Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …


16 August 2013






I need to rant.

By most standards, I am living slightly below poverty level, I have no savings, no possessions of any value, such as a vehicle, or property or a motorcycle or jet ski or …

However, I do own a computer, and a TV, even though I do not have cable for it.

I do have a cat, and yes, even though I do not have a home phone at all, I do have a cell phone. I have been off work since April on a medical disability, losing your sight

tends to qualify as a disability you would think. It took 12 weeks to begin receiving my

short term disability, my only source of income at this time, $48 a week. Denied Unemployment for medical reasons, and after four months, I have still heard absolutely nothing about my application for Social Security Disability — don’t call us, we’ll call you

is what I have been told by them. So, I applied for Public Assistance benefits. Was approved, paid $128 and then told six days later I was not eligible for assistance and had to pay the money back they had given me because according to their ingenious formula, I made too much money on what I am receiving from NYS Short Term Disability (again, $208 a month). I live in a one bedroom apartment, public housing, which is on the second floor, and which will not make even reasonable accommodations for me regarding my loss of vision, such as adding support bars in the bathroom shower, so my doctor has ordered that I require an apartment that is handicapped accessible with a walk-in shower. In another apartment complex, for the elderly and the disabled, an apartment is available, owned and managed by the same company that owns the complex I currently live in. So, I decided to move. Currently, all utilities are included in my rent which is subsidiized and based on 30% of my gross income. The new apartment is under a similar subsidy except each tenant is responsible for their own electric. Heat is included and is not electric heat. I discuss reapplying for Public Assistance but I am told that, according to their formulas, they only figure shelter expense, my rent amount, and heat, which is included, as essential components and expenses. Electric is not an acceptable expense. I kid you not! So, I find out my rent is actually going to be lowered, to allow for a Federal plan that offers a reduction in rent for those who must pay their own electric in this new apartment, which means that my shelter expense is actually lower than my gross 30% based on what I am being paid from Short Term Disability, which only runs for a total of 26 weeks anyway, and I am more than halfway through my eligibility for that already, so therefore, according to the Department of Social Services, I am no longer eligible for any assistance from them as long as I am receiving Short Term Disability. At the end of the 26 weeks, I am welcome to reapply, remembering there is a mandatory 45 day waiting period following any application for Public Assistance, besides the required paperwork and interviews in person which have to be scheduled, but perhaps, maybe, at some point in the future, after the waiting period, I might get approved for cash assistance, which, according to their formulas, means I would still only be eligible for a maximum of $245 a month of income, whether from them or anyione else. Now, I am also being told that because I have certain luxuries, a computer, a cell phone, a cat, a TV, I am not really needy enough to qualify for assistance because I could sell everything I own, such as those unnecessary things, I mean no one needs a computer or the internet or a cell phone or even a pet, right? So, in order to more properly seem needy in their eyes I am supposed to get rid of anything and everything of value, including my pet because it costs money to feed her and buy cat litter, including the computer, cancel the Internet, cancel the cell phone, and just blindly, excuse the pun, sit in my apartment and do nothing at all, day in and day out. And live on no more than the amount I am currently getting from my Disability, $208 a month and somehow survive, even though my expenses and debts that have continued to run amok for the last several months without any income have inexplicably been turned over for collection for some reason, even though I have already sold nearly everything I possess just to get by during these last five months, even though I have less than $150 left to my name to live on — and this is America? Oh, and don’t forget, if I had some kind of a drug problem, or I was an alcoholic, or if I was shacked up with some woman with four or five kids from different fathers, all of whom are not supporting them or her, well, then, according to Social Services, I WOULD BE eligible for more assistance?? That should be in direct quotes because that is exactly what the County Supervisor told me! But, because I have worked all of my life, since I was 16, I do not do drugs or drink, I live alone, except for the before mentioned pet cat which is an unnecessary luxury remember, I am NOT eligible for assistance. To be fair, I do spend some money unnecessarily, by eating out sometimes, but that is my ONLY extravagance, the only thing I actually do spend money on. I do not have a video game system, I do not buy clothes, go to the movies, in fact, other than eating out (and I am talking Mcdonald’s, Burger King, or maybe if I really splurge Pizza Hut or Subway) I do not spend my money on buying anything. My only joys in life right now are writing poetry, posting on my blog, reading what others write when I can see it, and listening to either music, on the computer which I should not have, or through my TV which I also should not have, especially since it is equipped with WiFi, and I have begun listening to books on CD since I can no longer see to watch movies or read real books, or even ebooks. That is all I do. I know this is sounding like a pity me monologue, but I had few friends outside of work and now that I am legally blind, both family, and friends, with one exception (she knows who she is) don’t call or visit or include me in anything since losing my vision. I understand, to a point. No one knows how to deal with it any better than I do and it is simply easier to stay away and exclude me socially. Anyway, long story short, I will be forced to drop my unnecessary expenses in favor of the necessary, no phone, no internet in home (I plan on going to the library where the internet is free and hopefully continuing to write and post to my blog but it will be slightly less regular than I have been about posting.) I may have to stop following the blogs I follow, since I will not be able to keep up with reading and the email notifications as consistently. I thought about just closing my blog altogether, but essentially, its original purpose is still a need — namely keeping what I write safe online after a catastrophic hard drive failure a few years ago where I lost almost two years of what I had written, poems, song lyrics, and my personal journal. It has only been a public offering so to speak as other poets discovered me and offered encouragement and faithful readership. I do not care about the stats and the number of views or Followers my blog has, but I have always cared about the people, about encouraging the talents and gifts in others as much as appreciating their participation with my own poetry. So, thank you all for making me feeol welcome in this online WordPress community in so many ways. I still have that naive faith that somehow, someway, it will all work out in the end, but I also needed to get all of this inside-of-me stuff out somehow, so I apologize for the rant. As always, my encouragement to you is simple: write, read, and write some more …

16 August, 2013 - Posted by | Vomit Theory |

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: