I am not an economist, and I cannot attempt to explain how we got here. I don’t know the answer for the whole country, I just know that people need help.
Most lower middle class and middle class families are struggling. Prices keep going higher, and people’s jobs are not secure. Education and experience are no longer a guarantee of a new job at a similar pay rate.
Even professional people with a history of strong income and big houses are showing up for food banks and need help because they have not been able to replace their lost jobs.
There is a great report available on the internet called “Working Hard”. This report is part of the Working Poor Families Project. Their information is located at: http://www.aecf.org/initiatives/jobsinitiative/workingpoor.htm
You can download the pdf here http://www.workingpoorfamilies.org/pdfs/Working_Hard.pdf
One of the tables in this report is so revealing:
AMERICA’S LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES
✦ One in four working families is low-income.
✦ Forty percent of minority working families are low-income, twice the
percentage of white working families.
✦ Of all children in working families, one third are in low-income
✦ A married couple heads more than half of low-income working families.
✦ While 35 percent of low-income working families have a parent who
did not complete high school, 42 percent have a parent with some postsecondary
✦ More than half of low-income working families pay more than a third of their
income for housing; more than a third have a parent without health insurance.
see details on report above, small excerpt copied from table
What about Health Insurance?
We all have heard great controversy over the cost of health insurance and who can get state and federal programs. We know that policies and changes are always in a state of flux.
In a USA Today article from 2003, they stated this fact about the uninsured. The link to the article is listed below the quote.
The largest increase in the uninsured — a jump of 1.1 million — came in households earning $25,000 to $49,999 a year. The next-largest jump, 633,000, came in households with incomes of $75,000 or more. The smallest jump was among households with less than $25,000 in income, the group most likely eligible for government aid. Still, the lowest-income group represents the largest total number of uninsured.
Health care expenses can be catastrophic during a time of great illness for a family.
CNN titled an article “Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies”. See the full article through the link below.
I present to you that even if you cannot afford health care insurance, or if you are in a program that does not cover as much care as you need, there are answers for you.
Find experts in your state and county that can tell you of any programs that you are eligible for.
1. If you have any diagnosed disabilities, then you can find your regional Center for Independent Living.
2. If you are over 50, check with AARP
3. Look for services and consultants for seniors in your state here.
4. Churches and ministries in your area that offer to help strengthen families
5. Social workers in local agencies
Research discount programs that are affordable for you
1. There are many organizations that offer discounted service on a sliding fee scale for people with lower incomes.
2. Call your local hospital and ask about programs for families with lower income.
3. Find coupons and specials by looking on the internet.
There are answers out there, but it can be a lot of work to find them. For people who are new to having financial issues, they can go through a lot of emotional distress before finding their balance and the help that they need.
Through research and diligence you will find the best answers for yourself and your family.
Article written by Sally K.Witt
Independent Business Owner for Ameriplan USA.
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