LCOC Helps a Widow Through Unexpected Expenses
Losing a loved one is painful enough without the financial repercussions that follow for many people. After her husband died, Jean (not her real name) was hit with a huge tax bill on his pension, and also learned that neither she nor her husband had enough taxes taken out of their Social Security, resulting in an additional tax obligation. At the same time received a large bill from the gas company, even though her husband had set up a budget plan with the utility.
“Then I got the water bill,” she said, and despite her two grown children helping as much as they could, Jean could not pay all her bills.
In desperation, she used a credit card to pay her gas bill.
“What are you going to do, I can’t not eat,” said Jean, who works part-time.
At the time of his death, her husband had been retired less than a year. “He had his pension, and Social Security. We were going to fix up the house, spend time together,” she said. With their children grown, “We were finally at the point where we could do things for ourselves. It was going to be our time. Then he got sick, and passed.”
Jean did not think about reaching out for help, but her daughter, seeing her struggle, called the Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC), where a volunteer was able to arrange a month’s mortgage payment to help Jean find her footing financially.
“They were unbelievable,” said Jean, who is grateful for the Council’s help
Based in Orleans, the nonprofit Lower Cape Outreach Council helps residents of all eight Lower and Outer Cape towns who are struggling financially. A team of volunteer advocates, lead by LCOC’s licensed social worker, work with clients on an individual basis to determine how best to help. The organization provides assistance with housing, utilities, transportation, or medical costs, and more depending on the situation.
In Jean’s case, having that one month’s mortgage payment covered gave her some breathing room so she could pay her other bills and formulate a plan. “I just need to be able to align myself for the budget,” she said.
Her daughter, who lives with her, has agreed to pay rent, and Jean is confident she will be able to get back on her feet. With the Lower Cape Outreach Council’s help, “Now I can move forward,” she said.
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