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Food Stamp & Social Security Info for anyone who is interested
#1
NOTE: For those of you who think people like me are "gaming the system," live a year in my body and you'll know I'm not. I have lupus, and am in pain most of the time and have brain fog so badly some days I cannot even concentrate enough to do anything but watch videos on t.v., not even read. For anyone in my situation, this is valuable information.

I found out today that being technically "homeless" does not keep you from getting food stamps. Plus, you can use them in ways other people can't, such as to buy meals at homeless shelters or soup kitchens. You can also use them to buy veggie/herb seeds and edible plants, so if you're staying in one place for awhile, and want to grow some herbs or veggies, you can buy them with that. Some places don't recognize this, so I get all my stuff at WalMart. I just got an eggplant plant that will more than pay for itself in a very short time.

Here's some info on that.

From what I was told, they will count your phone bill and your propane as utilities, if you use your propane only to heat, cool or cook. I'm checking into solar expenses to see if maybe batteries and solar panels can be deducted also, since it's used to generate electricity, but nobody knows yet. Campground fees count as rent, as far as the person I talked to knows, but again, not sure about that or paying for showers. If you work online, you can put in your wifi as a utility expense, and they will count part of it as a business expense.

The government is still playing catchup with vehicle dwellers. They still tend to think of RVers as rich people who just want to travel around, but they are having to change their mindset on that. The main consideration for them right now is income, so if you're a rich RVers who has a big bank account and a nice retirement income, they should be able to tell you from someone like me who gets less than $700 a month in SS.

Speaking of SS, I checked into SSI, and I can qualify for that too, but it's a little more difficult to get into. You can have one vehicle of any value, so your van doesn't count as an resource. If you buy land to park your van on, that doesn't count either, because you are allowed to have a home w/land and a vehicle.

Here is a Handy SSI Calculator for Earned and Unearned Income.

I'm collecting widow's benefits right now, but next year, when I hit full retirement age, I can switch it over to my account and get about $50 more a month, plus the $82 from SSI, plus full Medicare and Medicaid benefits with subsidized Medicare and Drug premium payments. I can also earn $85 a month while getting this, because they do not count the first $20 of unearned income, or the first $65 of earned income.

So with my SS, food stamps & SSI, I would have about $900 to live on. If I forego SSI, I can earn up to $1410 (probably a bit more by next year) a month with no penalty from SS. Honestly, that's probably what I'm going to do, because I can't see myself just sitting around doing nothing 24/7. Plus, that extra money would go a long ways towards saving up for the time when I have to leave van living and go back into brick and mortar housing.

Anyway, I hope some of you can get some good out of this.
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The following 5 users say Thank You to AmieW for this post:
bethiebugs (12-27-2017), NomadicMario (12-24-2017), JustACarSoFar (12-12-2017), Wabbit (05-25-2017), Murphie (05-22-2017)
#2
To be eligible you need to have less then $2000 in your bank account. What if you have way mores then that. My emergency fund is over the $2000 limit.
GuitarVanMan
Have guitar will travel.
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#3
It's always nice to learn something new that might benefit myself or someone I know.  It sounds like you are putting a plan in place that will help you become nomadic and also looking to the future when you may no longer be able to maintain that lifestyle and need to return to a sticks & brick dwelling.

This is my experience with both Workman's Compensation and The Social Security Administration.

  I spent over 2 yrs fighting an employers Ins  Co.  The biggest help in my case was the TX Work. Comp. Board.  Every time the Ins. Co. stopped my checks for various reasons, I called the Tx W.C. and they told me the exact counter move I needed to make to re start my checks.  I also had medical coverage and surgery over a 28mo period + $1,300 monthly during that 28mo

Then I spent 2 yrs convincing SSA that I was disabled and more than met the criteria of being unable to work and support myself for 12mo due to illness or injury.  Over 4yrs after the last day I was able to work I was awarded SSD.

I've recently spent 4yrs...2 separate disability claims....2 federal judges.....in 2 different states  to assist a family member in a SSD claim in  which they were were awarded SSD and 3yrs back pay.

I learned to document every phone conversation...when the call was made....the subject....who I spoke with and a ID # for them.  I  also noted what  the conversation was about.

Also to always ask for the information in black and white.  My standard response to "I'm not sure or I don't know" is  "May I please speak to someone who does?"  While assisting a friend in the Dothan AL SSA office we were given information and was told " no I can't give you that in print".

I document most phone calls that have anything to do with billing or services.  It's amazing what can be "lost " in various systems and how quickly things are set to rights when I start quoting the prior conversations with all the info I've gathered.

I'm not saying my way is better than anyone else's.... this is just what works for me and mine...so far.

Jewellann
 It's too bad that closed minds often are not equipped with closed mouths
               That's All I Have To Say About That.........Forrest Gump 
                           I'm Not Here Dodgy  You Didn't See Me     
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The following 3 users say Thank You to Txjaybird for this post:
NomadicMario (12-24-2017), geogentry (12-11-2017), slynne (05-23-2017)
#4
Thanks for the info I need to get to the SS office after the not rtr thing cause I no longer have an address and I read on the web site that if they sent you a letter and you don't reply they can stop your benefits right there. It would have to be a review letter or something along those lines I would think but I have a review coming up.
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#5
There is an option to have your notices emailed to you. I get notices from them all the time, so I know it works. They can do most things digitally now, but if not, you can go into any SS office anywhere you are.

Have you thought of using a mail service, or is that out of your budget?
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#6
Jewellann, it usually takes from 2 to 4 years to get a disability claim through. I applied for my widow's benefits and disability at the same time, because disability would give me more money + medicaid.  They pulled a really dirty trick on me. I had to get my senator involved. They wrote and told me that they were going to hold my widow's benefit payments until my disability claim went through, which would have left me with no money at all. My senator contacted them and they had it backwards. Since my widow's benefits were LESS then I would have gotten from disability, they weren't supposed to do that. They were supposed to only do it if it was the other way around. Anyway, after so much rigamarole, and them demanding so many medical examinations (I had no insurance, no medicare, no medicaid), I finally gave up and decided not to go after the disability. I was only going after it for the Medicaid anyway, but I figured I could hold out a few more years for my Medicare, and I'm glad I did. It forced me to take better care of myself, so all but for my lupus, I'm a lot healtheir now.
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#7
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(05-22-2017, 03:03 PM)Tomcor Wrote: To be eligible you need to have less then $2000 in your bank account. What if you have way mores then that. My emergency fund is over the $2000 limit
PMing you.
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#8
Food stamp program is administered by the states. The rules are state specific.
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The following 1 user says Thank You to Weight for this post:
frater secessus (05-23-2017)
#9
(05-22-2017, 03:03 PM)Tomcor Wrote: To be eligible you need to have less then $2000 in your bank account. What if you have way mores then that. My emergency fund is over the $2000 limit.

Most states have waived assets tests for snap/food stamp eligibility.  So, eligibility is based solely on income and one can still qualify with any amount of assets.
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#10
(05-22-2017, 03:03 PM)Tomcor Wrote: To be eligible you need to have less then $2000 in your bank account. What if you have way mores then that. My emergency fund is over the $2000 limit.

What if you have money set aside for like your funeral?  Leave it in care of a trusted son?
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