Displaying 21 - 30 of 229 Forum PostsPrev 1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • Jul 13, 2018 05:22 PM
    Last: 31d

    Currently there's a heated debate going on in Congress to change the work requirements for SNAP (better known as the food stamp program). The proposal is said to make people less reliant on government welfare, but it certainly adds bloated bureaucracy layers to the process, and ultimately will make it harder to qualify.

    Right now, the work requirements to qualify for food stamps for more than 3 months in a 3 year period are:

    Under current SNAP rules implemented in 1996, able-bodied adults without dependents, or ABAWDs, between the ages of 18 and 49 are required to work at least 20 hours a week or participate in a qualified job-training or volunteer program in order to be eligible for more than three months of benefits over a three-year period. Benefits are cut off after three months if the work requirements are not met and the applicant has not received a waiver (more on those waivers later).

    And the proposed changes that has only passed through certain parts of Congress would be amended to the following:

    The proposed GOP law would raise the age of those subject to the work requirement from 49 to 59, and extend the work requirements to adults with children ages 6 and older. The minimum work required would rise to 25 hours per week in 2026.

    The article continues, detailing how this would effect SNAP enrollment in the years to come:

    According to CBO, 62 percent of the 1.2 million who would ultimately lose benefits would be able-bodied adults caring for children 6 or older. Another 27 percent would able-bodied adults between the ages of 50 and 59 without dependents (due to the age extension in the bill). And 11 percent of them would be able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents.

    CBO estimates that, on average in 2028, those 1.2 million people would lose $1,816 in annual food assistance benefits.

    In addition to the new work requirements trimming the ranks of SNAP recipients, CBO says another 400,000 households per year would lose eligibility due to a change that would cut off SNAP eligibility for those whose gross income exceeds 130 percent of poverty, instead of the 200 percent threshold for SNAP recipients in some states.

    The bill would provide an additional $6.7 billion over the next 10 years for employment and training services — an amount CBO does not expect would fund enough job training for all who would be eligible for it under the new bill.

    It's not clear if Congress will pass this bill wholesale, or make changes to it, or cut out the language of these changes altogether. Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska doesn't think these changes will pass at all.

    What do you think of the changes? I have a problem with trying to fix a welfare spending problem by making states spend more money on job training programs. In one way, maybe that could stimulate the economy and effect people's lives positively. And I see that. But on the flip side, it's just spending money a different way. And it might end up costing the taxpayer more. Not to mention it will take years for states to implement the changes, while in the meantime, many will go hungry in the process.

    If you would like to see if you qualify for food stamps under the current law, use this official link:

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - Am I Eligbile for SNAP?

    There is also this Pre-Screening Tool from the Food & Nutrition Service:

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool

  • Jul 10, 2018 06:35 PM
    Last: 1mo
    Good post. Fairly comprehensive starter list of questions here. I find Medicare to be the most confusing governmental program out there. Or at least right up there. Definitely helps to educate yourself with a lot of q&a reading like this.
  • Jul 05, 2018 04:26 PM
    Last: 17d

    When should you file for Social Security if you have a young child?

    This is a q&a discussion that I thought brings up a very good point about a way to look at taking SS benefits early, as opposed to full retirement age.

    One quote from the article that I think stands out is:

    Realistically, money earned today is worth more than money earned in the future.

    This discussion is about a woman wondering if her husband (64) should retire at 66 or 70, and how the math works out. She is 46 and they have an 8 year old. She was also wondering about the offsetting benefits for their daughter.

    The ultimate advice was to take the benefits early. But the finer details were to basically sit down and do the math, and try your best to assume all the variables, like how much will your husband earn either way, if he were to live to say, 90. And how much would your child benefit now vs waiting, etc etc.

    Makes me think even more now that taking benefits early is a more viable path over full retirement IF you find yourself in a situation like this one. Definitely recommend reading the article.

    Also, anyone here considering early vs full retirement age that is in a similar situation? What's your take on this?

  • Jun 26, 2017 05:06 PM
    Last: 1mo

    Came across this video which outlines exactly what the site does, for those that would appreciate a 2 minute rundown. It's from the official U.S. Social Security Administration's YouTube page:

  • Apr 04, 2018 05:45 PM
    Last: 4mo

    Been in that boat before. It sucks but once you bite the bullet and actually call the IRS and work out a payment plan, it's not that bad. They do charge you a fee, I believe it is like $50, to set up the installment plan. Also you don't have to pay that fee upfront; it gets tacked onto your existing debt.

    From there, they do the math based off your income ability to pay back the debt vs the 6 years max to pay it back. And you can either pay the minimum over those years or pay more and get it over with quicker.

    They do charge interest, though it's far lower than say a credit card. Don't quote me on this, but it's in the neighborhood of 4-7%. Think it depends on the year. Either way, I would ask that question and anything else you can think of when you call in to set up the installment.

    After that, you make payments through an online portal. EFTPS is the most common option, and the one they will recommend. I would recommend registering an account on there as soon as you can (if you know you will be going for a payment plan) as it takes several business days to get your PIN for the site.

    Also, if anyone needs help using that site (it's not the most user friendly) let me know here. Happy to help. Can be a little tricky the first time around.

  • Apr 03, 2018 01:02 PM
    Last: 4mo

    Knocked mine out in record time, for me.. which was like 10 days before the deadline. Finally learned enough as a self employed filer to at least save some money using an online service vs an in person CPA. It was like 4x cheaper that way. At any rate, I'm glad its over and done with. One of the most stressful times of the year to live in the US of A.

    Next year is going to suck even worse, as I invested in cryptocurrencies in 2018 (like a good chunk of people no doubt)... from what I've heard, it's a nightmare to file all those trades and transactions.

  • Apr 06, 2018 09:48 AM
    Last: 4mo

    That is a tough one. So what information exactly is missing from the w2 details the IRS was able to give you about your federal return for 2015 that you need to complete your state filing?

    Said another way, what part of the form for AR state filing can you not complete because of lack of info?

  • Dec 22, 2017 03:37 PM
    Last: 8mo

    The Trump tax calculator — will you pay more or less?

    It's one thing to read up on how the Trump tax plan that just got signed into law changes the tax code overall. But if you are interested in exactly how your tax bill will change next year and for the next 5 years or so, use that calculator above.

    Curious on everyone's opinion of the bill as well as if your amount increases or decreases. Do you dislike the bill? If so, all of it, or just parts?

    If you are like me, my tax burden is going to decrease. And I like some of the eliminations of deductions in favor of higher standard deductions. But I dislike some of the riders. And even though I won't have to pay a tax penalty for not having health insurance any longer, I worry what that will mean for the country's healthcare premiums as a whole, as well as entitlement funding in the future.

  • Oct 28, 2016 02:47 PM
    Last: 6mo
    Jameslane Wrote:

    how do i get a list of what I'm receiving from food stamps

    Online EBT SNAP Accounts. That should help. Look for your state in that list, and it'll take you to your state's portal where you can sign in and see statements and your account activity.
  • Nov 21, 2017 08:20 AM
    Last: 8mo


    Short-term funding bill includes help for children's health insurance

    So that buys time until Dec 22nd. But if nothing is done after that, many states will be without CHIP funds whatsoever. Trump is temporarily funding some states with leftover budget money from prior years in CHIP at the moment. But how long can that seriously last?