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  •  Fine story. As much the core of what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    we have for a civilization, as that old dog rolling over and recognizing Odysseus when he returned after his 20 year journey.

    This:

    Her hands are arthritic from all the massages over all these years;  she is in her late 50s.  I don't know why, but I asked Flower "have you applied for Food Stamps?"  She said she did not know what that was.  When I explained to her, she could not believe such a program existed.
    is your lead.

    Considering her arthritis and general lack of skills, could you try to get her SSI ?

    It's not much money. Recently it was $698-a-month. A helpful doctor can grease the skids.

    Until Flower reaches 62 and qualifies to a residential program, a small cargo van works rather better for a living space than a car.

    -- Vans can also be secured with a barrier between the cockpit and the rear space,
    -- Add a $20 reinforced hasp at the rear door (on the inside) and she will be safe.

    Cargo vans are cheap used, because commercial insurers will not cover them after the 7th year. A 12 year old van is a giveaway.

    Finally, once she qualifies for Social Security there is a restriction that prohibits paying her monthly Social Security payment for months when (and if) she goes to Vietnam.

    As the law stands, she cannot return home and receive her Social Security payments posted to a bank in Vietnam. One workaround that Vietnamese use is to set up a temporary residence in the Philippines, get banking going there, have the SS payments posted automatically, then go home to visit family and do other business.

    The Philippine bank connection can be arrange in the U.S. prior to travel. No need to tell the SS people more than they need to know.

    Conditions with the Vietnamese government are different from what was happening 40 years ago. They export many shiploads of apparel to America.

    More than 100 other countries can be used for residence. Just not Cuba, not Vietnam, not Russia, not the Cold War countries.

    Odd, but true.

    (We do have people in the Philippines. If you have a question.)

    •  Thank you so very much for this information. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, Amber6541

      I will look into SSI for her immediately.

      My sister and I did consider a van (but not a cargo van).  The problem is that Flower is a very slight, diminutive person.  She was worried about being able to handle a van (so I think a cargo van may be too much for her to handle).

      My sister pays her car insurance:  it is not much, because it is an old car.

      Another problem we faced with Flower is that she has this hope of someday sponsoring her remaining children (I forget if there is one child or two still in Vietnam) to be able to come to the U.S.  She is so afraid that if she gets ANY help from the government, it will count against her when she starts the sponsorship process.  We did not know how to tell her that to sponsor a family member, you have to show viable income (at least that's what a quick internet search told us).

      "Why is it that if you're rich and take advantage of a government program you're a smart business man, but if you're poor you're a moocher?"

      by DemFromPit on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 01:11:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone can provide the income record (0+ / 0-)

        that qualifies for support.

        We are doing this now for several family members coming over from the Philippines.

        Short of marrying her, which is a common approach, this is a problem for which there are a number of workarounds.

        For one, do any of her children qualify as nurses ?

        There used to be special statutes for relatives of refugees out of Vietnam. That will require research. Of course she would be better off with children to share a home.

        Also, if you would like, the message system here might be more private. Then we can transfer to email or phone.

        Best to all !

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