today, i (kimberly) went to the social security office to sign the girls up for benefits. though they have been eligible all of their lives, they have never received these benefits, because their mother just never knew. the case worker helping me get them their benefits told me that she had never seen a more "messed up" or "complicated" case.
i was pleased to learn that they are indeed eligible and as long as i can become the representative payee, we will be infused with a whopping $132 per month per kid. it should also be noted that i have also applied for temporay assistance for needy families on behalf of the girls (they are counted as needy) this will bring in an additional $147 per kid per month.
their dad who has been eligible for benefits for over 7 years has also never applied. this family has been completely neglected. it is horrible that the system fails so many who don't know enough about how to navigate it.
i think a run down of the family’s finances might be interesting for some of you. it has been an eye opener for me.
shelia had been on temporary assistance for needy families (tanf) and social security disability insurance (ssdi). a few years ago she became ineligible for tanf because her $687 income from ssdi was too high to qualify as needy. (thank you newt and your contact on america). so for the past 5 years this family of 3 has survived on $687/month. they live in section 8 public housing, so they had no rent or utility payments. they are on medicaid..., which by the way is awesome (more on this in another post: be all on edge).
as i mentioned, the girls have been eligible for the $132/kid/month their whole lives, but no one applied for their benefits (we are hoping to get retroactive payment and stick it in a fund for college etc.)
now, if lindsay and i were to become foster parents the district would pay us $1500/month for the two girls. they have decided that a child under 11 gets $700/month and children 12 and over get $800/month. funny how mom and two kids were given only $687. seems like any enterprising impoverished american would be wise to give their children up for adoption because then you wouldn't have to share your benefit and you could make sure your kids always had enough food to eat. (again more on the level of neglect later...suffice it to say that ketchup heated up with water does not a soup make)