We've finally crossed that line from almost poverty to just plain poverty. Vic was fired from his job. His former employer had asked him to drive out of state, get 4 hours of sleep, work 24 hours, then immediately drive 5 hours home. Vic told them he just couldn't work and be awake that long on so little sleep, so they fired him. Apparently a 24-hour shift is legal in Iowa, but I'm not sure what they'll decide about the drive home afterward. As of right now it looks like he won't qualify for unemployment.
I've been on the phone for the last couple of days trying to get ahold of the social worker I'm supposed to report to. I just have one little tiny question. Since my kids already get medical assistance, do I need to fill out a whole new application for medical, food, and financial assistance for us, or can they just make an adjustment to my current file? Nobody knows, and apparently the social worker doesn't really exist since she never answers her phone or returns her calls.
I don't want to be on welfare. I never wanted to get food stamps. I just don't see any other way to survive at this point. Vic is still looking for work, but there's a problem with working. He needs to make at least $16/hr to support us and pay our bills. If he gets any job at all, even for minimum wage, we will lose any assistance we qualify for, except maybe food stamps which didn't help much anyway.
So here's the tentative plan: We go on welfare for 2-3 months. In that time, we qualify for medical assistance and can get all our dental issues taken care of. Vic will apply for financial assistance to get a welding certification at the community college. When he gets that certification, he can get a job making $18 or more, and we will no longer need welfare. I hope it works. And I hope I can keep my car, my internet, and my dignity through all this.