My week as a welfare queen
I have an old friend who resides in another state whom I haven't visited in many years, basically since high school. We caught up on social media a few years ago and have since corresponded much about our lives. From these conversations I did realize she doesn't work (I thought due to medical reasons) and I knew she was on some government assistance, but oh little did I know. She eventually invited me for a week visit to her home and for the first time ever, I was truly enlightened to the life and times of a real life welfare queen.
Upon my arrival I pulled up to a fairly large apartment complex, complete with an inground swimming pool, playground and other amenities. My first impression was not the ritz but not too shabby either. Her apartment was a 2 level duplex which consisted of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a private courtyard on the ground level. It was pretty nice inside, updated appliances, new carpeting and very spacious. Being there are 4 able bodied adults in the house, it didn't immediately don on me that I was standing in a government subsidized apartment.
Tired and hungry from my long trip the first night my hosts decided we go out for pizza. Great! I love pizza. We went to a local pizza shop that's set up in a receiving line, like Subway, where you tell the employees what toppings to put on your pizza. The options were endless and one could really build a whopping delicious pizza. The price? $ 17.99 per pizza. Whoa that's a little expensive for my taste but my hosts assured me they have it all covered so pizza it is. We gathered up 4 delicious topping filled pizzas and some bottled soda and I gulped hard when I saw the total, nearly $80. I stood there in total shock when my host paid the entire tab with her FOOD STAMP card. My mind began to race, questioning if this woman just spent her monthly allotment of food on one meal, while at the same time in disbelief one can even purchase such things on a food stamp card. I felt guilty, confused.
A few hours later we were back at the house sitting around playing cards and I could take my curiosity no more and brought up my concerns. I was greeted with laughter and assurance that there's no way they can run out of food stamps. In fact, they shared with me that between all of them they receive well over $1200 a month in food stamps, far more than they need. They confided in me how they 'play the system' to aquire such a large allotment, which I'll explain a little later so keep reading.
Day 2 of my trip it was chilly in the morning. I mentioned I was cold due to not bringing a jacket for the chilly weather as I'm from the south and didn't think how cold it would be up north while packing and that I would like to go to Walmart to pick up a sweatshirt. They looked a little confused that I considered paying for a sweatshirt and had a better plan, instantly they said 'we'll take you shopping come on!'. We got into the car and they stopped at this large brick building. Two of them went inside (on some kind of errand I assumed) and came out less than 10 minutes later and we continued on our way to the 'store'. We pulled up to a thrift store. Great! I love thrift stores! It was then they showed me the vouchers they had just picked up at the previous stop. Each voucher was for 50 items in the thrift store. Anything. Any items. Can be clothes, housewares, toys, you name it. Being 2 of them got a voucher that's 100 items. In case you were wondering, it takes 4 people 2 hours and 45 minutes to fill 5 shopping carts full to the brim of 100 items. In the haul I ended up with a few articles of clothes, a nice jacket and some yummy smelling candles. My hosts used the rest on mostly high ticket items they can flip on online yard sale sites. As we drove home packed in an suv piled floor to ceiling in 'stuff' I was told they do this 'all the time'. This is where they obtain items for gift giving, selling, whatever.
Day 3 of my trip started out with a lot of excitement in the air. I had no clue why, but everyone was buzzing around, making plans and seemed overly joyous. It was later in the morning I would learn the reason behind the elation. It was pain pill day. They all had a prescription for pain medicine (hydrocodone?) and each of them sells their meds for $5 a pill. This amounts to $450 a bottle. (That's $1800 a month total if you need help in math). The day was filled with buying, selling, pickups, drop offs and other related tasks associated with being a dope dealer. What a marvelous business venture to sell pills at a total profit when the inventory cost is on the taxpayers.
During our travels we stopped many times at the local convenience store to grab a 32oz ice cold soda from their fountain. The store is located next to the apartment complex and we'd go several times a day. Everyone in the house is hooked on soda so at 5 sodas each time, 3x a day, we averaged about 15 fountain soda's a day from that particular store. All paid for with FOOD STAMPS. Yes, you can buy fountains sodas with the EBT card.
When the gas tank in the car was empty that proved to be a no problem situation also. My friend opened her wallet and simply whipped out a gas card. They each receive a $50 gas card per month from a local organization, so that's $200 a month in free gas.
As I type this I need to take a momentary break from the story (I'm beginning to puke). It's here I'll insert the dynamics of this specific household I was unfortunate enough to spend some time with.
Household composition: 4 able bodied adults and one 'child' aged 19
Over the table Income: 2 social security checks totaling 1400/mo
Rent: 289 including utilities (no set heat or ac/limits)
Healthcare: All members of household on full Medicaid
All at least 3rd generation welfare, none has ever worked, or looked for work.
As my story continues and the week went on, I was introduced to other family members and friends who also live off the system. My anger had turned to intrigue by midweek so I began to delve headfirst into educating myself of the inner workings of such a system. One woman I met lived in a very nice well to do home with her husband, a nice looking fella with an impressionable education and lucrative job. They had 3 children and from the look of their brand named clothing, and high class appearance, one would never know they were secretly cheating the system. It's simple, she explained. As far as the welfare office is concerned they're separated and not together so she and the children get full welfare benefits coming into the household in addition to her husbands upper class paycheck. If she claims she's homeless she gets even more.
Further up I promised to divulge my newfound information on how to get an enormous amount of food stamps, if your still reading you must be wondering how you too, can be a welfare queen. It's such a simple trick, I am told. They explained to me that when you get certified for the food stamp program you're approved for a full year. So the month or 2 before certification make a bunch of DR appointments and run up a large sum of medical bills. These UNPAID medical bills count dollar for dollar on your food stamp certification. So, if when you apply for food stamps you have a bunch of UNPAID medical bills for the past 30 days, you will get the max amount of food stamps. Then once approved, just submit the bills to Medicaid. Whoolaaa max food stamps and a years worth of pizza and bliss.
In between all this chaos I found out they spend much time church hopping and organization hopping for even more goodies. Free furniture, Free cash, Free whatever.
At the end of the day, this household lives FREE and every bill from rent to utilities to auto gas and clothes are provided by the tax paying citizens of the good ole united states and organizations which receive grants from the taxpayers and they end up with thousands, literally thousands a month in discretionary cash.
The week's experience changed the way I view charity. It made me angry, less compassionate, and even a little jealous. But mostly, it made me sad. Sad that we are breeding generations of these people who have no idea how a life with pride, and morals, and hard work would benefit them.. This is the life they were taught by their parents and it's the life that is teaching their children. It makes me even sadder to think of the people I know personally here in my own life who are struggling, the elderly who have no food, the truly needy who receive piddly because the welfare system is so tapped out with users and abusers.
I've been forever changed by my week as a welfare queen
Found this on CL, only quoted the whole thing because they tend to delete things from that site pretty fast. Not sure if it's true or what. http://charlotte.cra...3456090796.html