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officially screwed
thursday, july 21, 2011

finally got that call from social security. not only does it not look like we can fight the overpayment, but it actually might get worse. apparently they think my son can live on only $560/month now that he's an adult. since his father pays $475 in continuing child support, they only need to pay him $85/month...minus the $67/month we're going to have to pay for the next 5-7 years. at least that's the gist of what i got. she never gave me exact numbers since she has to finish sorting out the paperwork. the reconsideration form might give us another month before the $67 kicks in, we might luck out and get the $240 he got at the beginning of this month for next month, but eventually another $150 is being cut out of his ssi and our overall income.

this is worse than when i was on afdc in cali. at least then it wasn't a dollar per dollar loss (close, but not quite) and they had something of an idea of what a person needed to live on. it wasn't a realistic idea, but it was better than this. if my son moved out, he'd be on the street in a heartbeat with this kind of income. and this is with no other resources, no food stamps, no afdc, nothing but his child support.

it also means we've gone to being short about $300 from what we need every month to about $500 short. there's just no way for me to make that up. we had some ideas on ways to close the gap before this, but it was mostly dealing with cutting back food costs, and there's only so far we can go with that. i'll have to find a way to get people to cut back on water usage, which will be a real trick. even the case worker was astonished at how much we pay for water. i want to cut back on a/c, but the temps are in the 90s and humidity is high.

i really wish they'd waited another few months before doing this. yea, we'd have more to pay off, but we'd not be worried about keeping a roof over our head for the next 5 months.

on top of all that, saxy's job is cutting back his hours. by a lot. by more than he needs cut to meet his school needs—they've cut his hours on weekends by nearly half. he needs to call and find out when we can dump his health insurance (which we can't use), assuming it's possible to do so while keeping the dental and optical (one which i'll need come tax time to fix that last, now filling-less tooth; the other which i just need).

i honestly have no idea how we're going to get past this. the landlord is giving us a $50 break while we wait for the water/carpet thing to be resolved (and that's going to be awhile since saxy is too busy to do what the landlord wants him to do before the water issue can be addressed). like i said, we're looking at ways to cut our food costs (guess i'll be attempting some couponing?). but these two things are unlikely to reduce the gap between income and needs by much.

this also puts saxy's last term in school at risk since we need to be paying $100/month to keep him from having a hold against going to class.

we'll do what we always do and take a day or a week at a time, but seriously, unless the girls kick in more (which neither are all that inclined to do despite any adverse events impacting them as well as us), i just don't see how we're going to manage this. eventually something will end up disconnected. i'll put it off as long as i can. but eventually something will come up that i won't be able to push or cover or whatever.

like the title says, we are so screwed.

~*~

word of the moment: mummer

an actor in a traditional type of play without words; an actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression; a performer in a pantomime; broadly; one who goes merrymaking in disguise during festivals


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