Here I talked about doing a PSA on receiving benefits such as Food Stamps, TANF, and Medicaid in Texas, what's available, what to expect, etc. If you are interested in or have relatives who may benefit from this, please check it out and if you have questions, please leave them here in this entry so I can try to get in depth. I'm going to try to do it after this testing cycle is complete, so sometime in the next two to three weeks.
Here is what I can do:
1.) explain what each program is and who it applies to (this will be more limited in nursing home and elderly care, but I'll be honest with you; that requires a trained caseworker to cover anyway. Even if I was one, I could not give much here, it's that much a mystery and a wonder of the world. I will however, give what i can and explain where to go for more.)
2.) what to expect during interviews.
3.) (Some of) your rights as an applicant.
4.) overview of the process.
5.) answer some questions on what disqualifies an applicant according to Texas interpretation of Federal policy.
6.) the right of appeal, which too many people literally do not understand because it's not exactly easy to get.
1.) tell you if you qualify. I mean, legally, I am not allowed to do that, though I am trained as a caseworker and am still qualified to go back and do that. I wouldn't anyway, because believe it or not, I'm good at policy but there is a reason we have computer programs and a manual help us out. It's that complicated sometimes, and more than that, it's ethically sketchy and possibly illegal.
2.) tell you why you yourself were denied. I can give an idea of that, but I'd honestly have to ask you to call me at work and then transfer you to a friendly caseworker (I have many friendly caseworker friends; everyone has horror stories of shitty caseworkers and I know some. The ones I hang out with are awesome.) Or more appopriately and far more effectively, I'd give you a number and tell you what to say when you call to get the right person. That I can do legally and ethically.
3.) I cannot tell you with any kind of authority what is going on in states not Texas. I can, however, find you the handbook and explain (for most handbooks) how it's structured and where to look for information you need, because one thing they train us for is how to find things in handbooks. That's actually a lot of the training I got; not just policy, but because policy is so big, how to find in the handbook, which changes every three months, what you're looking for.
1.) Tell you anything I can't verify or is outside my experience; I will happily say I have no idea what the hell you are talking about, but I will try to find out if I can, or at least direct you to where you need to go.
This last part is the complicated part, because a lot of times, no, you are not stupid because you can't find something; you just are stuck because the terminology is weird and I mean, it would be like me looking for something in astrophysics that I know what it does but not what it's called. This is not a failure of you; this is a failure of not knowing how to phrase what you're looking for. I'm not always successful, but I know my keywords pretty well.
Part B: Who This Applies To
You should consider this:
1.) if you are pregnant with or without health insurance.
2.) if your income has gone down and think you may be interested in help getting food or other services.
3.) if you are a single parent and the sperm donor/egg donor is not contributing toward support of the child, or the other parent is unemployed or unable to find work at this time.
4.) if you are a married/committed couple/partners with children that requires cash assistance and are unemployed.
4.) if you, someone you love, or someone you know may require nursing home assistance.
5.) if you have children below age eighteen.
If anyone else who works social services in any state would be interested in contributing, please drop me a line and I'd love to add in anything you think is relevant and cited to you or to anonymous if you'd rather be anonymous. The following would be useful in any state:
1.) Food Stamp, Medicaid, TANF, housing, power and electricity assistance, non-Medicaid assistance, nursing home assistance both SSI and non-SSI.
2.) I'd kill for a rep of SSA to give some easily-digested information on the SSA including retirement and disability, Medicaid Part D, or how to navigate for best results.
3.) CPS and child protective service and adult protective services overview.
4.) Websites where any of this can be found and easily read by the layman.
Any sites/info in your experience that have helped and could help others.
This is brought to you by a post at booju_newju. It's weird how welfare wank always makes me want to balance the universe a little. You can find more posts covering some of this under the tags used on this post.
And this is people being amazing.
cookie57 volunteered to discuss broad issues with CPS and CPS in Indiana.
ethelagnes works at SSA with disability appeals and will be happy to answer questions.