Rude comments people make about those on public assistance

I am appalled at some of the vitriol I encounter and the ridiculous overgeneralizations about people on public assistance. Not necessarily here, though sometimes it gets a bit harsh. I’m talking more about comments on news articles - and even though I realize that those who make the really hideous comments are speaking out of their ignorance and small-mindedness, I’m only human, and sometimes it really makes me feel hurt and angry. :frowning: :mad:

I’m on Social Security Disability and have a small amount of food stamps. And I have in the past collected unemployment and larger amounts of food stamps. I also worked, when I was able to find something where I could function with my anxiety and other psychiatric issues. There were a few times too, in the sake of full disclosure, when I was discouraged and fearful and did not pursue employment as aggressively as I probably should have.

I did not make the decision to apply for disability lightly; in fact, I resisted it during times when I probably should have gone ahead with it years ago. Would you like to know why? Because back then, I felt that it would be a defeat, and I wanted to try to find some way to return to “normalcy” and not get trapped in poverty. I still hope this may be possible in the future, but I’d come to the end of the road at the time I did apply 3-1/2 years ago.

There are people who commit terrible abuses of the system, I am fully aware of that. And I’ve thought judgmental things and even spoken them myself. Like why the clients of the social services at the state office building sit outside smoking cigarettes. Or why they have large, obviously costly tattoos. Or why they can’t give chastity a chance rather than having to have sex and the women getting pregnant or the men fathering a string of children by different women yada yada yada. (And imagine the stink-eye I get when, as a Catholic, I voice my view that I still don’t believe they should be forcibly sterilized or put on contraceptives :eek: that even if a baby is conceived out of wedlock, we should take care of the baby and not resent him or her, and keep praying for the parents to get their lives together.)

So I’m no saint - any halo I might have is in need of a good rim-straightening and plenty of polish before it’ll shine. I’ll say that I’m working on not being judgmental. Even if it means turning a blind eye, or thinking, well, maybe they got that tattoo when they had more money, and it’s hard to quit smoking.

It hurt (this was before the disability came through) that when I had no income I was turned down for cash assistance because I didn’t have some out-of-wedlock kids - I was an ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents) which I guess in the minds of those who make the rules = shiftless dope addict bum.

It hurts that my staunch-German-work-ethic family thinks less of me than it does of my cousins who are fornicating and cohabitating - but they have jobs, so they’re great people! My aunt/godmother gives me the litany when I call of who’s working where and how early they get up to get there or whatever. I just say “That’s nice” or “Mmmm-hmmm. . .” because I know what she’s driving at.

Finally, as I already stated above, I may have my faults, plenty of them, but I am extremely grateful for what I am receiving; it may have saved me from a despair that might’ve led to thoughts of suicide (there were those temptations during the darkest times and I had to pray to St. Michael or reaffirm my Baptismal Promises to get them to go away - and I’d usually end up having a good cry :bighanky: and then be able to keep going).

I try to “pay it forward” in intangible ways - helping friends, being a listening ear, giving advice on CAF :slight_smile: and hoping I can help someone that way. I don’t take it for granted. I’m trying to put my life back together. Thank you for reading this.

Finally, I understand that there might be better ways to organize the system - and maybe someday it will get the changes it needs. I understand taxpayer resentment, up to a point. President George W. Bush was trying to encourage “faith-based initiatives” at one time but that has kind of fallen by the wayside. Our local Catholic Charities is so overwhelmed it can’t do much for anybody. I don’t know what the solution is going to be. :shrug:

Simple case of the 70% making the 30% look bad.

the idea that most of the people choose to be on a government relief program instead of having a decent job, education, etc, is a convenient bit of ridiculousness.
Sure makes me feel superior, though! :wink:

We get food stamps (EBT) and my VA health benefits are free because we fall below the poverty level. Not for want of trying, but I have health problems & my husband is 78. Because of his upbringing, he’s really ashamed of needing food stamps. :frowning:

It does’t bother me, but I sure wish is was more than $36 for the 3 of us! I’m not ungrateful tho, an extra $36 per month is way better than nothing.

I know of two people on disability. Of those two, one of them is doing it strictly because she doesn’t want to have to work.

To the OP; people who are legitimately in need of assistance are one thing, but there is a whole other class of people who are on assistance simply because they do not want to work; it is to those people that this anger is directed.


And rightly so. The problem is, the anger is often expressed, (even if not directed), to those who legitimately need the assistance. I certainly wouldn’t want them to lose their benefits because someone else is misusing them (and I don’t think anyone else wants that, either).

Agreed. Some people are in dire need of assistance and I wish them the best. But others use the safety net as a hammock.

I’ve gotten help in the past, while I got my act together. I do think that there are a lot of abuses of the system. People can get on disability for drug addiction. I was talking with one of the medical students doing rotations through our hospital, he is from Canada. He was shocked at how many people, and how easy it is to get on disability here in the US. He said that in Canada, the requirements are much stricter.

I know some people need assistance and I advocate for responsible social services. We are all just a decision or two away or a circumstance away from being impoverished if we aren’t already.

I work in a poor community where everyone in front of us at the register pays with food stamps and then pays cash for the cigarettes, candy, beer, and expensive liquor. The housing projects all have satellite TV (paid for by the impoverished residents).

Then the icing on the cake was my ex wife when we separated… I paid all of her rent, cell phone, car everything. I then gave her cash for food, gas etc…She went down and applied for welfare LYING that her only income was the cash portion I gave her. SHE GOT APPROVED. No questions asked. No proof required. They gave her over 600 dollars a month in food stamps. She lived in a 2000 square foot house in a nice suburban neighborhood with a new mini van and iPhone and every bill paid for.

The system is disgustingly broken. We could help the truly disenfranchised and impoverished 100 times more if we got the low life’s off the system (and my guess is its 8:1) of people who don’t really need it compared to those who do.

Exactly. Many use the system to enable them to continue their self destructive lifestyles.

I work in an emergency room. I will triage people, and get a chance to find out about them during the interview. Many are on disability for bipolar disease. Often these self same people are positive for Meth on the urine drug screens we give, have money for multiple tattoos, and 2 pack a day cigarette habits. Seeing this on a daily basis makes me very cynical about our system.:shrug:

Obviously not everyone’s mothers DRILLED into their head 'There but for the grace of God go I."

I also find another one of my mothers DRILLINGS ***‘Don’t judge others - leave that to God’ ***— so if one person on disability ‘deserves’ it - and another ‘just doesn’t want to work’ — well, that is not my job, and not mine to judge. (Unless they came right out and said 'you know, I could get a job, but I prefer disability - and then of course it isn’t a judgement - it is knowledge — OR unless I work as a case worker to review eligibility) – there is not enough I can know about another’s circumstances to make such a judgement - leaving that to God - and grateful for a mom who helped write the script that we raised our own children with. :slight_smile:

To the OP - I am so sorry that people have been so hurtful - but since you know their opinion doesn’t really matter - and is more likely coming from a lack of understanding - I hope you don’t take it personally - God Bless

When people are living off of the gracious generosity of a tax-supported system, then we, the tax-payers, have a right, and duty, to be concerned about where the money is going. That’s not being “judgemental”, an accusation that is so easily hurled at someone with an opinion thes days.

I find it interesting that you think people don’t have knowledge of the abuses. It is well documented in many cases actually. Further I showed personal knowledge of abuses. I
We are not to pay taxes and work within the society that abuses so much without saying anything. It is in our hands to change it. Just as we advocate the stopping of abortion.

It is easier to sit back and say nothing, but, of course that is why we are where we are.

Actually it is your job and duty, because those using scarce resources to finance a life of leisure are denying benefits to those that are truly needy. The attitude that “it’s not my job to judge” is horribly lazy and dishonest…

My mother always taught us to use good judgement.

For what it’s worth I understand your situation, and feel the same way you do. May God
grant you peace and serenity. :slight_smile:

3DOCTORS, you are in the unfortunate situation of taking the heat that should properly be directed at the abusers and the broken system. I’m sorry that you have to shoulder that burden. Keep your chin up! :slight_smile:

Also, I have one easy suggestion that will save you loads of grief: Never read news article comments. There you will find the worst in humanity. Don’t expose yourself to it!

You’re a valuable poster here. I’m glad CA provides you this outlet :slight_smile:

I hope you reported the one who could work! People who have knowledge of fraud should report it, or not complain about the fraud. The assistance agencies don’t have the manpower to uncover all the abuse themselves.

If she lied, I hope you reported her. There are means of punishing those who lie on these forms, but undermanned agencies need your help to get the cheats.

I’ve spent some time visiting in public housing projects and was surprised at first to see so many late model SUVs, and classic cars sitting on wheel rims and tires that cost $1000 per wheel, and then the apartments mostly all having really big flat screen TVs. How could anyone see all that and think the people are “poor”? Of course if you bring this up to the American liberal, you are curtly told the TVs must have been a gift, and the SUVs are just visitors. Oh and what about expensive satellite and cable TV subscriptions? “Well” they say, “TV is educational, and it would be racist to deprive them of education.” This is the response I get regardless of the fact that welfare abuses cross all racial boundaries.

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