Low pay and transition

Tricia* sent me the note below in January 2003. It gives some good practical suggestions for those who want to start transition while in a low-paying job. One hidden benefit of some companies is great insurance, which can effectively double your salary if you get some or all of your transition expenses covered. There's always a way to transition if you have a plan in place!

* name changed to protect her privacy

~~So You wanna start this but have no money or education ~~

Cashier

One thing I recommend because I do this- a young TG person could get started in transition by finding a job at or any convienience store or grocery store owned by KROGER company. (I think 7-11 has medical)

People shudder at the thought of being a cashier. BUT- right now I work at one and I have the insurance. You see, me, the wife and kid are all on it, Dental, medical, and prescription, it costs $40 a week (taken from the check) for all 3 of us and I pay $20 a month for my meds and my therapy sessions are $15 ( the regular DR office copay).

Why do I mention this? Well, our family prolly reaps more in doctor benefits than our annual household income. Well, maybe not, but close. Most people have no idea how good the insurance is at some "stop and go" stores. (after all, it is "just" a gas station)

So what does this have to do with a TG? Well, for a considerably low price, one could get their counseling, HRT, and other things done. FFS and SRS? Prolly not! But if someone is taking a low pay job and wants to start HRT and counseling (and maybe get their teeth nice and pretty; and what girl doesn't want that?) this is a good way. Kroger company health bennies are excellent. I have had no trouble getting my Premarin from a DOC who actually does the checkups and bloodwork needed ($15 a visit vs. $80).

I may say stay away from this type of job in a rough town.

I have been on HRT for over a year and not been questioned about it. And damn is it an easy job! I have worked back breaking factory jobs that offer crappy benefits at best. I think for a single person wanting full medical it is like $25 a week. A person could save at least $30 a month this way, AT LEAST! (HRT+ counseling=$130 a month at least without insurance) Wanna know how much it would cost me to get my leg fixed without insurance...? BUT, You have to work FT in order to qualify for benefits.

DON'T DO THIS...

Don't ask your employer questions about males getting HRT or therapy counseling. It is not their business. I dont think genetic males are suppose to get Premarin on perscription. Just ask your doc. I called each therapist and asked if they worked with GID patients. My therapist does not specialize in GID per se, but got me the letter that got me my meds. My med DOC was recommended to me by another TS in my town (who is older, educated, and now post op.)

WHAT DOCTORS ARE COVERED ON MY INSURANCE?

All you have to do is get on the insurance companies web site and it will prompt you for your location and maybe your insurance plan. Well, print the list and start calling around! Don't worry, it will not ask if you are TS so just get the info and THEN make the calls. Shoot use a pay phone if you are THAT nervous about your ID being revealed!!

COLLEGE

Does the TG want to go to college for better training but has not the $$$$ for college?

If they have lived in a state for at least one year and has some sort of documentaion to prove it (like a DL or state ID), ask your local college about a PELL grant. You also have had to been away from the folks home for at least a year or so. Shoot, because of our income, I actually get back the money in a check what I do not use for school. I go 6 credit hours this semester and will get a check for $300 in a few weeks. Shoot, I will spend 40 hours in a class room over 16 weeks and after doing the math, I get $7.50 an hour to go to school! They pay YOU to go to school, in a sense! ( a few more dollars for, what else? Well, Andrea's voice tape is less than $100 BADAM!!! voice is taken care of!!)

You DO have to declare a major to get this. Have the previous tax documents ready when you fill out the APPS. A person who makes I think less than $15 grand a year will qualify. A GED or High school diploma is needed. This is for us poor people.

So while you are working your cashier job (getting those health bennies, but a small check) You can go to school AND do so for FREE! Well, it is not free, they pay you a little each semester for going. ONE CAN'T LOSE!!! You don't even have to go to school Full time to qualify for PELL. I don't know if it will pay for a 4 yr, but I go to a 2 yr school and I think the limit for PELL benefits is 108 credits. (3 of a 4 yr degree)

PELL grant pays for class tuition and books and most student fees. All I have ever had to shell out for was a parking permit and ID. (less than $10 out of pocket per year)

Well, I know the above is only a small help, but it is a DAMN good start. Once the TG gets their degree, or maybe Before so, they can work a good pay job and then really have the money for the mountain stuff like FFS and SRS. Now there is no more excuse to NOT be on HRT or be in college!!
THis is a good start to a 4 year plan give or take a couple years. Thank you for reading!!!!!


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