We're on welfare. We receive a link card for groceries from stores, a medical card for our insurance, and payments to our natural gas and electric company for our fossil fuel use. I am grateful for the assistance we receive, because it takes a lot of worry off my shoulders (while trying to seek independence, believe me, I see the irony).
We will be a week late getting August's food assistance funds, if we're lucky. Our state's end of the paperwork is running "at least" 30 days behind. Even though my paperwork was sent in before the deadline, we have to wait until we can be processed. I am glad we are into diy food. I know a lot of people just scrape by at the end of the month (it's scrounging time here). We still have a lot of beans in the pantry, a half gallon of maple syrup, food ripening in the garden, plus we have no shame in eating weeds. Although my daughter won't eat "real" food, we have enough money to afford a week of food for her from our limited cash.
Medical care is... ridiculous. We get free medical care from the medical card, but hardly anyone accepts the card. Sick as can be? It's a two-week wait for an appointment at the clinic. The ER has to accept you, though. Good thing we're rarely sick.
I called the clinic today to make dentist appointments for us all, but they only take appointments on Fridays. In fact, they don't take phone appointments, but only make appointments in person on Fridays. The receptionist told me they get about 200 phone calls per hour on Fridays, and they're too busy taking appointments for people who are in the office to answer the phone. I guess I will go back to not worrying too much about my professional dental care. I think there may be a need for dentists for low-income people--maybe we can convince Fidel's little brother to send some Cuban dentists to America.
This is just one of those frustrating and annoying things that start me complaining. Yes, I know, I can always just quit applying for welfare and my troubles will be over. Believe me, I'm counting on it, especially as the relying on the state becomes less and less a certainty. Sometimes I think welfare is about the only reason poor people en masse put up with this way of life, living in civilization, with its reinforcing feedback loops of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Community, self-reliance, yeah, those sound much nicer than asshole bureaucracy at the brink of collapse.