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4 Bumps

Asked in Military, but not sure I'll get any response?

As an E-3, with a family of 4, would we qualify for SNAP benefits?

DH is leaving a very well-paying job for the military. We've been spending 50% of what's left at the end of the month toward past debts of medical bills and student loans, and the other 50% is saved. DH will take a 37% pay cut to join active duty.

How? I'm a FT student and SAHM to a 2yo and 4yo. (4yo just started half-day pre-k, which severely limits the time I could potentially work without having to fork out more for day care.)

Everything I read has been contradicting. Some say we can, some say we can't.

We're in the state of OK, DH basic and AIT is at Ft. Sill.

Does BAH and BAS count toward income? Do we have to share that with the DHS, even if we're living on base later on (wherever he gets PCS)? Does it count in gross income to qualify?

With all of his pay, after our expenses - mortgage, insurance, car payment ((---before any of you go off, it's our only vehicle and my DS does not have a bus to school as there is no pre-k within bus routes to our school district (we live in one city, school district we are assigned is in another and they don't bus over here from the Pre-k), and we're paying 11% interest to rebuild credit at 28 and 30 yrs old---)) insurance, utilities, phone (we only have one line, DH has a work phone we don't pay for) food, gas back and forth, day care, college tuition,(mine, some of which will eventually go to his GI Bill), internet (required for my two online classes) we are only looking at about $100 slack at the end of the month. We're gonna need the help! Please tell me it's available?

We're in a first-time-homebuyer's program and have 14 months left on our contract before we can refinance or sell the home without damaging our credit. So, at this time, selling our home is NOT an option.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:14 PM on Aug. 27, 2013 in Money & Work

Answers (13)
  • I would think the only way to find out for sure is to apply.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 7:34 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • Is there anyway that he can put off joining the military until you get a few more things paid off? What will you do with your home once he gets orders to report to a certain duty station? As far as the income guidelines, in the state of OK, you have to make below $2,422 if four people live in the household. More than likely you will qualify but I don't know for how much. It could be for $400 or it could be for $40. I would seriously consider taking care of financial responsibilities now and then join the military. The military is a big enough stressor as it is, much less having to worry about paying off debt and trying to feed a family of four. 


    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:40 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • Once he's in, he has 52 wks of AIT, (Which after he leaves for his basic training in Oct, and after AIT, we will be about 4 weeks past our 14mo buyers program.) Once he is out of AIT, he will be eligible for a VA loan, which we can refinance the house with at a cheaper payment. Once refinanced, we plan to put the house on the market, stay here until it sells, and we will rent until he is PCS if it sells before he is given orders. The only thing I'm concerned about is if BAH and BAS count as income? Because if so, we are SOOO screwed.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:57 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:04 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • I wish I had an answer because in my 20 years of experience with the military, I foresee a disaster. How did he get in with that debt-income ratio and dependents? Did anyone actually sit and do a budget with him and tell him what a bad idea this was? Did his recruiter shrug and tell him no big deal and he can get on food stamps right away? In a perfect world your plan will happen but in the military world you have to expect the worst with money. He could get kicked out on fraudulent enlistment if real bad financial problems arise. I used to be a command financial specialist and had to do budgets on junior sailors. The military is not going to want him this much in the red. Did he not disclose this while going through the enlistment process?

    I can't tell you not to worry because you all are in way over your heads.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 10:42 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • When my son joined the Navy, they did a thorough Credit Check on him. Any outstanding credit had to be paid.
    Not sure if the Army screens the same but I know from experience that the AF does credit screening as well.
    So honestly, I don't know the answer to your question.
    Have you discussed this with his recruiter?

    Answer by KTElite at 10:59 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • While I'm not going to cut someone down for wanting to serve his country, why would he want to take a 37% pay cut?

    I would not want to depend on SNAP considering the many budget problems the federal government is having. They're talking about a reduction in military staff, not an increase.

    Talk seriously and honestly to the recruiter. Lay out the budget. Call the local food stamp office or GO there and ask your questions. Find out EVERYTHING. Because I don't see good things here; I am afraid if he joins up you will run into HUGE money problems and become one of the many military divorce stories.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:17 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • Our scores are going straight up, and DH's job more than pays the bills. It's when he leaves his job that I worry. The money we've built up in savings will have to be used to make our mortgage payment, because the base pay and BAH will not cover all of our expenses. We live in a modest house, (10 months in on a 15yr fixed-rate mortgage of $146k) and have a $12k car we make payments on. The debts we're paying are not in collections, but after several surgeries and two deliveries without insurance, one nice, 7-day ICU stay for RSV with my 11wk old DS have landed us some nice medical bills. It's down to a total of about $4k, which is manageable, but if I keep making the same payments we are now, with the reduced income, I'm not foreseeing anything going into savings. We don't have any habits, no addictions, and we don't even shell out money for a babysitter to have date nights. We're very budget-savvy, have had to be. I'm just

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:22 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • worried about what's going to happen, and whether or not we'll qualify for PA if we absolutely need it. I know once we get PCS (we could live on base during his AIT due to it being more than 20wks long, but would still be restricted to paying our mortgage on the house until we were able to sell.) But at least, while on base, we would have childcare available based on his rank to where I could afford to get a job.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:25 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

  • Do not refinance just to turn around and sell the home. OK. that being out of the way., I would suggest that you talk to the office that would handle your case. If you do not know you can dial 211 and get that information.
    It sounds to me as though he did not tell the recruiter all of this. The military is not crazy about people going in with huge amounts of debt.
    I would suggest that if this does occur, you get yourself a job to help pay the bills that the two of you incurred and need to repay.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:27 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

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