Jul 23, 2014

Fewer people getting public assistance even as poverty rises

The Columbus Dispatch reports that despite rising poverty, the number of Ohioans receiving public assistance continues to drop, raising questions about how the state helps the poor.

A report released today by Policy Matters Ohio notes that those working in some of Ohio’s largest occupations – cashier, home health aide, food service – don’t make enough to support their families and escape poverty.

Public-assistance programs like subsidized child care, food stamps and cash assistance help stabilize low-wage workers and their families, but eligibility requirements have been restricted and enrollment reduced in recent years, according to the report.

Jul 18, 2014

Get help applying for Medicaid; enrollment clinic slated for Aug. 7

The statewide expansion of Medicaid has meant more low-income people are now eligible for the free medical services. To help more get the assistance they need with the sign-up process, we scheduled our next Medicaid Enrollment Clinic in the evening.

The Work Station, located at 70 N. Plains Road, The Plains, will host the clinic on Thursday, Aug. 7, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Work Station will only be open that evening for the clinic – all other services will be closed.

During the clinic, counselors and Affordable Care Act navigators from Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will sit with applicants individually to help them complete the process either by paper or online.

This is the third in a series of enrollment clinics at The Work Station.

Unlike the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace, the enrollment period for Medicaid is ongoing. Now, those between the ages of 19 and 64 with an annual household income at or below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for coverage. Anyone earning near this amount is encouraged to apply. Previously, Medicaid eligibility was limited to pregnant women, families with children, senior citizens and those with disabilities who met income guidelines.

Applying for benefits can be done online at benefits.ohio.gov. Paper applications are also available from the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services. For more information, call ACJFS at (740) 797-2523 or the area’s Healthcare Navigator at (740) 593-0828.

Walk-ins for the Aug. 7 Medicaid Enrollment Clinic will be seen as time permits. To guarantee an appointment, contact:

Justin Kendrick
ACA Navigator for SE Ohio
Grosvenor Hall 061, Athens, OH 45701
(740) 593-0828

Jul 15, 2014

How the stress of too little income changes the way people think

Being poor is stressful. That's no big surprise.

In a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 in 3 people making less than $20,000 a year said they'd experienced "a great deal of stress" in the previous month. And of those very stressed-out people, 70 percent said that money problems were to blame.

Scientists have long recognized that poverty can aggravate health problems. Now they're also beginning to understand that the stress of too little income actually changes the way people think.

How so? The reporter takes you into the life of Lauren Boria, a single mom from the Bronx in her early 30s.

Jun 18, 2014

Cutting the Poor Out of Welfare

Over the past three decades, Congress has conducted a major experiment in anti-poverty policy. Legislators have restructured benefits and tax breaks intended for the poor so that they penalize unmarried, unemployed parents — the modern day version of the “undeserving poor.” At the same time, working parents, the aged and the disabled are getting larger benefits.

Read more of Thomas B. Edsall's Op-Ed in The New York Times.

Jun 11, 2014

Elder Abuse Awareness Day set for June 13 in Athens County

Athens County Commissioners officially proclaimed June 13, 2014, Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Athens County, a day that serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders.

“We hope to draw the same amount of attention to elder abuse as we do to child abuse,” said Jack Frech, Director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services. “So many senior citizens need the help and support from our community.”

“It is important to treat people with dignity and respect,” said Commissioner Lenny Eliason, following the signing of the official proclamation. “Everyone should be aware of their neighbors and offer assistance when they can or contact someone who can help those in need.”

"It’s a challenging job,” said Tabatha McDade, the agency’s APS coordinator. “Not everyone is open to receiving our help, even though it may be clear that they need it.”

Senior citizens can refuse care, and many times they do, especially when it’s a situation of self-neglect or when they’ve been abused by a family member, McDade added.

Join us in recognizing this day on June 13 by wearing purple, the official color of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

See our previous post for more information about what ASP does and other ways the community can help prevent elder abuse.