I mentioned that my husband is currently laid off. I know that we are not alone in this; in fact my uncle recently lost his job. And this week, so did my sister. So did hundreds of thousands of other people. It’s bad.
I am still clinging desparately to my job but it will end soon. I hope that my husband gets called back to work just as that happens. If not, I know what to do. We’re pretty good at scaling down our budget.
It can be scary, though, is when you worry about how the situation affects your kids. Right now A.P. thinks it’s fantastic that Daddy can play with him all day. Should he not be called back, though, we will turn to some resources Kent County offers its residents.
First, is the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC). This is a program designed for mothers and their young children. It provides access via a ‘Bridge Card’ (it’s like a debit card) used at grocery stores to various foods like cheese, milk, eggs, cereal, and other things depending on your child’s age.
I’ve been on WIC before. It’s an income based program, and you qualify for 6 months at a time. Here is a link to the income guidelines. It is very helpful to receive that extra food during tight times. I was thankful. Just know that it is a public program, and that is a different experience.
I know people that have a very hard time with the screening process because it can be embarassing to be there, or uncomfortable to be in a situation you aren’t used to, or a client of a program you never thought you would be in. I understand that – but my advice to you is just be grateful for it, and remember you are doing it for your kids. Here is a link to the Kent County Health Department website with some WIC information.
Next is MIChild, which is a low-cost health coverage program for kids. It’s $10 per month for family. There are income requirements, and the child must not be covered by other insurance. We had MIChild for a brief time and I found it easy to apply (online!) and use. You get an insurance card, just like you would with private insurance. Healthy Kids is another part of that program, which provides health insurance for children who are under-insured. It too is an income-based program, and the same online form is used for both.
For adults, there is a program called Kent Health Plan that provides health insurance for uninsured, low income individuals. More information on that plan is here.
Should your family experience a layoff, I truly wish you the best. It’s hard, for many reasons. I hope these resources can ease some of the burden. If you live outside of Kent County, contact your local health department to see what services might be available to you. Most of these are state and or federally funded, so different versions appear in many areas.