Next Steps for 23yr old Single Mom denied Public Assistance???

Arlene - posted on 09/19/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




My niece recently moved in with me along with her 18mo old son. She is not married to the father of baby and refuses to help her in any way. A Dead Beat A$$ all the way! She caught him with another girl in their bedroom and he replies, "You knew this was going to happen so what's the big deal?" She doesn't want her son exposed to this type of environment so she left and moved in with me. My apartment is very small and she had nowhere else to go. I've advised her to seek all the necessary resources available from Social Services. Her 1st step was Public Assistance, unfortunately she was denied stating she had "excess income" The girl works only 27hrs a week and earning $1000 a month. They didn't even consider that she had Car and Insurance payments, Cellphone, Gas for car, School Loan and expenses for her son (childcare, clothing, food, etc). What can I do? Should I charge her for room and board, help with Utilities? However, she'll have to be responsible for her own food as well as my great nephew. I also live paycheck to paycheck with 2 kids of my own. Should i write a notarized letter so she can resubmit the application for NYS Public Assistance? Oh and she was also denied Food Stamps. She will also be filing Child Support but I believe he works as a server at a restaurant in the Mall. Advice/Thoughts anyone???


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/19/2013




As Kelly stated, cell phones, cars, both are not necessary, they are luxuries. If she didn't have either, she wouldn't have cell bills, car payments, insurance, gas that disqualifies her almost immediately.

She needs to apply for support from her ex. She also needs to understand that, while she may not agree with his choice of women, she shouldn't deny him his child based on that, and she should start visitation procedures as well. That way, when he bitches about the support order, and tries to say he doesn't see his kid, she'll have already taken steps to give him access. She looks better to the courts that way.

She may not qualify for full assistance, but she should certainly qualify for limited assistance, based on her circumstances.

But you also have to understand that we're not professionals here, and we don't necessarily know the ins & outs of the NYS system. There may be other qualifications that need to be met, all of which should be stated to her. Check out WIC and other low income assistance as well.

[deleted account]

They do not consider a cellphone or car and the expenses that go along with owning one a necessity, in terms of public assistance because they are luxuries--While they do make success much easier, you don't need them to survive.
The federal poverty level for a family of 2 is $15,500 before taxes. If she is truly making only $1000/month before taxes, then she should qualify for SNAP and housing assistance. If she is making less than $20,680/year before taxes, she should still qualify for some supplemental nutrition assistance and WIC which is a program for low income mothers of young children. I think it goes up to age 5.

Honestly, I wouldn't charge her rent unless you absolutely must in order to keep your bills paid. If you give her a free place to stay, she should be able to save up enough money to get her own place in a year or so. It would be less expensive if you planned meals that would feed all 6 of you and just had her contribute $30-$40/week to groceries rather than having her buy her own food. You also wouldn't have to worry about who bought what food, your kids eating something that belongs to her, or trying to cook two meals in the kitchen at dinner time.

She can also seek out help from local charities. I volunteer with our homeless coalition, and we have several programs that help young mothers get onto their feet.

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