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For those who are eligible for govt programs...

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 1:22 pm
My husband is now on unemployment and we’re scraping by for now bh. When I looked into signing up for govt programs, were not really eligible because even with this measly income, we still make too much (I’m still working a little and we have a small family). I have no idea how well pay our mortgage, tuition, etc. But what I’m trying to figure out is that if so many people are making so little that they are eligible for programs, how are all of you paying for things like tuition? I’m asking practically speaking, because I’m trying to figure out how we will do it...
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amother




Mistyrose
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 2:55 pm
I cant say the answer out loud.
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amother




Blush
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:05 pm
We get a steep discount on tuition.

Sometimes family helps.

Many families get vouchers.

The thing is - if you successfully get on all available programs, you can get a lot of expenses covered. We haven't figured that out and are barely scraping by, but many do. And theycan be completely on the books and still be eligible.

Eta: I'm going to bite the bullet. There are plenty out there working off the books. And plenty working on the books. Don't assume the worst. We don't own a home. We don't own a car. We don't go on vacations, or have cleaning help, or send to sleepaway camp, or whatever it is you think your neighbor has.
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:06 pm
As family size increases, it's easier to be eligible.
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amother




Pewter
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:09 pm
It’s called “working off the books”
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genius




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:31 pm
Some people really don’t have money. I’d assume Mosdos give discounted rates to struggling community members. I’d hope so in any case
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:56 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My husband is now on unemployment and we’re scraping by for now bh. When I looked into signing up for govt programs, were not really eligible because even with this measly income, we still make too much (I’m still working a little and we have a small family). I have no idea how well pay our mortgage, tuition, etc. But what I’m trying to figure out is that if so many people are making so little that they are eligible for programs, how are all of you paying for things like tuition? I’m asking practically speaking, because I’m trying to figure out how we will do it...


I once asked this on here and got nasty responses from posters who thought I was accusing people of working off the books, which was totally not what I was thinking. Small family size makes it hard to qualify. I don't make much (single mom) but I don't qualify for anything because of my small family size. I get a big scholarship from my kids' school and some help (not a huge amount) from family to make ends meet. And we live simply and I don't own a home (though rent is plenty expensive).
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amother




Pink
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 3:58 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
We get a steep discount on tuition.

Sometimes family helps.

Many families get vouchers.

The thing is - if you successfully get on all available programs, you can get a lot of expenses covered. We haven't figured that out and are barely scraping by, but many do. And theycan be completely on the books and still be eligible.

Eta: I'm going to bite the bullet. There are plenty out there working off the books. And plenty working on the books. Don't assume the worst. We don't own a home. We don't own a car. We don't go on vacations, or have cleaning help, or send to sleepaway camp, or whatever it is you think your neighbor has.


This. Also we are just behind. Most families in our school are behind. By years...
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 5:52 pm
Many schools will take tuition straight off of employees salary so that their annual income is almost nothing.
I.e if I make $30,000 but $20,000 goes straight get back to the school and I only officially making $10,000.
The other answer is that most people don’t pay full tuition.
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amother




Jade
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 6:26 pm
notshanarishona wrote:
Many schools will take tuition straight off of employees salary so that their annual income is almost nothing.
I.e if I make $30,000 but $20,000 goes straight get back to the school and I only officially making $10,000.
The other answer is that most people don’t pay full tuition.

That is called QTR and totally legal.
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 7:01 pm
I know a family that has medicaid,foodstamps and hud.
They are a very large family so get big amounts of food stamps that basically cover their entire food bill.
Hud entirely covers their rent.
His job goes straight to pay tuitions. They don't really see the money.
Almost no cash in the house!
It's very tough but they make it work.
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forgetit




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, May 24 2020, 3:43 am
Are you sure you're not eligible, because there is a sliding scale based on your income and family size.
There are also different programs, with medical coverage giving quite a bit of leeway.
Many people do a lot better financially on programs than off, being that they get food stamps, WIC, HUD and they don't have to pay childcare expenses, job related commute expenses, and other expenses they have because they are working.
There are people receiving Tomchei Shabbos and other tzedaka funds, although they aren't eligible for programs.
The system is a bit broke.
But don't be jealous. Those on programs are locked into a place where they will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Their 'income' only goes so high, and as they move to retirement, and have less or no kids at home, they have almost no income and no retirement plan to fall back on.
The difficulty is often in the transition, when their salary goes up and they lose programs, but it doesn't jump that far that it covers all the 'income' they got from WIC, HUD, foodstamps, Medicaid.
Long term, however, it just doesn't make sense to me to exist on programs.
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amother




Babypink
 

Post  Sun, May 24 2020, 4:31 am
I don't know what part of the world you are in, but generally speaking...

Jewish groups will give support at higher income levels than government ones will. This means that if you aren't eligible for food stamps, you may be able to get Tomche Shabbos or your local equivalent.

Some government programs are being more flexible right now because of the coronavirus situation. It might be worth rechecking. Also, some are easier to get into than others. For example, WIC used to be easier to get into than housing funding through Section 8.

Gemachs are AMAZING - you name it, you can borrow it instead of buying it. Some want a donation, many just want the item returned clean and in good condition. Some also give things away (think baby formula, diapers, etc).

Local swaps - again, may depend where you live, there are plenty in NY. People bring things to sell or trade or giveaway. The things being sold are used and generally low cost, the trading/giveaways are free. We've gotten lots of kids books and toys through these.

If you are part of an online community group, you may see people posting saying that they are selling used things. You can buy things that way instead of buying new (watch for condition of item and obviously handle the transaction in a safe manner if you are dealing with a stranger). You can also post what things you are looking to buy and someone may have a used one they can sell for cheap.

Free for the taking - common in my neighborhood, maybe not so much in others? People will post online if they have left something decent in front of their house, on the porch or by the curb that they are planning to put out with the trash in the morning. Common alerts include old toys, bookshelves, tables, chairs, etc. People also leave stuff by the trash area for collection in the morning, and others know to look there. Sometimes the things are a bit broken, but someone who's handy can usually fix it up. Other things are getting dumped because people are renovating and no longer want/need whatever the item is. My favorite "find" is from when the library in my area was renovating and they dumped multiple bookcases. They were in good condition, they just didn't go with the "light and bright" aesthetic they were changing over to, so they were left out on the curb for the taking.

Re tuition part 1 - be honest with the school about what's happening and if you see this being a short term (a couple of months, etc) or long term issue (1 school year or more). If it's short term they may be willing to hold your checks for later deposit, or accept lower payments for a few months. For longer term? My "go to" is to offer services to the school in exchange for a break on tuition. I've done everything from proctoring tests to being a lunch lady to office work to calls from home to...well, you name it, the odds are I (or my husband) have done it over the years. It's stuff they'd have to pay someone to do, so the idea is that if you are saving them money, they can "pay" you instead by taking something off your tuition. If you are working, your husband can do the work (in one school, parents would help with driving to field trips in their minivans, so the school didn't have to rent a whole bus if just one grade was going somewhere).

Re tuition part 2 - Are you comfortable talking to your Rabbi? Many of them have "pull" with tuition committees or know of gemachs that can help. Depending on what part of the world you are in, some agencies may be able to help too, especially if your child is young enough that her schooling could fall under childcare.

Look for places to cut expenses - sounds simple, usually isn't, but see what you can spot. Take out orders, shopping at grocery stores that are more expensive but more convenient, late fees on credit cards or phone bills (some companies will give discounts if you sign up for auto pay), etc.

Look for better deals than your current ones - when's the last time you asked your phone company or car insurance company about rates or promotions they are running? When's the last time you asked your credit card companies (assuming your credit rating is at least sort of ok) if they can drop your interest rates? What about getting a low/no percent credit card (usually only a temporary rate, but every bit helps), or getting a bank/gemach loan at a lower interest if your credit card rates are very high? Under those cases you can pay off or transfer your higher interest card(s), which should IM"H mean lower interest payments, which means at least some of your bills will be lower than they currently are.

Whew - I know I just gave you a megillah, but one last point to mention -

At the risk of "outing" myself (waving to my friends and family on here if you are about to figure out who I am), I give you our family motto =

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without

:-)
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amother




Green
 

Post  Sun, May 24 2020, 5:01 am
For us (big family, OOT, no Tomchei Shabbos/Gemachs or similar, all income reported):

1) Big family
2) Low rent
3) Try not to buy more food than food stamps cover
4) Tuition discount
5) Clothing budget close to zero (hand-me-downs)
6) Live more simply

Our major expenses are tuition, utilities, and rent. We don't pay for healthcare, try not to pay for food, don't buy clothing (except undergarments and occasional items), and overall minimize expenses.

With OOT rent prices, it's possible. It must be much harder in town, where rent is at least double what we are paying - you need to earn much more to just keep a roof over your head, which might make you ineligible.
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