So, as I have mentioned, I am on leave from work due to my illness. What I have learned is that Washington State implemented a new Paid Family and Medical Leave program in January. Apparently the program was immediately overwhelmed and required 10 weeks to approve completed applications. Then COVID-19 happened, and they continue to be overwhelmed with 10 weeks for approval. With my employer I need to wait for this PFML application to be approved before they will pay Short Term Income Replacement (STIR). This used to be equivalent to short term disability. So basically this means I will not be receiving pay until I am able to work or 10 weeks, whichever comes first. And I found this all out yesterday.
Since we are not excited about using our savings for routine household expenses, we are going to start hunkering down financially as well as socially. I had already had my grocery order in with Freddies to pick up this evening. I thought about cancelling but decided we did need some supplies for this hunkering. But we cancelled our plans for take out Mexican food and margaritas from a local family restaurant, which is sad. I really wanted to experience this new take out cocktail phenomenon here.
So for our Friday evening, we went to the feed store for some needed farming supplies for our garden to continue to grow our own food there.
And we did go to Freddies to pick up our order.
I must confess I did add some extra items at the last minute in case this turns into a 10 week ordeal.
But I decided to make this into an experience/experiment. I am curious how long we can go without buying anything and live on what we have here already. We are in good shape with our garden, orchard, frozen meats, homemade wine and cider, lard, suet, and eggs. So we will need to be a little more creative in a different way with our meal planning.
But I am thinking about my ancestors who had sudden changes of circumstances and had to live without money on their farms. My maternal great grandparents survived the depression on their farm. My paternal great great grandmother survived when her husband died of war injuries. My paternal great grandfather committed suicide leaving his wife and children on the farm. My paternal grandparents had a catastrophic crop failure and made it through that. I am sure there are many other similar stories of survival that I am not aware of. Now things are not at all dire for us, but I am taking this as an opportunity to learn and appreciate.
The other things I am quickly learning and appreciating is how quickly a medical illness can devastate family. This 10 week wait is unacceptable as many family do live from paycheck to paycheck. In 10 weeks many people can lose their homes, credit, etc. The Employment Security Department needs to quickly remedy these problems because they are NOT providing ANY employment security at this point. It is disgraceful.