BENEFITS: Worried for winter

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After the disgraceful resignation of Health Secretary Tom Price and Sunday’s headline, “Food Stamp Benefits About to Drop,” I thought I would reach out to address my own SNAP problem.

I’ve made five visits to Social Services. My situation is very simple. Normally this time of the year I would be saving extra pay for the winter instead of one delay after another caused by heat, smoke and rain. I’m sure I’m not the only person in this situation. It’s going to be a struggle if winter lasts longer than usual.

First visit, a denial. I didn’t have an address. I was told “write your legislator if you don’t like it.” Second, another denial, although done a little more politely. Incomplete job verification. Third, wage verification. Fourth denial, wage verification discrepancy. Fifth, I stormed out of the office after the parameters regarding said wage verification changed with each of the five workers I saw.

Each visit was about 30 minutes, where I watched a security guard monitor an empty office. Four or five social workers sat in sight not doing much of anything. Several more worked beyond the lobby. Maybe tasked with more unnecessary forensic audits. The staff within this office and the workforce program has grown at an alarming rate, while they claim the numbers in need have dropped.

I find this an interesting dilemma. Trying to get the public sector to understand when the demand for the workforce is less, so is the need for that workforce.

STEVEN REYNALDS

Coeur d’Alene

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