Saturday, August 21, 2010

Financial Update as of 8/21/2010

In my last post, I shared some very specific details pertaining to my urgent need for financial help. I then placed a link to that blog post on my Facebook page.

Two people responded to that post. One person offered practical help, in the amount of $200 sent by wire to my bank account. (What a blessing!) The second person offered implied promises of help, but as far as I can tell, she did nothing of any consequence. She did say that she'd pray for me, but given the fact that her lengthy e-mails to me seemed to suggest that her real agenda was to find fault with me and with my manner of communications, I feel that it's reasonable to question whether or not she even did that. And while I certainly need prayers, prayers alone will not pay my bills.

Oh, well. When one is as transparent as I was in that blog post, that's to be expected, I suppose. But when one is as desperate for help as I've been lately, it's annoying to have to respond to such people, hoping that one is not wasting one's time in doing so.

Not long after posting my previous blog article, I bumped into a guy in my building who had worked on the census team with me. He said that I should visit the IDES office again and present them with evidence (in the form of pay stubs I'd received) of my having received income from the census. So I did that last week.

It turns out that when I applied for those benefits the first time, they hadn't yet received financial information from the census bureau, despite the fact that I'd applied for benefits fairly late in the game. That's why they'd initially made a determination that I wasn't entitled to any benefits.

This wasn't just an issue with the census bureau, by the way. IDES had received such information pertaining to my previous job with Screenz Computing Center, but only for the first quarter, not for the second quarter. And it had been at least four months since I'd quit that job. That should have been more than enough time, it seems to me, but apparently not.

The guy I spoke with last week checked his computer, and it turned out that they'd subsequently received new information from both jobs, and that I was now eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. So he updated their information regarding my application, and told me to go online in order to set up a direct deposit arrangement, and to call in for certification for benefits on Wednesday, all of which I did. He told me I should have my first payment on Friday. That turned out to be incorrect, probably because some banks are faster than others in terms of posting their payments. Consequently, I've really been scraping by this weekend, with only a few dollars left! But I have reason (based on my second visit to that office on Friday) to believe that there will be money in my account when I check on Monday. I pray that I'm right about that.

That's the good news. The bad news is that they awarded only $118 a week to me in the way of benefits. That's considerably less than they awarded to me last time when I applied for unemployment insurance benefits. If that were my only income source, it would be enough to pay my current monthly rent, but only barely. I'd most assuredly be reliant on DHS (the Illinois Department of Human Services) for food stamps. And that wouldn't help me at all with other necessary expenses, such as clothing, phone bills for my cell phone, and transportation related to my job search. More troubling is the fact that it wouldn't even come close to helping me to get caught up on the rent I already owe to Lawson House YMCA.

Also, the payment I'm currently expecting is only for one week, not two, thanks to the fact that IDES has a "waiting week" when one first starts getting benefits. Payments only come once every two weeks, so it's really going to be touch and go for a while, I suspect.

I do have one small additional source of income, but it still isn't enough to meet all of my living expenses while simultaneously enabling me to get caught up fairly quickly in terms of the back rent I owe. (And unless I'm mistaken, the payments pertaining to that additional source of income are currently late, which means that I'm going to have to nag that person, once again, to get caught up on her payments to me.) So the bottom line is that I still need financial help, or (if worse comes to worst) someone willing to offer temporary housing to me in the event that I am unable to satisfy Lawson House YMCA and in the event that they should evict me.

I've been in worse spots before in terms of back rent, and God has provided for me in the form of help which might be regarded as semi-miraculous, so I am trying to remind myself that such things can happen, and not to lose courage. But such things still do not come easily to me, so I could use both your support and your practical help, whatever that help might be.

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