vista life stuff...


i really hope we all keep up with our blogs, because i want to be able to keep up with all of you! ok, now for some "vista life" type stuff i've been thinking about / looking into:


*** food stamps ***

according to stuff online, i don't think i am eligible for food stamps since i have too much savings (too much being more than the limit of $2,000). savings in an ira must be included toward this limit, even though according to wikipedia "a debtor in bankruptcy can exempt his or her IRA from the bankruptcy estate" and this seems like it should be a similar situation.

also, higher rent payments (after a certain amount that it is assumed you can pay) leads to being eligible for a higher amount of food stamps. this makes sense in a way -- after all, sometimes (depending on where one's job is) one can't help but get an expensive apartment. but on the other hand, sometimes one can choose between more expensive apartments that are bigger/more convenient/newer and less expensive apartments that aren't. it seems that one shouldn't get more food stamps just because one's rent is higher -- it should depend on other factors such as the average apartment rent in the area.

anyway, though it would have been nice to be able to get better/more food, i am glad i am not eligible for food stamps because i think if i were it would be hard for me to not get them. and i am not sure i think getting food stamps is the moral thing for me to do since i can live decently without them. actually, this is a question i struggle with a lot: how much unnecessary stuff must one have/buy before it is wrong? what do you guys think?


*** health benefits ***

does anyone else think it is strange that we won't get our health benefit cards for a while (what was it, 4-6 weeks)? i think we should at least get our member numbers and stuff like that right away.

i was looking through the guide to the health plan, and some of the stuff was kinda weird. there are a number of treatments that are not covered by the plan even if they were not preexisting, such as narcolepsy and add and aids medicines. i don't expect these omissions to be a problem for me personally, but i wonder how they decide things like that.

one of the "exclusions to covered services" is "Any services related to the treatment of allergies including allergy tests and surveys, injection, medication and treatment (except for emergency treatment including medication and hospitalization for asthma)". so recently i've been having this itching in my ears that i think is caused by allergies but for all i know it could actually be caused by some weird ear disease. if i go to the doctor and then they decide it is caused by allergies, will the health plan not cover the doctor visit even though i didn't know it was allergies at first?


*** cheap stuff ***

for getting things cheaply or even for free, check out the websites craigslist and freecycle.


you guys are great and i hope you have great first days.

Comment from Richard T. Anderson on September 13, 2006 - 8:04am

Wow, "how much unnecessary stuff must one have/buy before it is wrong?," that's a deep philosophical question. I'm not sure how to answer that. Who decides what is unnecessary? Are things that are unnecessary for one necessary for another? Or is there a hard and fast rule?

Technically all one 'needs' is shelter, food, and water. But I believe everyone's lives should be richer than merely having those needs met. Though I don't believe anyone deserves to live in mansions, have five cars, and gold plated socks. But I have a lot of unnecessary souvenirs that I'd be quite upset if someone decided that I wasn't allowed to keep them.

It's an interesting debate.

I'd also like to say that I agree that there are a lot of strange things about our "health benefits" plan. Preventative care is so much smarter and saves much more money in the long run. Like so many businesses these days, the people that decided on this are not looking beyond the short term. Short sightedness has a strangle hold on our society just as much as material possessions do.

But I got the impression that we shouldn't complain too much. At least not til the end of our service. ;D



Comment from Corey Funderburk on September 16, 2006 - 7:56pm

Hey Cheryl,

I was thinking about your question about the moralism of food stamps and in case you wanted them, these are my thoughts: I think you should do it, because....

1-  you are on a budget and could be making a lot more money for the work that you are doing, so there is no reason you should feel bad about it.

2- By you receiving food stamps, others who need them are not hindered from getting them, so you are not taking anyone's means of eating away. You are merely costing the gov't a little more money which brings me to #3...

3- The gov't is taxing us on our stipend (and our education award at the end, pshaw!) so just consider it taxing them back :)