Friday, May 27, 2011

Busting SNAP Myths

Erin and I tagged along with the Mt. Carmel Hospital Mobile Team and made a trip to the West Side of Columbus to help people get their health checked out and, of course, apply for benefits. A caseworker at Mt. Carmel introduced me to Andrea Stewart. Andrea was on Social Security and was getting ready to receive health insurance for the first time. But even with SSI money, she was forced to live in a tent.


To Ms. Stewart's credit, she was one of the happiest clients I had ever encountered. Her living circumstances were depressing and unacceptable, but she had a smile plastered across her face at all times.

So: Homeless. Only a few hundred dollars in Social Security. Obviously eligible for SNAP Benefits. Obviously!

The Benefit Bank estimated that she should be receiving $17 a month in SNAP Benefits. That's one dollar above the minimum. And she lives in a tent.

Just something to keep in mind if someone talks about food stamps being easy money.

Andrea was also looking at having over one hundred dollars a month taken out of her Social Security to cover her Medicare premiums. Well that would not stand. We filled out a Medicare Premium Assistance application to help maintain her modest income.

Working with Andrea Stewart to get a little bit of help in food and a lot of help in health care was an absolute pleasure. I mean look at that smile:

i am taller than her

The rest of the event went incredibly well. Thirteen applications and a renewed feeling of partnership with the West Side's premier hospital. Good times all around.

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