Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Would You Accept Government Help if you Qualified?

I have mentioned before we do not make a lot of money. My husband is self employed and currently I am unemployed outside the home (I am a homemaker!)

Earlier in the year we received a letter telling us we qualified for free and reduced price lunch. I had mixed feelings on this, but we did not have to do anything to accept it so I accepted it. Most of the time my son was a packer. When he did buy lunch, the food seemed to give him very bad gas (it isn't the healthiest of fare, but I am all for everything in moderation).

Because we do not make a lot of money, it has come to our attention we qualify for a few government services, such as WIC, LIHEAP, and health care tax credit.

I was interested in the health care tax credit, but once again my husband and I have mixed feelings about insurance. We have a friend who traveled to another country and broke her leg, and at that country's hospital, each procedure was listed with the expense. We both think it makes a lot more sense to pay for services rendered.
Then we heard about the concept of Christian health care bill sharing programs. Essentially you pay a monthly gift that helps everyone pay their medical bills. At this point in time, this is the route we are taking for health care.

If you are interested, here are 3 links to Christian health care programs:

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Christian Medi-Share

Samaritan Ministries

We have also qualified for the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Food Program. I think this is a great program, helping provide breastfeeding support and nutritious foods for mothers and their babies. But, even though we qualify, I do not feel we should accept it unless we are really desperate for food. And we are not. We are incredibly blessed.

I do worry about the future- what if my husband income diminishes, etc. But it this a reason to accept help?

What would you do?


  1. I think I'd only accept the help I both qualified for an really needed at the time, but it's so much easier to say what one would do when you're not in that situation, isn't it?

    I must say that I worry for you with your stance on insurance. I do think insurance is a racket, but there isn't much choice with our current system. Paying for services rendered is fine as long as no one is seriously ill. I have recently lived through a family member's fight with cancer and even with insurance the costs were astronomical. Something like that can ruin people financially. If there is any choice in affording health insurance I would strongly suggest reconsidering it just for peace of mind alone. Plus, by the time you know you do need insurance, like if you get sick, it's often too late to add it (what with pre-existing condition, enrollment periods, etc.)

    1. Thank you for your input and your concern.
      The current bill sharing plan we are a part of has a plan for catastrophic events, which I pay into. I know all about major medical bills (you can read a little about my illness here:
      When I was sick my bills were over $500,000 USD. I won't get into it here, but all I can say is our system is broken and we need to do more to fix it.
      Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Leaving the insurance subject aside, I have a hard time accepting government assistance myself. Generally I refuse it unless it is absolutely needed by my family. My reason for this stems from my childhood memories where my mother refused to work and collected on everything she could. My siblings have followed suit and have no motivation to provide for themselves. When I was raising my children I too was eligible for many programs and refused all but the medical coverage (which I couldn't afford on my own and didn't have offered from my work). I did this because I didn't want my children to grow up with the mentality that it was okay to be lazy and collect benefits, I was trying to break the cycle I saw started with my mother and siblings.

    Today, I do accept what I need. I receive disability benefits and medical coverage but refuse food stamps, Liheap and others. Instead, I choose to keep my expenses low to need as little help as possible.

    1. Very interesting Lois. I admire your determination to break the cycle.
      I come from a different background, one who looks down on any help. I am not saying i agree, but it is what it is.
      I would accept healthcare benefits, but as you know living in the State of PA, we are in the healthcare gap and did not qualify for Medicaid or the Tax Credit this year.
      I also try to keep my expense as low as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. I did chose to have government help when I was studying. It took a lot of paperwork and effort TO qualify, and even more to maintain it. It was designed to supplement working, and studying, but the more you worked, the less you got from the govt, which seems logical, but can mean people avoid work, to optimise payments. It also means I naturally (as do others) grow out of it, but I did worry with one less income stream.

    I suppose I know that this type of assistance is paid by taxes - I paid taxes back when I 'took' this money, and I do now too. It made my life less of a struggle.

    I understand wholeheartedly why people would rather not take any freebies or benefits. It's the same reason I chose not to live at home as a student. I wanted to PROVE to me more than anyone that I could do it on my own, be an adult, and self support. (My welfare didn't happen until my third year of six years of studies I think).

    Health by listed expense is a good idea WHEN it's regulated, and there's the option for bargaining power from government, as I hear the NHS in the UK do very successfully. You only have to look at the different prices for the SAME medications or procedures country to country to see the radical discrepancies. I saw a GREAT YouTube clip on it, and if I find it I'll share with you.

    1. I would love to see the Youtube clip!

  4. Great post, Katie! We actually did go through a time--well, all of last year, really--where we would have been eligible for gov. help in the form of programs. I would have been open to at least applying for WIC; it's a great program and is one of the few lasting, proven ones. My husband, however, wasn't open to the gov's help so we opted to not sign up for anything--no unemployment, no programs, nothing. It was a little difficult for, but God provided amazingly for us. It was truly a lesson in "God alone is our provider, not the government or even a steady job." :) Thanks for this post!

    1. Evelyn.
      Thanks for stopping by! we recieved WIC when we had our first son- we were just starting out and it really helped. Unfortunately there is a stigma with it- I got dirty looks at the grocery store. I wanted to shout "yes my husband works but my son needs special formula and we can't afford it!'
      since I have developed my faith I try to do what you do and leave it to God- I have a hard time relinquishing control (even though i never had it to begin with!!)