Rent/Food = Net vs Gross

When a person must choose between food and rent or paying a bill that should be covered by the medical assistance that they have, what choice do they really have? Most people would choose feeding their family over paying the bill and hope that the insurance would kick in.

When they must go to the State for assistance, why is it that the decision on if they get help is made off their gross income and not the net income? I have seen it happen time and time again and now it is happening to me.

My main medical was through the VA Medical system. When I lost my job, they based on if I could afford my medication copayment off my gross income from the previous year. This is technical issue number 1. Now, I had just lost my job at the time and they want to use the previous year’s gross income to see if I can pay for my medications.

I went to the State of Washington to get assistance and informed them of what was going on. I could get limited food assistance but to get cash once again I was told that I made too much gross income on my unemployment and my disability check counted as ‘unearned income‘. (WTF?!?!) My disability is a service connected disability from when I was in the US Army. This is technical issue number 2.

I found that my disabilities were preventing me from getting a job but I looked and applied more than what was needed.

During this time, my husband couldn’t be on SSI due to the gross unearned income. Now let’s look at this for a second. He gets his SSI taken away because my jobs gross income is too much. He also loses his health insurance again due to my gross income. We keep getting told that if I lost my job he could get it reactivated, then it was when my unemployment ran out, he could reapply due to it had been over a year.

So, the decision was made for me to try to get on SSDI and my husband to get his SSI back when I ran out of unemployment. So, we go through the process and I get told I am not disabled enough to get SSDI and that I would have to file an appeal. So, I did. Got denied a second time, appeal again.

My husband who had been told time and time again that his history and the fact that he had been on SSI for as long as he had and the conditions that he has are as disabling as they are that it would be taken into consideration. Not! This is problem number 3 and the entire time bills are piling up.

Contacted the State of Washington and found out that to get any cash to pay bills, my VA check would have to be under $248.00. When I told them the amount I was told it was too much and that we didn’t qualify. So, a family of two that are both disabled get punished for the simple fact that the system has not updated itself from who knows when.

The fact that they and every other help program uses the gross income of the person instead of the net to figure out how much help the person needs to get is sick. The more that a person is in need the more they get told that their gross income is the problem.

What is wrong with the United States when people who are disabled get treated this way? Is it too hard for people to see us as normal people and not as people who are trying to scam the system? Do they think that we enjoy feeling and having to go through this?

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595 thoughts on “Rent/Food = Net vs Gross

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