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Once more into the Abyss.. I mean, it's Friday! So some things have resolved, and others have come up this week that we have to take care of early next.

Itzl Alerting

As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries.  Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group!  Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!  
Ok,  we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.
Monday: BadKitties
Tuesday: bigjacbigjacbigjac
Wednesday: Caedy
Thursday: weck
Friday: FloridaSNMOM
Sunday: loggersbrat

First off, our oven is now working again! The maintenance guy was here, and it was a loose wire in the outlet box that was causing the problem. He said he's glad I thought to turn off the breaker, because the pop I heard when it started was the loose wire touching the ground and sparking. But not it's fixed, and we tested the stove... and it works fine!

FlSNDad's phone was having power problems, so a friend took him to the AT&T store. The phone is only a little over a month old (he's on his mom's plan and she upgrades him every couple of years), so it seemed odd that it wasn't charging all of a sudden. The lady at the store said the new charging system for these phones is horrible, they're having all kinds of problems with them. BUT the mini-usb of his old phone will work if you plug it in to the right portion of the slot on the phone. The new chargers have a wider plug, but they  break all the time that they don't connect right. So with the other charger it works, it charges more slowly, but it works. So we have more than one cell in the house again (his and Caedy's) which is a good thing.

They finally got around to finishing our food stamps/medicaid re-up. There's some odd things about what they decided on and I'm going to call about two of them on Monday. But the GOOD news is that I now qualify for Medicaid because we're not getting child support for Draco any longer. He's aged out, and the back pay is paid in full. That takes $300/month out of our budget.
What I'm questioning is... they only raised the food stamps amount by $3. AND for some reason Bit (the 11 year old) is listed as ineligible for Medicaid in March and April (but ok May onward). I'm hoping that last one is an error somewhere because that's just stupid. There's no way that she doesn't qualify for medicaid.

Now as the to the $3 raise in food stamps...

We lost out of our income the $300/month in child support AND the dept. of Ed is taking $189 towards FLDad's student loans out of his Social Security every month, starting last month.  So we've lost $489/month out of our budget.

Now, in the last year Caedy has recieved raises that equal .17/hour. that's $6.80/week if she ever gets 40 hours (which she doesn't) for a max of a $353.6 per year increase in pay.

So this means, that per year our budget is actually short $5136.4 in income total, figuring in her raise.

Our gross income for the year, as a household (which is how SNAP and medicaid figure it) is $26,819.04. Our net is closer to $22,278 if Caedy continues to get decent hours (33-38 per week).

Last year we received 157 in food stamps through October, then it went down to 149 and then 142 because of "changes in income" (i.e. those tiny raises Martha received) and "changes in poverty level standards"; plus the Congress/Senate messing around with SNAP cuts of course.

Now poverty guidelines for 2013 for a family of five were
$27,570 per year  ($2297.5 per month).

The new guidelines for 2014 are
$27,910 per year ($2325.83 per month)

Either way we're below poverty level.

Our expenses for utilities and rent are about the same, they've gone up slightly, but not overwhelmingly so. Of course right now we're in winter months so our electric is lower than it will be over the summer when we're running the AC. Caedy's medical expenses went down by 3/4, but.. those came out of her paycheck, and the SNAP office goes by Gross not net anyway, so that doesn't make that much difference (and it's $99).

But it seems to me that the "changes in poverty level" they cited for lowering our food stamps should have done the opposite. Also it seems to me that a $489/month reduction in income should have equated to more than a $3 raise in SNAP.

I mean I'm very very glad I will have medicaid now, that's a huge boon I wasn't counting on and means I'll be able to get some issues looked into and maybe have paperwork enough to qualify for disability (or at least make it a lot easier). But that still doesn't help with paying the bills or with food, because I was going without medical care more than I was using that extra money to pay for it (and I was looking at giving up the little bit I was using without the extra income... I've put off blood work and an appointment for 3 months now).


Poverty guidelines for 2013

Poverty Guidelines for 2014

So, what's new for you all this week? What are your plans for the weekend?

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