Living with dignity

Dear Editor,

My name is Patricia Torrey, I am 65 years old, and I’ve been a resident of New Hampshire for 58 years. I’ve worked as a nurse for 45 years. Raise a family, mostly as a single mom, without using social services (welfare).

I am now 65 years old and disabled and finding it very hard to live on $1,556 per month gross ($1,456 per month net) SSI when my rent is $1,375 a month. I haven’t been able to go grocery shopping for months, I can’t afford most of my medications, I can’t afford a car or the gas to keep it going. I have no cable TV or Internet. I live in an area without any public transportation. I have no transportation at my disposal and it is very inconvenient and difficult to rely on others for transportation in this very rural area.

This has severely impacted my independence and affected my wellbeing. I’m usually the one people go to for help because they know I will help them or be there for them in their time of need.

Now after 45 years of putting into the financial and tax systems, when I need assistance in my waning years, the State of New Hampshire is not there to support or help me in my time of need. I have applied for Medicaid and food stamps four times and been denied three times for various reasons. Finally going through a resource/advocacy agency that made out the paperwork for me, I got a very unsatisfactory response.

The state of New Hampshire will give me $15 each month in food stamps and Medicaid assistance after I spend $938 for health care needs every month. I do have some health issues, but I don’t spend that in a year. Who makes up these formulas? They are certainly not realistic. Why offer these miniscule and/or unrealistic costs?

I’m deeply offended and insulted that I have chosen to live in a state that treats its disabled seniors or otherwise needy citizens so shabbily. Especially ones that have not used/abused the DHHS services before.

Please tell me who can live on $15 per month in food stamps with no car to go to the food shelf? Who spends $938 each month on medical needs? Someone on life support? The quality of my life is greatly diminished by these severe and unrealistic limitations, and I am sure I’m not alone.

My plan is to publicize these issues anywhere/any place I can hopefully make the powers that be aware of the trauma they inflict or the power they wield over people’s lives.

The medical system in this state (and country) needs an overhaul. Socialism is looking better and better when it is done right and equitably.

I’m sick of the 1 percent getting richer and better services, and the little person who makes the society machine work get less and less.

Respectfully hoping for change,

Patricia Torrey

N. Walpole, N.H.

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