor(er) people get food stamps? because the powers that be in this lovely part of the world don’t really want any poor people around. they think we’re poor because we’re lazy. and we’re only tolerated because certain industries require low paid labor.
now, before you think this is just some sort of paranoid rant, just go read the history of san diego (at your local public library before it gets closed).
you know, if the cutbacks to local services started including things like not repairing potholes in la jolla and closing libraries north of interstate eight, i’d think there might actually be a financial problem. but the fact is that the delivery (or lack thereof) of governmental services is just another form of class warfare. and poor people are on the losing side.

Reply

avatar YippieReborn February 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

Any decent human being understands that hunger in this country is an absolute travesty. We have more food available than any other country in the world, yet people still go hungry – and during this crisis, that includes families with growing children.

What a disgrace.

Reply

avatar Molly February 16, 2009 at 10:03 am

Thanks Lane and OB Rag; it is a disgrace about this county. What can we do about it?

Reply

avatar Lane Tobias February 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Hopefully the passage of Assembly Bill 433 will make the process of applying a little less invasive, which will, in turn, allow more eligible people to apply. The advocacy groups listed above are doing excellent work around food access, and I know that KPBS is going to be doing a documentary about the food stamp application process. And obviously, we can always call our elected representatives and demand political intervention.

Feeding America San Diego, which I unfortunately failed to mention in the above post, is doing a hunger study and needs volunteers for both the study and their ongoing efforts. Here is a link to their website, http://www.feedingamericasd.org.

Also visit the aforementioned groups’ websites, as I know they are always looking for volunteers and donations. There are countless food distribution sites all over San Diego (For example, I happen to work for Jewish Family Service of San Diego, http://www.jfssd.org, who operates the Hand-Up Food Pantry) that can use help, as people are utilizing food pantry services at a much higher rate during the recession.

Reply

avatar Lyn February 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Give me a freaking break. America has a permanent black underclass that has sponged off of food stamps for years. THAT’S WHY there are not enough food stamps to go around. Any eligibilty requirements that are enforced unfairly discriminate against poor Whites.

Reply

avatar Chaun February 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Lyn, last time i checked the census bureau stated, that Caucasian Americans have more recipients of welfare than any other American. I will say that a better screening process is needed.

Reply

avatar JANE August 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

LYN: The fact of the matter is, there are more WHITE military families on welfare than any other race. There you go, now go get educated!

Reply

avatar Phoebe October 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Absolutely PATHETIC. I, for one, am ashamed

Reply

avatar Patty Jones February 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Give me a freaking break, Lyn. The article doesn’t say there are not enough to go around, it says that people are being denied access to them.

Reply

avatar Wireless Mike February 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

We live in a country where corporate criminals feast on caviar and champagne on their yachts, while needy families are denied access to food. If there is any discrimination there, it is against poor people in general. The super-rich are simply not interested in what happens to the rest of us. A government that caters to the super-rich is unlikely to put the well-being of the poor as a priority.
Let’s give a freaking break to the people who have to go hungry because they can’t navigate the maze of red tape to get the food stamps or other public assistance that they are entitled to.

Reply

avatar yippiereborn February 17, 2009 at 10:07 am

This post had only one underlying theme: the invasiveness of the process of applying for food stamps and the outcome of such a process, namely in-accessibility to healthy food for poor people. There was no mention of race or social class. In many ways, the article calls for new income guidelines that are sensitive to today’s economic crisis and for a collective effort to put food on the table for those who don’t have any.

Any other interpretation of this post wasn’t just reading between the lines, it shows that people have their own personal prejudices and misunderstand social welfare in general. Shame on anyone who thinks that it is possible for people to “sponge” off public assistance in this day and age. Anyone who has had their food stamps taken away for making an extra thirty bucks one month would tell you that there is no way to fool a system that has become exclusionary for the people it is supposed to assist.

Reply

avatar mr fresh February 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Re: Lynn’s comment.

I’m most impressed that you’ve learned how to type without using the caps lock button. now take your ignorance and go hang out with your buddies over at the local Klan chapter.

Reply

avatar Adam February 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Lyn’s point, while worded in way many will continue to object to [we call ALL learn great tact, can’t we], she illustrates a valid point. Until the ‘bar’ between classes and ethnicities is evened, there will be an uneven distribution of community benefits. Call me a socialist, there are worse slurs…

While I agree with the “travesty” of the situation: people are hungry, it is something we can all work to improve. Let the private efforts of individuals like ourselves step in where our government fails. There are food pantries (like those run by Lane’s social service agency), across the county, that would love to take your canned items. Seriously, I have a can of beans that has been in my pantry since before I moved in. It’s still good [thank goodness for preservatives, eh?], and there are atleast a dozen more just like it. Bam!- my unutilized food stuffs becomes a meal in a half for Lane’s family of 8.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Ghandi. Letting Lane off the hook, because he is a social worker, what are you doing, Lyn, to address the needs of those “poor” people? We are Humanity, not the divisive pieces we wish to separate amongst. Light is many shades, as are we. People, across the world, after all, do not have the access to food the compassionate among us may like. “Cultivate your garden,” Voltaire encouraged of our activities in our own communal back yard. Let’s hop to! Government, hopefully, will get the hint… eventually.

Reply

avatar Joy February 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Lynn’s comment.

If you read about who gets majority of food stamps, its white people because they are still the majority in the USA. Please get your facts straight before writing a post. This is about hunger NOT about race which America has faced for many years.

Reply

avatar annagrace February 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Some time ago on the Rachel Maddow show ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ ) Rachel showed her viewers the two page application for TARP funds- the bank bailout money. Two pages. And it required little more than providing the name of the organization and a signature. Didn’t even ask what it would be used for. She asked viewers to think about their experiences requesting food stamps and other federal aid services by comparison. Local food stamp officials have said that the lengthy demeaning convoluted food stamp application process is necessary to weed out abuse. Bank executives on the other hand get to refurbish their offices with $1,400 trash cans, they justify and keep their corporate jets, and they give out generous bonuses at taxpayer’s expense, but as always the discussion centers upon how we are screwed over by the poor who think they are entitled to food, shelter and health care.

What is wrong with this picture?

The economic stimulus bill that was just passed- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009- has funding allocated for an increase in food stamp subsidies and noteworthy language about the treatment of jobless workers.

We should be asking the County what they are doing about applying for these funds; we should acknowledge Council Member Marti Emeralds’ work on making sure that people get the food stamps to which they are entitled. The City does not administer the food stamp program- the County does, but Emerald understands the importance of this program and has gone public with her concerns. We need to publicly support her efforts and work with her office on this issue.

We need to make sure that San Diego gets it share of economic stimulus funds. The homeless, the hungry and the unemployed will benefit. Our libraries and park and rec, police and fire departments will benefit. Let the mayor know that you want the City to be prepared to apply for all applicable funds- not just those that go directly to the city, but also those administered through a state agency. Ditto for the County.

Take a look at http://www.recovery.gov This is the Obama/Federal website about the economic stimulus money.

The big question is- will we be stimulated?

Reply

avatar a california mother March 16, 2009 at 10:58 am

i applied for food stamps two weeks ago. i did everything that was asked of me (filled out all the forms, provided all the necessary documentation, attended the condescending ‘orientation’)… the caseworker assigned to me told me he didn’t have “high hopes” that my application would be approved because i receive unemployment benefits (i’m a laid off teacher who is still working in the san diego unified school district as a substitute–my weekly benefit amount is appallingly low) and child support. on a ‘good’ month, i make about $700.00, the unemployment is reduced, and the child support brings my total income to roughly $1400.00. i am outraged. i have a child to feed. thank you for writing this article—learned a lot. this situation needs to be exposed and vigourously fought against.

Reply

avatar Richelle November 9, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I agree with you. I applied for food stamps back in August and three weeks later I was told I didnt qualify because of my income. I was told that I was over by less than a dollar. When I asked my case worker how did they computed my earning I was given a stupid answer. I make 320.00 a month from my job and unemployment gives me about 800.00 a month. Im a single mother of 2, and according to the income limits for food stamps I did qualify. When I got the letter in the mail denying my application I requested a state hearing. To make a long story short, the hearing representative was ashamed of how the people at the county offices act. He told me that I should of never been denied food stamps because Im within my income limit. He re-open my case and told me that the county where I had applied had 3 weeks to review the final decision and grant me food stamps.

Reply

avatar Be Littled and Interogated April 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I applied for reinstatment of my food stamp case today, I never felt so
interograted in my whole life. I was asked 7 different times if I had ever been convicted of a felony for drugs or anything else. I was also asked 7 times when was the last time I had a bank account, If I was ever in rehab. I have never done drugs, or had a felony in my life. I felt like he wanted me to answer yes to something the way the worker keep driling me with the same questions. Do these social workers understand the word “NO” He was also least interested in the fact that I took my
Social Security Statement showing that I had worked for the last 25 years
straight. I have never felt so interogated and be littled in my life.

Reply

avatar Melissa July 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

They are messed up there@ We were awarced $97.00 a month for a family of three. (income less than $1000.00, rent 700.00). Needless to say we recieved nothing for the month of July. I have left 24 messages, (since the last week of June) w/ case worker. Called over 100 times w/ her voicemail full. I left 2 messages on case workers supervisor’s voicemail, more than a week ago. No response! Not by phone or mail! Wish I knew who next to call. I am suppose to receive benefits out of the Oceanside office/ California/ San Diego. Help we have 86 cents on our card.

Reply

avatar Shellby January 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

(Editor: We posted this comment as a “Reader Rant.”
I would just like to clear up a few things. I am one of those horrible Food Stamp workers some of you like to complain about, so I do know a little bit about the subject. The rules for FS are created by the Federal Government, not case workers. Please do not blame us for doing our job. I, like you, need my job, and breaking the rules will cause me to be fired. Food Stamps does not care what color you are, that has no bearing, it’s only income. I would like to point out that nobody is “entitled” to benefits, people might ‘qualify’, but free food is not a right. Case workers are human, overworked, tired, stressed, they do make mistakes, if you think one has been made, appeal, the number is on the back of the Notice of Action. The income that we are required to use is Gross, not the net. For instance, my gross is $1906 biwkly, my net is $988. It’s not uncommon for me to see people with paychecks just like mine screaming that they only have $1800 to live on, when their gross is much higher because they have 401k, deferrred comp, meals, tips, even money direct deposited into a savings account. (Which they tend to forget to report). I agree, the $2000 property limit is ridiculous, but that’s why they exempt cars, they know it’s not possible to make that property limit with a car. Really, the $2000 just means money in the bank that you have access to, someone posted a list of property, yeah, you have a lump sum, we expect you buy food, you have stocks and bonds, if I were hungry, you betcha I would cash them in and feed my family, and my bank account goes down to less than $20 before every payday, I wouldn’t expect someone to give me free food just so I could keep my bank account fat, I use that money to feed my family. I know that the drug felon rules are hard on some people and some really don’t deserve to have it that hard, but the history of FS shows that many drug felons misuse their FS, sell them for cash to buy drugs, etc. We are not “doing this to your 5 year old” you did this to yourself, nobody made you be a drug felon. And that whole thing about the investigator going out, that only happens if there has been previous fraud or you’ve actually lied to us in an interview. I, personally, have never had to send one out. So whoever says that’s happened to them, well, that would be because of the fraud you commited before, once you lie to us, we don’t believe you anymore, and we DO document everything. One of the other interesting things about FS which really has nothing to do with anything, is that many people use their FS in ways we would not expect, we have clients that use all of their FS in mini markets, 7-11 stores, etc, where a gallon of milk is twice the price of a normal grocery store and/or they buy prime rib, lobster, crab, imported cheeses, etc. with their FS. I watch them all the time in the grocery store, then they call us and tell us that they are out and need more. And lastly, having someone crying because their children are starving makes you feel pretty bad, until you see them in the store buying a carton of Marlboros an hour later.

Reply

avatar steve billinghurst January 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm

1-12-10
quote
nobody made you be a drug felon
unquote
Your grammar is atrocious. You also have a run-on sentence which not only is incoherent, it changes person and requires several-read-throughs. But, I get it. You are exactly the same as a low-level Nazi functionary. Is the phrase, “I am just following orders,” in there in some fashion? You bet it is, and notice, if you will, that your country is at war, and this time, you are not the good guys, because you invaded a sovereign nation. Lots of people complained about San Diego County FS. The statistics show that you do not pay it out. Who is right, you with a vested interest, or your critics? Hell, your mayor was not even elected. Don’t lie.

You couldn’t say that no one made me become a drug felon, which is the correct English, since that blows your argument; you have no way of knowing whether somebody held a gun to my head and made me use, do you?

That was over fourteen years ago. It was not like whatever random mutation made me a male. It is not permanent. It was a choice. One more choice and it is undone. Good God, woman. Have you no decency? I have a five-year old to feed!

Steve Billinghurst

Reply

avatar steve billinghurst September 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I do have a disqualifying drug felony. Of course, anyone with that is best advised not to disclose it, using the philosophy that you’d better eat and then worry about the repercussions. I also have a bank account. From the shuddering mileu and the rank condescension of the caseworker looking at me like you would a cockroach, I kept that a secret. It did not matter. I was denied, and my child was not enough to push it to any benefit amount. I was denied, but my income counted (unemployment). This is not a shame in anyway. It is more to be expected given run-of0the-mill genocidal impulses of those who run San Diego. It has always been like this. They want you to die. It’s no mistake. I called Legal Aid. There has been no call-back from them, after three weeks.

Oh, check this out: I have never been so insulted in all my life. I have been clean and sober so long only an insane fascist could hold a conviction from 1996 against me. I had completely forgotten. It is ancient history. They are doing this to my five-year old because I was not “convicted” one month ahead of the deadline.

What are you going to do? Nothing? I suggest that whatever law reads, “Since you were convicted of a drug felony after August 22, 1996, you are disqualified for life.”, be amended to keep up with the times. But, I am seeking any ideas I may have for remedy. I’m a bright guy.

Reply

avatar A September 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

The disqualifying date is set by the Feds not the counties. There is nothing that the workers can do about it. If you don’t report the felony at time of application then you are tagged as a liar. When you submit the application to the window clerk they run a quick background check with the law enforcement agencies and if you have a warrant, are on probation, have a restraining order, or have a conviction or record, it will show up. When the worker gets the application they already have a copy of your record. If you do not report it when they ask you about felonies or if you are in violation of your probation, then they WILL send an investigator because they figure that if you lied about that, you might be lying about something else.

Reply

avatar meg whitman November 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm

so why approach a person in that way? WHY NOT be honest in the initial interview and tell the interviewee that you already know about their record? what about that approach? so what if a person is afraid (and a person who has no money for food is indeed a fearful person) decides not to disclose a past DRUG conviction?? it’s normal to be afraid in a situation like that, esp. if it means the difference between life (being able to eat) and death for themselves and their children.
you people (jaded, cynical caseworkers out to disqualify rather than help) are really pathetic!

Reply

avatar Steve Jobs February 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

Nice article but how does it give any directions on obtaining food stamps?

Reply

avatar Heather February 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I don’t care if you’re tired, I have do my job when I’m tired, too, and I’m still held accountable for doing it right. You want to talk about choices, don’t take a job where you know you will be overstressed and too tired to do it right and then whine to us about it.

An investigator came out to my house when I applied and I have NEVER lied to a worker or been sanctioned, or had anything to do with any lie whatsoever involved in my case. I’m just one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get a dime of child support and never has and doesn’t make enough to feed one bird, much less a family of them. Every time I’ve ever gone off of aid and had to get back on, there’s a mistake, paperwork is lost, a worker screws up my info and a typo keeps me from being approved and I have to get it fixed, or something.

Reply

avatar Rae March 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm

The food stamps process was one of the most degrading and difficult experiences of my life. And I am jobless, hungry, stressed, etc…I can handle all of that because I know it’s temporary and I am a survivor, but this FS situation was really disheartening.

I have worked non stop for the past 14 years, since I was fifteen years old. I unexpectedly lost my job and suffered it out for months looking for work until I broke down and applied for stamps. My paperwork was lost, I had to re-apply which delayed everything. The meetings were horrible. I have a roommate and they tried to lump me in with him just because we live together, even though we don’t ever share food or cook together. The unemployment office ALSO lost my paperwork and it’s been FIVE months since my claim went in, I am eligible but still not getting those either. What the hell is going on here with the public services not being accessible when honest non-abusers need them?! I’ve paid in, now I need some help and it’s not there.

Reply

avatar Diane5150 April 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

“When honest non-abusers need them.” That is a great point. Not everyone who applies is a liar, yet everyone is treated as though they were all liars. Hell our system is supposed to give every American the right to be proven a liar first before being condemned as one.

Reply

avatar Darryl Winchel May 19, 2010 at 4:56 am

go reapply it has just been repealed!! -I just heard ’bout it three nites ago on the 11 o’clock news! -Ask and you shall receive, now the Q to ask yourself, is: Who do you owe your good luck, politicians, god, sublime coincidence, maybe a little of all four…God answers the prayers of those that don’t believe in him too, and at that point it matters not that you believe in him-this time he’s telling you that she/he believes in you as far as you in him/her, you can work on that, she usually doesn’t hold grudges. Now Mother Nature on the other hand she’s a vengeful one but she is a professional after all thats what she’s paid to do… You gotta watch out for any diety that’s payrolled! (LOL)

Reply

avatar L.G. March 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

It seems the bureaucratic nightmare that is San Diego County’s HHSA has not improved much since you wrote this post 2 years ago. Our application was turned down recently—not because we don’t qualify, but because we didn’t get all forms turned in in time (that’s just going by the earlier of the two dates I was given—yes, they gave me two different due dates depending on what I read or whom I talked to). The forms weren’t delivered to us until the Friday before the Monday they were due, so it seems there’s a double standard for paperwork timeliness. We called in advance to let them know we’d have to be uploading the forms to Benefits CalWIN to get them submitted in time (we don’t have access to a fax machine), and we were told this would be fine—but in light of being turned down, apparently that’s not so. Phone calls to the ACCESS line more often than not result in a recording saying the call can’t be taken due to “unexpected high volume”—but since it happens 9 out of every 10 times I call, I can’t see how that’s “unexpected.”

This combined with the fact that we don’t qualify for unemployment benefits makes it a double whammy for us.

I am glad for you including links to other, possibly more helpful organizations in your post, and I will have to check them out.

Reply

avatar Patty Jones March 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hey L.G., you are dead on concerning the double-standard for paperwork and they purposely make thing confusing. If you find any helpful information please come back and give us an update.

Good luck to you and your family.

Reply

avatar L.G. March 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thought I’d post an update since I’ve already received some good news. I think it may have come about because I sent a frustrated/pleading e-mail directly to HHSA over the weekend. I got a phone call this morning from a woman who I think is the worker already assigned to my case. She said she’s received all of the forms they needed except for one. It turns out I overlooked that one when scanning and uploading everything. But I took care of it within minutes and called her back to let her know. She actually stayed on the phone until she was sure it came through, which I thought was extra nice. She assured me that she’d get my EBT card sent out, and I should receive it in the next couple of days. I’m not holding my breath YET, but it’s a very positive and encouraging development.

Here’s an interesting thing that came up (actually, it came up before, but I’d forgotten it until now). Not only are they concerned with applicants having too much income, but also too LITTLE income. If your income isn’t high enough to meet all of your needs, they look at that suspiciously and ask you even more questions. Right–here’s someone who’s so poor he’s applying for food aid, but since he makes too little money, his application looks suspicious. Still trying to figure that one out.

Reply

avatar Patty Jones March 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Take good care of that card when it comes. The mag stripes on them are notorious for wearing out and not working in the machines. If you want a new one (because of the dirty looks you will get from some checkers or other store patrons when the checker has to enter the number by hand) they want you to send in the old one FIRST and it may be weeks before the new one comes. In the meantime you have no EBT card…

Reply

avatar L.G. March 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

Hmm, I think our bank has little sleeves for protecting their cards, or at least they used to have them. Maybe I can beg them for one.

Reply

avatar tiffun7007 February 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I am a single mom of one child. I was denied food stamps and Medi CAL for me and my son because my part time job “pays” me too much. I’m now being evicted from our apartment. I ask again for help and now they need 401k info from a job I had 5years ago. So now I must track this company and get a letter sent that states the401k is empty. I LOSING OUR HOME. If I had received the help I needed I wouldn’t be in this situation.

Reply

avatar Aubrey Doss December 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

I’m discouraged from seeking assistance when I am in dire need and have no where to turn as I have been treated as a very low no priority american whom was just reaching out for some sort of help in a time of need. Single mother with a 2 year old living in Bonsall ca and currently renting an apartment building at $900 that has a roach infestation issue (entire building) mold issues in bathroom and plumbing issues near toilet which have never been repaired causing floor to absorb the water hence the mold in vanity . I’ve been here for three months after a vigorous search for a roof to put over our heads following a few months of renting a room out from a young mexican couple homeowners in fallbrook whom took us us in understanding that I needed to stay for up to a year, then putting us out for a relative. Prior to this we were staying with my mother. During all this time i was struggling financially and mentally and going through custody court and had imense amount of pressure and dispair as I was working cleaning houses and had some income but not enough to provide , yet I was seeking assistance in hopes for a better chance to succeed and be able to provide. This was not the case. Interrogated humiliated challenged tested turned down discriminated treated like I didn’t need help as bad as ????? (Who)??!! I needed help more than anyone could imagine as anyone couldve known. After grueling trial and error dealing with the lazy ass incompetent employees that have “jobs” there at the oceanside office , only finding out they didn’t process my papperwork completely and ACCURATELY ! FOUR MONTHS ! Thats how long it took to get calfresh, and during a month of that time I was homless and spending hard earned cash to stay in a motel room . I get 500 for child support and I make around 150 a week doing landscaping on the weekend since that is the only time I have my daughter taken care of. Its a job off Craig’s list. I can make more by choice when I have help with my daughter as I cannot pay for childcare. The most I have made was 300 . I spend about 100 a week for gas and 20 every few days for meals. I have a prepaid phone cost at 47 and by this I’m already exceeding my cost of living. I have been given 180 for calfresh. I have not been able to pay my electric bill since I moved in and I’ve not paid my car insurance since august. I have been in this situation thinking about the right I have as an American to receive help and come to the conclusion that I am being discriminate d and treated so poorly that our country is fail ok ng immensely to stand for our beliefs and rights. Currently looking into joining tge army as I just turned 31 and the marine corps is no longer an option and college didn’t work out because of choldcare prioty at palomar college is being given to the immigrant families whom have higher priority due to more children and less income probably because they have citizen issues so work is harder for them to find?? Ir because I work and have a job ?? I’m not sure how that is calculated however I wanted to go to nursing and get a degree but dropped from one class I started due to the pressure and timing of being homeless and fighting to find childcare for free! Now I’m looking for a new path for our future. I’m disgusted at the priority standards being implemented in our country. If you came here illegally and need help , fine but then you need to stand in the back of the line and take a fucking number! Too many legal Americans are denied due to a spending immensely catering to illegal immigrants and from my county next doir is Mexico! Hah! Gee is that just a coincidence? ? Mabe so mabe my insanity can be confirmed by the irony of man and possibly get treated the same way I have before shall I apply for disability benefits. I think I am a qualified candidate as I suffer from anxiety disorder and depression and also diagnosed with ocd and adhd. Mabe il try that route. All I need was a push to fet on my feet and provide but since its become a custom to cater to our drug lord nieghbor Mexico city people like me are given a slice of bread to share with a tribe and can’t ask for butter! Thanks a whole lot!

Reply

avatar Devin Davidson February 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

Let’t not be racist now. It isn’t Mexicans or Blacks or anyone else that is prioritized when it comes to foodstamps and aid in general. In my situation, I am a white male in my early 50’s with a college degree who was laid off 4 years ago. I had worked up to that point for 30 years and for no legitimate reason I was laid off. It really knocked me for a loop too. At first I spent time trying to get answers, trying to get my job back, trying to come to the realization that the career I went to college for and worked tirelessly I was no longer going to be allowed to do. I used up my savings, had to cash in my 401k and use it all up, lost my health insurance and Obama Care hadn’t taken effect yet so I was without. Health deteriated due to stress and everything and ended up deathly ill. Taken to the hospital in an ambulance (medics had me sign a form stating I must pay for the emergency ride at over 8
$800.00.) While in the hospital, without insurance was told I didn’t qualify for Medi-Cal since my last income was $80,000 but that was over 2 years ago. The hospital stay took all my 401k, savings, everything and rest on installment plan even though I had nothing left to use to make a monthly payment. I only had 2 credit cards which went to collections and that installment agreement went into default. Destroyed my credit that I had spotless before. Recovered and went looking for employment, a job, anything that would put me back on my feet. I never expected with a college degree to be told by EVERY job I applied that they wouldn’t even consider me, too much education. They all said if I got a job at Walmart, Target, Vons, or any retail that I would leave as soon as I got a better offer and they would waste time / money. I left out me education on a few applications but couldn’t leave off my job for 30 years which a degree. I had no choice but to apply for foodstamps, Medi-Cal. I turned all my paperwork in. Got no reply. I called, no answer. Went online and resubmitted but system said I had already applied. Told by Covered California that I qualified for Medi-Cal but welfare workers deemed I wasn’t. I was told (before Obama Care) that if I was a woman, had or having a child I would qualify in seconds but male, white, no children sorry, you starve and go homeless. I went to the food pantry to get a monthly bag, I broke down and the workers were very kind and gave me some advice. Went from eviction to staying with friends (4 different gracious souls but every welcome wears out) and homeless. Almost ended it, couldnt believe I had gotten there and EVERYONE said I wasn’t really looking had enough for work or apply for SSDI or get a lawyer and sue my old job. I stopped talking to family / friends because if you don’t have positive things going on no on really wants to be around you. I became Debbie Downer. Finally, the last year I ended up in the hospital and that started the process that I seemed to keep falling through the cracks. Got Medi-Cal, got Cal-Fresh (got interrogated and humiliated too), got a free cell phone thr0ugh CA lifeline plan because gov. finally realized you have to have a phone to get a job, etc. And then I got a job. The job only came about because of the assistance I finally got. I got well enough and a phone which made it all possible. Found out I was laid off because I was at the top of my pay scale and my old boss who was promoted was terminated for doing the same to many other employees. Company requires I start at the bottom but at this point, I dont care… I have a job in my career field so I will suck it up. Now I have a future sort of… I don’t have any retirement and it will take 25 years to get enough to gain enough. You students will mind a teacher who is in his 70’s still teaching? We will see.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Before clicking Submit, please complete this simple statement to help us weed out the bots... Thank you! *

{ 1 trackback }

Older Article:

Newer Article: