Thursday, November 14, 2013
Poverty and iPhones
When I became disabled, the government did not automatically confiscate my house, my 401k, my nice clothes, my computer...
Nor (despite what some people think) did I run right down to apply for food stamps. At the point that I was criticized by someone I know only online about the good quality food I was buying, I was getting no govt money of any sort. My Unemployment had run out, I was too sick to spend a day at the welfare office applying for food stamps, had too many assets to qualify for other government programs.
The money I was spending on groceries came from my own savings account, money that I'd saved while working. So, even leaving aside the question of whether it's anyone else's business what type of food you buy with food stamps, it truly was no one else's business how I was spending my own hard-earned money.
It took me 11 years from the day I lost my job until the day I got approved for SSDI. Since they only need to pay you 10 years of back benefits, I got screwed out of a year of payments. And my SSDI is higher than the income limit for food stamps, so I can definitively say that if I haven't used them to this point in my life, I will never ever be able to qualify for them.
But it says something that my critics assumed (perhaps because it's what they themselves do) that every person who loses their job immediately runs down to apply for food stamps. I didn't need them; I had money in the bank, I was able to cash in my life insurance (unneeded now that I have no dependents) for several thousand dollars that had built up in that policy, I wasn't destitute yet.