Thursday, May 17, 2012

Death of Food Stamps

Good morning from Starbuck “145”
(New Forbes FTD series patient profile at the end of article) 

This is the sad or happy conclusion to my food stamp saga. I’m not sure which it is, but one thing is for sure. It is what it is.

I will refresh others and myself by plagiarizing my own work from July 2011 and then move on to the sordid conclusion.

July 2011
Like everyone else in society, I need to blow off steam, which I do through ironical emails to people. Some of these I’ve been told are funny and entertaining. I recently applied to get my food stamp allowance increased and as life would have it, it decreased. 

"Thank you for explaining to me that everyone has been getting a reduction in their food stamp allowance due to the national debt crisis. My food stamp allowance was reduced from $2.03 a day to $1.45 a day. Even though I am totally disabled it does give me pleasure to know that I am personally able to sacrifice and contribute towards reducing the national debt. It's also a relief to know that because of my 58 cent a day contribution companies like Exxon and GE will not have to pay any taxes, as well as we will not have to burden the top 2% of wage earners of the United States with any additional taxes." 

I initially received $63.00 a month or $2.03 a day in August 2010. The maximum was $200 but that’s what I was approved for and grateful for the assistance. I watched the amount dwindle till it was a stumpy $16.00 a month or 63 cents a day. No reason was ever given. It’s not much fun ingesting cheerios and water for days at a time, to embarrassed to tell your friends.

January 2012
I decided to address the issue and painfully gathered all the necessary documentation showing rent increases, bills, etc. to attempt to get an increase. I took the subway to the food stamp office and waited in the bowels of the NYC Department of Bullshit building for a couple of hours to plead my case.

The municipal employee was pleasantly civilized. She did the usual, bounce me here and there; fill out this and that form. I explained to her I had cognitive issues and she did help me with the paperwork. I asked her if she had any idea of what type of increase if any I would get. She gave “the look” and stated it would be determined by the food stamp meisters. Being sarcastically challenged, I had no idea if she was hinting either way. 

April 2012
Increase was approved and my dreams of a lobster dinner were a delusional reality. My food stamp allowance was increased from 63 cents a day to 73 cents a day. Ten cents a days or from $16 to $19 a month.

It sucks being on food stamps. With FTD, I have short-term memory loss, which means besides basic microwaving, cooking and using gas burners are dangerous. I use them once in a while, but try to avoid them. I like to have hot cooked food and It’s against the food stamp God rules, to buy hot prepared food with food stamps. Not that $19 a month enables you to buy much.

A few months ago I bought grapes for dinner. Seedless grapes, yes I’m spoiled. It came out to almost $6. It was a Friday night and there was a long line. Every store or supermarket in the US uses a different card swiper. There all made in one Chinese factory and it’s a conspiracy to mess with American minds J. I was technically challenged at the cashier’s swipe machine. She said in a loud voice, “Is that Food Stamps or Debit”? I was embarrassed. I retorted, “ Food Stamps and thank God I only get 63 cents a day, so I won’t have to put up with being publicly humiliated for another 8 days”.

May 2012
My living the high life with a ten-cent increase to 73 cents a day turned out to be short lived. I received a 26-page document in the mail from the Food Stamp Gods that I needed to be recertified. Considering a month before I was approved for an increase made me suspicious and a bit paranoid. Letting them know I’m FTD certifiable was not an option. I couldn’t make Heads or Asses of the document, except that I had to have a 2-hour hearing and needed to bring in suitcase full of paperwork for the June hearing. Screw it.

I’m doing okay. I do have help each month and am no longer doing the cheerios and water thing. I doubt it’ll get to this point, but I think I’d rather go out with a tin cup for day than ever put up with this crap ever again.

Eight years ago I was making six figures and flying to Thailand to have my suits and clothing tailored in Bangkok. Now, I realistically can't even afford clothing from the Salvation Army. Guess what? It's morning; I'm at Starbucks “145” writing and doing great. My life has once again regained happiness and purpose.  

I have a blog, a support group, a movie, and some of the best quality peoples the Universe has to offer.

I want for nothing.

In the last few days I harassed and cursed (playfully) someone in an elevator for bringing his mom flowers on mothers day (I forgot it was mothers day), viciously and unintentionally cursed out the facilitator at my Memory Club support group and outbursted at a cop with a haranguing long FTD rant for sloppy driving.

My name is Howard Glick. I have FTD, it sucks but I have a life and will continue to live it and make the most of it. 

Forbes Patient Profile Series 


  1. Howard, I recently started following your blog. I too was diagnosed with FTD. Started my own blog of my journey. How can I get a Howard's Brain T Shirt? I love it.

  2. Hi Julie,

    Congrats on your blog. Send me the details. If you want to join the FTD Patient Support Group, we have about 40 members with FTD. It's a positive, comfortable place for people with FTD to go as well as an excellent resource. You can email me if your interested:
    The T shirts haven't been made yet, but stay in touch and I'.. let you know how to get one.

  3. Very cool. Emailing you my info.


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