Survival vs Living …

When does life become a game of survival? When does a person need to make a choice between the two? Does it become a conscious choice? Is it a conscious choice?

There are certain things that every person needs to have in life. Food, shelter, clothes on their backs and a safe place to sleep. There are others that are toys. The nicest house, the nicest car, the best food, the most money … these are toys. When does a person’s basic needs caused them to get judged by others because they don’t have the toys that others do?

Why is that the money is held by a few and they are the standard that people are judged by. When people are on State aid, everything is figured by gross income. Now in one sense that is a good way to figure things but at the same time it doesn’t work real well. When those standards are too low then people who need, help can’t get it. This is when living becomes a trick in survival.

If you think of it in this sense it seems an abstract theory but let’s put some human factors in and see if the position doesn’t change a bit.

A two-bedroom apartment just outside the city of Seattle runs about $1,500 per month. Then add in the water bill, electric bill, and you are almost up to $1,700. (The amounts are from where I live and rounded not exact). Then there are those who need to have a phone, everyone feels that they need the internet to be able to get basic communication done so we are looking at about another $100.00 there. Now how much would a person have to make each month to just survive – not talking about transportation or anything else. You would need at least $2,500 to $3,000 gross each month just to pay the bills.

So, we have our basic needs of a roof over our head taken care of, lets add in the taxes that we get taken out of paychecks each pay cycle. That will take about 10% off just for the Federal and State. If you take out your medical (around $100 per pay cycle) then you are starting to run low on cash.

Now if you want to eat semi to healthy food, you may think that you can get food assistance … wrong. If you make more than $1,750.00 you make too much and don’t qualify for food aid. What about transportation? You can save some funds by taking the bus and some employers will help pay for a bus pass. But you still need to get food to eat.

Some people would say get a cheaper apartment. Well that is about as low as they get for the area that I live in. You can try to get on Section 8 but that is 3 to 5 years of a wait.

This is when you’re no longer living but in survival mode. You start making sacrifices to be able to eat. Go to a less expensive store, (The Dollar Tree has food), skimp on the electric bill, pay the water bill late, find ways to make it.

If you are disabled and need cash help from the state, you have to get less than $250.00 in cash a month to get $250.00 in cash assistance. That doesn’t pay an of the bills that you need to.

While State and Federal Aid is a good thing, they need to change the standards that they have set for people to make it.

So, what can you do? Write to your congress person, call them, send them an email, show up and ask them to make changes for those who can’t work due to disabilities. Contact Social Security, tell them that people are suffering because they are making life too hard on them and these are people who need assistance. Help your neighbor out.

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