Saturday, June 13, 2009

The case of the lost check

“Miss Anatolia, you’ll never believe what happened,” Bill starts. “I got my disability check at the credit union yesterday, um, and I paid my cable bill there—“

He’s still talking but somehow I know where this is going.

“And then I went to the grocery store to get my food,”

Got your groceries. Very good. Then something happy happens?

“And I got home,”

Don’t say it, don’t say it.

“And I realized I didn’t have my wallet. I forgot it at the store.”

Damn.

“Everything was in there, you know… The money order for the rent and the rest of my money.”

And naturally the request after that was will my agency help pay his rent, which at least is subsidized, but it’s still several hundreds of dollars. Here’s the thing, one, it’s hard to prove that you lost your money. Anyone can say they lost their money, or for that matter, that it had been stolen. A police report supports what the client says, certainly, but it’s not verifiable (unless it’s recorded in some way).

To be eligible for rental assistance a client needs to show proof how she got behind in rent. It’s easier to prove that you lost your job, that a disability check was cut for one month due to overpayment. Saying you lost your disability or pay check for that matter, means its tough grounds to ask for financial assistance. Along with proof of how you lost your money, you need to be able to show you can consistently pay for your rent and other needs.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to help in this situation, but my client was able to get help from another agency as a one time help. Sometimes it works out that easily.

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