Anyone else had SSI money reduced? California

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by artyreader, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    Like many of you, I eke out a very limited, mostly housebound existence trying to make ends meet on Social Security Disability and SSI. No car,no cable, no activites,exhausted and in pain most of time, etc., frugal, careful. . .sigh.

    Got a 'nice' little Easter surprise from Social Security--starting in May, I will be getting $40 less a month (and I am at poverty level, disabled for a long time, and unable to work) which comes to almost $500 less a year--a huge amount for those of us relying solely on gov't. with no other options.

    I was told that it was a decision made in California only (it figures--don't get me started on who is currently in our governor's mansion--grrrr) and it had nothing to do with me

    Politics--you gotta love the rich politicos playing dice with people's lives. . .sigh. Funny how they always make cuts at the bottom for people like me who are honest, worked most of my life until about 13 years ago when health problems brought my life to a screeching halt, paid into the system,etc.

    Of course I 'officially' complained,etc. but just wondering if any other Californians got snipped like this also?

    On top of that, most of us who get SSI in Cali are NOT eligible for food stamps (I'm going to try again anyway, in light of this arbitrary cut)

    Ya know, there are some really nice people here (despite what you may have heard),but -, um most of us are not movie stars, or even tennis stars, or even Scrabble stars :)
    We are like most people, just trying to get by, and being disabled just adds another level of stress. . .

    BTW, to any other Californians on this board who are dependent on disability, and SSI--I'd be real careful about Measure 1A in the upcoming May election (the so-called 'Rainy Day' Budget Stabilization Fund.) To me, that's just code for making certain cuts permanent, and while there are abuses--often at the very highest levels,big surprise--there are honest, law-abiding folk like myself and others, for whom the cuts can be a matter of homelessness or a roof over one's head, and if more cuts come to the most vulnerable, it could very likely be a matter of life or death.

    And that ain't no joke. . .

  2. daylight

    daylight New Member

    I lost all of it (ssi) when I got my ssdi. Even though I get only 600 a month and my husband is on edd.
    We can't get food stamps but I do get medi-cal ,but even that they are thinking about charging a copay. between the 2 of us we get less than 2000 a month ,plus this month it will only be my 600 and 360 from edd because he is starting his first extension of edd. To top that off hubs is getting ankle surgery next month.

    And you probably pay a huge amount for rent like us . 1000 dollars of what we bring in goes to rent , then 600 towards bills , the rest to gas,food ,medical (for hubs) . And now the new tax hike! geee they really care about us.....

    I don't know about you but for me trying to get go medical attention on medi-cal is a joke. I just had a pharmacy give my prescription to a stranger and they didn't care about the mistake.I'm geuss that they just thought (of well she doesn't pay for it) . But I really did with me high taxes all theses years. It's not are fault we got sick.

    Now our lease is almost up and the rent will probably go up at least 75 to 100 dollars. Can move because our credit is bad and no bank account. I'm not a fan od California these days but we can afford to move and family is here.

    Yeah I feel your pain. So where are our stars on Hollywood blvd????? =)
    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2009]
  3. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    You know, I just wrote this long reply to you, and then I hit the 'submit' button--and my long, detailed reply to you is now somewhere in cyber-space!!!!

    So I'll just hit the main points of what I wanted to say (maybe my original reply to you will miraculously appear at some point--go figure!!!)

    First of all, I really feel for you guys. You are in a very tough spot.

    If you haven't done so already, I really urge you to contact your local Housing Authority (call 211, or do a Google search--put in Housing Authority,your town) (or county) or talk to your Medi-Cal social worker. And get on a waiting list. Yes, it can take years, but the sooner the better--time is gonna pass one way or the other.

    I'm on Section 8 ( Apply also for public housing--you may get that a lot faster than Sect 8, for a lot of reasons).

    If I did not have housing assitance, I would be homeless. And yes, I was on wait list for about 4 years before my number came up, but without it, I would not be able to pay rent on this tiny one room place--at least I am not out in the streets.

    I'm so sorry about your situation. It's hard to deal with Medi-Cal and applying for other help, and it can get so discouraging, but you can always vent here in this message board--the people here are usually extremely supportive, I've found.

    And if anyone understands discouragement and frustration with state and city agencies,etc, I do, but don't give up on trying to get the help you deserve and have paid into (the system) for all these years.

    See if you can get free food (maybe a grocery bag a week for starters) at local food bank, if there is one (I don't know what part of California you live in), or food assistance at a local charity and/or church. Perhaps you are already doing that.

    I wish you and your husband the best. And thank you for your empathy.

    Now I hope this reply actually goes through!

  4. daylight

    daylight New Member

    Thank you. We haven't tried for section 8 yet but I think that thats because Hub's is a very
    proud man. He's a carpenter by trade and a bit of a rough and tough guy.
    We have talked to a social worker about food stamps with no luck . We actually missed were 100 dollar over their criteria for three people. There is a food bank (if you wan to call it that )
    once a month you can get a small bag of can goods . Usually its stuff no one else would eat and grapefruit juice (that I can't drink because it interferes with meds). But it really is a nice thing that these people do for the public. They have helped us out in the past, but again hub's is a proud guy and doesn't want to take for anyone else.

    We live in the high desert area . Theres a bunch of people here in the same situation as we are .
    One step from homeless. But I do trust that God we get us through this storm and the next one. Just feeling a bit blue.
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I live in California, but receive SSDI, so my payments aren't cut, but I feel for you. You're right - they do make cuts from those least able to help themselves, although cuts are being made everywhere. My sister works at a school district and jobs are being lost there and other places. My brother-in-law who works for the state is losing one paid day a month, but I know that will affect him a lot less than the $40 a month you're losing.

    Where did you get information about measure 1A - these ballot measures seem to have appeared out of the blue and no one really seems to know what they are all about - it's hard to find info about them.

  6. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    not wanting to take 'charity'.

    I was raised fairly poor in inner-city L.A. by a hard-working, completely devoted single mom who didn't know she would be put in position to care for 3 little ones all by herself (family tragedies, etc). But she just went out and got a job and worked the 40 hours to put food on our humble table, and there was not any talk of getting outside help.

    I was raised to be independent; I don;t think my mother (a very intelligent woman) even thought about applying for any government assistance at the time--it was all about taking care of yourself, and the family , and working hard and not relying on others.

    (I believe now that some of my neighbors/classmates at that time, in our nieghborhood were on some public assistance,and I don't ,and I'm sure my mother never would've looked down on them at all, but she was proud and didn't want to do that herself.)

    And, when I think about it, we most likely qualified, but, again, my mom was very proud and had this I guess you would call it a somewhat 'sacred' responsibility of providing for us.

    It was hard, we had so little, and yet we had just enough (this was before all the craziness of the last 30 years or so of rampant materialism, and kids nowadays just EXPECTING everything to be handed to them, it was a different time, and there were different values, i guess)

    I knew I had to start work young, as a teenager, and I did. Except for student loans to go to college (which I paid back to the penny, though I was not making a big living) and other college-assistance, I never thought in terms of leaning on the government or anything else.

    Until my health fell completely apart, starting in my late 30's. Even then, I did not think of applying for disability until I had unfortunately gone through all my money and was in debt just to pay rent.

    Anyway, I "get' how your husband is proud and independent. I was raised that way, too.

    The only thing is, with applying for the help that is owed you by you guys paying into the system all through the years, I learned the hard way that the earlier you apply for these things the better.

    Hey, you could win the lottery! (yes, I know, the odds are not great. . .) and then you wouldn't have to apply, and go though the sometimes humiliating process of getting help (there is of course, no shame, but it has been emotionally difficult for me to accept that I have to avail myself of these services, even though every day I wish to be all healthy again, and be able to work again, but, honestly, it's been so long, and health is worsening. . .sometimes, reality bites! :)

    You sound smart and caring (i'm sorry you don't have a better food bank situation--that sucks)
    and that you have some hope and faith, and do I ever hear you about feeling blue about it all--that's totally normal under the trying circumstances you are facing.

    I know you don't need me to say this, but accepting help doesn't make you less of the people that you are, inside, spiritually, etc.

    I am not a religious person, at least in the conventional sense, but I do remember the famous words of Jesus Christ, who said "Ask, and you shall receive", and that God (or to some people, the Universe, whatever is right for you) wants to give to you, out of love, just because you exist. Wow!

    And he sees your heart, the inside, what really counts, and how you so much don't want to have to rely on others, but it is there for you, if you but ask.

    Ok, I realize I'm starting to sound like a preacher, and that was NOT my intention :) !

    I just think that these teachings and others remind us that we are part of something bigger,something good.

    Sorry I rambled on so long!

    All kinda blessings to you!
  7. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    My mother was just like that. She worked like crazy and never wanted to take any kind of government assistance or anything. But as a result, we ended up suffering terribly many times. She really wasn't all that aware that there are other ways of doing things and would have fought against it anyway.

    I now live in a HUD low income apartment building and I love it. I'm so happy and grateful to be in here. It's all I can afford on my tiny SS check. I never knew about these places until after my mother passed away. It's just sad. I could have had this for the last twenty years.

    There are alot of things out there for help. It's just hunting them down. This place I'm in has several charity type places come in during the month and give free food. I never even knew about that until recently.

    Finding help can be a full time job, but if you look hard enough all over your town, there are things. Salvation Army, United Way, Churches, Missions. There is help out there.
  8. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    OK, I hope third times a charm! I wrote you 2 replies yesterday and both were lost in cyberspace, so I'll keep this short!

    First thank you for compassionate open-mindedness. And, yes, this is a hard time for just about EVERYBODY; I think it is unconscionable that the schools,state workers and many other vital services should have to suffer because of political machinations.

    I got on-line and here are a few sites you might want to look into: (a coalition of seniors, nurses and others): Has the actual text of the proposal, plus many simple, easy to understand excerpts from various sources

    an article I'd recommend: "Arnold's May Special Election:Just Say No", by Paul Hogarth (Huffington Post (website), March 8,2009.)

    Last year, and from now on, Arnold axed a once a year "Renter's Assistance"(for low-income diabled and/or senior renters, a sum that I desparately relied on, not getting much from SSDI or SSI.)

    This year, the huge,( percentage-wise )to me amount of $40.00 per month cut, badly needed (I live as close to the bone as possible--I no longer can afford a car,no cell, forget cable TV--never had that, do not have money for taxis to get out of house, scrimp,save, am frugal, and have been for many many years.I read library books and what I can sometimes pick up for 50 cents, I'm on Section 8 already, I am mostly housebound,in pain,exhausted all time with fibromyalgia, ME,arthritis and other chronic,draining illnesses.)

    To keep getting these shocks, and reduction in the crumbs I can barely get by on, and all because of some fat-cat politician and his greedy associates. . .what next?

    I am afraid the PropIA is going to permanently not only keep those cuts, but keep making them.
    (With less transparency or need to go to the people than before)

    You may want to go on newspaper sites to read more on it, too.

    This measure is tricky, and scary. Its opposed by people on the left and the right, and in between.

    I think this is a slippery deal brought to you by the same people who have destroyed the economy for everyone, the people who have been in power for the last several years,and who not only DO NOT CARE about HONEST<DISABLED former workers that cannot survive without help, but by THEIR ACTIONS AND POLICIES THROUGH THE YEARS have proven over and over that THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE WORKING OR MIDDLE CLASS, EITHER.

    Look beyond the Hollywood smile and (lost-on-me) 'charm',look beyond the 'reasonable' language ---and CONSIDER WHERE WE ARE NOW, HOW MANY ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THESE POLICIES, WHAT CONDITION MOST OF US FIND OURSELVES IN THESE DAYS

    Thanks for asking! Keep studying this over next weeks and listen to your heart, your gut, look around, and consider what is best for most of the state, not just the priviliged few.

  9. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    Thanks for the tip--I'll check it out!

    I'm pretty savvy nowadays about applying for everything, and I'm already on Sect 8, paying a rent that could not be cheaper anywhere (including living with another person--it would be more expensive!)

    I'm super frugal, and can still only afford food and rent. My only present luxury, and it took me years of scrimping and saving to buy it, is this computer, which has become a lifeline with the outside world, this great website, friends, and a way to write also to legistators,etc about things I am concerned about.

    My days of being able to afford a car are long gone, when you are too sick to work anymore,
    that is no longer possible. Still I look around, and I will check I will find some help to offset this crushing loss.

    Good wishes to you!

    P.S. Oh! And, next time I go to library, I'll check to see if they had the book you recommended!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/26/2009]
  10. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yeah, a wish I had applied sooner for the things that are now keeping me alive--my very small Sect 8 rent (which could not be cheaper), the SSDI and the (reduced) SSI funds I receive because I am disabled.

    I tell everybody now, don't be like I was. Don't wait--APPLY FOR EVERYTHING YOU CAN--AND DO IT YESTERDAY!!!

    If you are suffering, reach out and see what's available. It's there for us when we are no longer able to do for ourselves. Most of us (I did) worked long years to pay into this system (that benefited others who needed it when we did not, and now is supposed to be there for us. It's called civilization :) !

    It's interesting--I worked for several years helping people who were less fortunate than me, though I was never making lots of money, or anything (but I was happy being healthy, having social life,being able to afford a used car, even budget travel once in a great while, when I could--all that of course changed with these illnesses--the very active person interested in and doing so many things, that person is still me INSIDE, but health-wise I can no longer be the person I was, and to be so incredibly limited now, mostly housebound, dependent on very small but very appreciated and necessary help from gov, to stay alive.) anyway, I was in touch with and hooked suffering people up with city, county, state, federal services.

    But I never thought I'd need them, and when I starting hurting, not being able to work, that old mindset of being totally self-reliant didn't work anymore, and I should have applied for things earlier, but I was in denial, not knowing,etc.

    Because I did not apply for things earlier, I got into debt, lost my car(no longer able to afford it, and it had tons of problems and I could not afford even another one) just because I was now disabled, but did not think of applying for things for myself.

    Live and learn, hopefully!

    I'm glad you have a good living situation and that there are those charities that come in and give food--what a good, and needed thing!

    (And I hear you about if you had known twenty years earlier, about the housing help you now have, you could've saved yourself a ton of suffering, yeah, tell me about it! :)

    Take care!

  11. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    for all the info. I am going to do more reading on these. They just seemed to come out of the blue - I guess they did.

    Take care -

  12. stschn

    stschn New Member

    I have a friend who was in a hud apartment here but wanted to move closer to family in so. cal. She moved into a section 8 not understanding that her hud would not kick in right away. She is a widow and her husband was a master mason. She called yesterday and they-the masons- we're kicking in the money until her hud came in. Who knew? of course it's orange county were there is a lot of money so that helps.
  13. sunnymaid

    sunnymaid New Member

    I got a freind who want to know to CA and she get ssi
    How would life be for her? The cost of living,Will it be hard to live there on SSI?-
  14. quanked

    quanked Member

    Something about a high speed train?
  15. hensue

    hensue New Member

    He is getting out of army and it is not a high paying job. He has been told by several people he would not like palmdale. I think it would be in the desert? It is on the unmanned vehicles.
    He would like to get the expierence under his belt. He has been in avionics for 10 years.
    California sounds horrible. He has two boys and I told him they would have to stay with me.
    I hear about gangs, cost of living.

    I know this is not about fibro but would appreciate any info?

  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hensue - I live in Lancaster, which is right next to Palmdale. This is the high desert (as compared to Palm Springs area, which is low desert) - summer temps generally range from the 90's to the low 100's (once in awhile over 108 but does not last long). It's a dry heat, so is tolerable, I actually like it, and cold in the winter (freezing at nights). The landscape is desert, with desert plants, beautiful in its own way, but you have to like the desert. No lush greenery etc.

    Lancaster and Palmdale are more affordable than most of California, which is why I live here, but I'm sure is still somewhat pricey compared to much of the rest of the country. The housing bubble crash has made housing here more affordable than before, I don't really know how it compares to the rest of the country.

    Here's a link to the local paper (Antelope Valley Press), you can check out real estate prices:

    There are some gangs in Palmdale, but it's nothing like the L.A. area. The sheriffs and schools are very proactive, and crime has been dropping for several years. Any metropolitan area has gang activity, and the Lancaster/Palmdale area has less than big cities. Also, you can choose to live in areas that are the safest (as in any community). I talked to my sister who's lived here for over 25 years and she likes this area. She said she thinks the biggest adjustment is the desert - which she loves. I like it too, although sometimes wish there was more greenery.

    We're very close to Edwards Afirforce Base (10 miles or so) , and your son may have base privileges for shopping etc., he'd have to check.

    I'd suggest your son take a trip out here to check it out. It's better than you think.

  17. hensue

    hensue New Member

    he is working on it, sounds better than I thought. If he can take Iraq and Afgh he can take Palmdale.
    I do not know about the boys, we will see if he gets the job. It is right there close to the base.
    Like you said he will have to take a trip out there and see.
    He is use to lush green plants and woods. Being brought up in South Ga 30 min. above the fl
    For him to learn and gain more expierence, i think he will do it.

    I appreciate you letting me know.

    I still do not think he could take my Grandkids 13 and 10 boys that far without some support system.
    We will see but I will let him know what you and your sis said.
    He can check out the paper also.