Can Bankruptcy Save You From Florida’s Kafkaesque Public Benefits System?
Anyone who thinks that people who receive public benefits are lazy has never tried to collect unemployment insurance, pandemic-era rental assistance, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Trying to get the money that you qualify to receive is as much work as most jobs. In Britain, where the social safety net is much more robust than in the United States, there was even a reality TV show about it; it was called Benefits Street, and it documented the vast amounts of effort it took for people to get their public assistance benefits. It’s the worst in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis admitted that former Gov. Rick Scott intentionally designed the public benefits system to be so frustrating that eligible applicants would give up on it before receiving any money. Worst of all, even if you are experiencing such severe financial hardship that you qualify for public benefits, bill collectors will still chase you around, trying to collect payment on medical bills and personal loans you have little hope of being able to pay. A Miami bankruptcy & divorce lawyer can help you discharge most of your private debts through bankruptcy, even if your financial situation is so dire that you already qualify for public benefits.
Bankruptcy Lawyers Stand Up for the Financially Downtrodden When No One Else Will
It is no secret that corporations enrich themselves by stepping on the working poor. If you can’t afford to open a bank account, you can cash your paycheck for a hefty fee, and if your paycheck isn’t enough to make ends meet, you can get stuck in an endless cycle of payday loans. If you are lucky enough to have a bank account, the bank helps itself to your hard-earned money in the form of overdraft fees, which happens often, since your budget is already so tight that you have no room for unexpected but unavoidable expenses.
Of course, trying to collect public benefits is no less stressful. Florida probably isn’t the only state where collecting benefits is more work than even the most thankless of paying jobs, even if it is the first one to admit it. Software developers have designed some apps that make it as easy to manage your benefits as it is to manage your bank account online, and some states have adopted these new apps for SNAP and other benefits programs, but unfortunately Florida has not.
Which of these problems is easier to solve? In most cases, the most straightforward path out of this situation is to discharge consumer debt in bankruptcy. If medical bills, personal loans, or credit cards that you used to pay for necessities created a mountain of debt for you, you may be able to make most of those debts disappear into thin air by declaring bankruptcy. Whether this enables you to walk away from the nightmare of trying to collect public benefits depends on your current income from work.
Bankruptcy Can Mean Freedom From Debt
The pandemic is not going away anytime soon, and neither is a system where the public and private sectors act contrary to the interests of working people. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Miami, Florida to discuss your case.