After a demoralizing 2 month battle, I was turned down for food stamps because of an error on their part. I am hungry and tired and I don’t know whether to she-hulk or belly-up.
This loooong saga began with an online application—one that was not advertised on their website, making it very hard to find.
After the app, I was sent a letter in the mail 2 days later telling me my phone interview time. I waited by the phone at the specific time, but they didn’t call back until 3 1/2 hours later- when I was in the middle of work. I called back during my break- however, because I did not answer the phone when they decided to call me my application was thrown out.
I applied again. The letter came the day before my scheduled interview this time. They called 2 hours later- this time I answered, made them call me back at an appropriate time for me, and completed the interview. The man on the phone said I had 10 days to turn in the required documentation, and referred me to the checklist that had come with my letter.
After gathering all my documents I picked a free day and headed to the office, expecting to be out within 2 hours. 2 1/2 hours later I reach the front of the line and am told that I went to the wrong office–I have to head to a specific office to process my paperwork. This office’s number is printed in tiny letters at the top of my checklist, with no mention that I was to answer to that place specifically. According to google maps, there is no food stamp office at that address.
Oh- and all offices close in 20 minutes.
I run approximately 1.6 miles up a hill in sandals to get to the office. I make it just in time, and the lady at the front desk takes pity on me. However, I still have to run up and down the stairs collecting paperwork they forgot to give me in order to do procedures no one told me I had to do. When I finally make it to a caseworker to turn in my papers, he asks me if I have 4 paystubs; yet seeing as the checklist I was provided only asked for the most recent stub and I had only been employed for 3 weeks at that time, I didn’t have it. He told me to come back when I had four.
2 weeks later I come back, stand in line to turn in my paystubs. I try to call ahead, the answering machines are full. this is at least the 6th time I have tried to call only to end up with the same message. The seventh time I call, a woman answers and snaps at me for asking if I am still eligible to turn in my paperwork. She treats me as if I’m a stupid, annoying child and hangs up on me.
I take a number, wait in line for about 4 hours while my caseworker wanders around the building and laughs about how he’s going to leave early. He calls 8 numbers the entire time. Finally, a group of his fed-up coworkers mobilize to help the stranded. They breeze us through in 15 minutes. My paperwork is processed. All I have to do is wait -in 30 days or less I will have my decision.
My envelope came in the mail today. The message said that I was rejected because I “did not keep my promise” to attend an interview. Which I did. Over the phone. Weeks ago.
I have three options: 1) admit defeat. Make due with what I have. 2)Re-apply. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 3)Appeal–and prepare for another battle
But to be honest with you all, I’m tired.
I went through a similar, more frightening experience with healthcare and trying to get my doctor’s appointments and medicine. And I’m tired of being treated like my body, my time, my safety is worth less because of the amount of money I have in my bank account.
I swear, living this life is turning me socialist.