Finances & Government

When I graduated high school, got my first job, and moved out on my own for the first time, I learned how the government works when it comes to financial assistance. My roommate, who didn’t have a job and who’s mother did not have a high income, did not have to pay a single penny for our dorm; meanwhile, both my mother and I worked extra shifts at the hospital and didn’t receive a single penny of financial aid. 

I also learned how the government unfairly takes money and they are always right. When I was volunteering as a DJ at the GSU radio station and had to pay the parking meter for 1 out of the 2 hours I was DJ-ing. The first hour was free and the second hour was $3; after the first hour I rushed outside to pay the meter, only to realize that it was out of order. I called the number on the meter and left a voice mail explaining the situation, and wrote a quick note saying that the meter is out of order, I have called the appropriate number, and that I do not have time to move my car because I need to be back on air, as there was nobody else at the station. During my next break, I came outside to find a ticket on my car. I did not pay it, and once again called the appropriate people, wrote a letter explaining the situation, and did not get any response. A few weeks later, I received a letter saying that with the late fee, my total amount due is $20, and if I do not pay it, they will send it over to collections. So, I wrote a letter again, called the appropriate people and left a voice mail, and never heard back from anyone until I decided to give in and just make the payment. It was too late- they had already sent it to collections, it would remain on my credit forever, and there was nothing I could do about it. 

Another similarly unfair situation is occurring right now, much worse than the ones mentioned above. During the one month of my entire life that I did not have insurance, because I turned 26 and was applying for state insurance, I got a kidney stone and over $10,000 worth of bills. I do not have a job because I have full-time classes and almost full-time unpaid clinicals, so my mom is letting me live at home. I called the hospital to explain my situation, and they asked for my mothers income. The problem is that once they see her income, and that there are only 3 people in the household, I do not ever qualify for anything. They do not take into consideration that she is a single parent, that taxes take a huge chunk of her income, or any of her other expenses such as housing, bills, living, her car, my car, car insurance, cellphone, her health insurance, my health insurance, education and all expenses for herself, my sister, and me. They do not understand that all of her money is not all of my money, and that she is not responsible for my personal medical expenses. They will not defer the payments, accept my request to not send these into collections as I am currently working on figuring out how to resolve this, or take anything into consideration other than my mother’s gross income and the number of people residing in our household. 

I have more expenses and less income than I have ever had before in my entire life, and I do not have any assistance other than what my mother is already barely able to provide. It is beyond frustrating that we all pay a lifetime of taxes to the government but receive no assistance when we need it, and there is nothing I can do about it. Life is unfair, but it is unfair to everyone…

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