December 7, 2014 8:30 am -

43-year-old Kimberly Thompson found out that she would no longer receive government assistance while she was lying in a hospital bed.

“They basically cut me off of benefits for not reporting I was in a coma,” she said.

[su_center_ad]Thompson worked for ten years packing boxes in Columbus warehouses for $10 or $12 an hour while raising a 15-year-old daughter in a trailer which she shared with a relative.

NBC reports:

Then last May Thompson underwent a hysterectomy. Unable to return to strenuous warehouse work, she applied for Medicaid, welfare and food stamps, and enrolled in a computer repair job-training program. But a month later, an untreated infection she’d contracted after surgery worsened, and her organs began to shut down. She spent the next month in a medically-induced coma.

When Thompson woke up, she learned that her cash assistance through the Ohio Works First program as well as her food stamp benefits had been terminated—more than $700 per month in total. Administrators said the county imposed a sanction because she had failed to complete the mandatory work and training requirement for receipt of government assistance. Thompson called the Franklin County, Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to tell them she was in the hospital. A worker there told her she had two days to verify her hospitalization. Frail and unable to move—she’d had seven toes amputated and says she lost some cognitive capacity—she was unable to get to the county office.

“They told me I’d lost the benefits because I didn’t go to class,” said Thompson, who since her illness speaks in a trembling voice and gets tired in minutes if she moves around. “How are you supposed to go to class when you’re in a coma?”

Under federal welfare reform laws, at least 50 percent of single-parents enrolled in the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program must have a job or be engaged in education or job training. States such as Ohio that fail to meet these numbers face federal fines.

Unfortunately, cases such as Thompson’s are not uncommon.

Watch courtesy of NBC:

Image: NBC


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

19 responses to Ohio Woman Kicked Off Welfare For Not Reporting She Was In A Coma

  1. Hass December 7th, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Poor woman. Since it’s the departments fault, I hope they back date her payments.

    • Spirit of America December 7th, 2014 at 10:02 am

      No it is not the dept’s ‘fault’, they followed the law.
      The fault lies in the rigidity (needed for most part though) of a fed program, even at state level. If some of these programs were run from county level, with ability to on-spot over-ride of regs w/out penalty for say 30 days or so, this wouldn’t happen. She told them, they could have over-ridden decision, followed up w/reason and if valid, no harm, no stop of money. If during follow up it was a sham(the reason), then penalties could have been applied, at the county level.

      • fahvel December 7th, 2014 at 10:57 am

        sounds like you have a first class socialized technique there – good one!!! All the countries that have socialized medical work like that – on a small scale where they are capable of really addressing the concerns for those in need. again, good job spirit

        • Spirit of America December 7th, 2014 at 11:32 am

          If one is going to have a system, any system, I at least want it to be efficient and ‘person’ orientated. Why have benefactors of a system if they don’t get the benefit.

      • Gindy51 December 7th, 2014 at 11:04 am

        We’re talking Ohio here, not a reasonably progressive state that would have county or even state run programs. Ohio could care less about its poor and underprivileged.

        • Spirit of America December 7th, 2014 at 11:35 am

          I’m not sure what a ‘reasonably progressive state’ is, but every county in ohio has and runs the welfare & child services dept.’s. They just don’t get to make the rules or have over-ride authority, and that is due to federal law, not county or state,

  2. MIAtheistGal December 7th, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I believe I just read that someone in power just overruled the decision and reinstated her welfare, with back pay.

    • Anomaly 100 December 7th, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Really? Dang, I Googled and stuff. Do you have a link?

      • Carla Akins December 7th, 2014 at 11:01 am Last two paragraphs state:

        Thompson has since been paid several months of welfare and food stamp benefits that were due to her. And as of late last month, she began receiving food stamps again. The county is still deciding whether to reinstate welfare payments in the future, since her daughter does not currently live with her.

        “It seems crazy,” Thompson says. “If I’d had that money after the coma, if I’d had it all along, I could have had a place for me and my daughter, but now because she doesn’t live with me it’s impossible to get us back together until I can get work again. I don’t know when that will be.”

        • Anomaly 100 December 7th, 2014 at 11:50 am

          Because today ends in a y, I screwed up. Don’t know why I didn’t see that.

          • mea_mark December 7th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

            At least you admit and acknowledge it. If you were republican …

          • Anomaly 100 December 7th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

            I derp a lot. That’s a fact.

          • Carla Akins December 7th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

            You make me laugh. Although, in all fairness – when I scanned the article I was looking for that specific passage – it’s not the same. Kinda like trying to proofread your own writing.

        • MIAtheistGal December 7th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

          Thanks and good looking out. I had just run to the store, our first costco in the area! Just got home a bit ago 😉

          • Carla Akins December 7th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

            Yay! The pumpkin pie is to die for and if they have a pharmacy – its Nirvana.

  3. Denise December 7th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I guess ohio decided it was tired of florida and texas grabbing the headlines and decided to dive in

  4. Dwendt44 December 7th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I would think she’d be qualified for disability with the lose of toes and such.

  5. Bunya December 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I never would’ve guessed that the GOP “you snooze, you lose” policy would apply to comatose patients.

  6. eyelashviper December 7th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Ayn Rand wins another….
    Now, to more tax cuts for the chosen 1%..