Even with everything that's been written about TNA on this site, I never expected something like this. The following exchange took place on Twitter yesterday involving TNA wrestler Jesse Neal, independent wrestler/his live-in girlfriend Christina Von Eeerie (real name Christina Maria Kardooni), fellow TNA wrestler Max Buck, and "RowdyRodimus" of the World Wrestling Insanity website (and if any of the tweets get pulled, I have saved screenshots of Neal and Von Eeerie's):
Things are looking up! Just recieved some good news!!! :)
Yayyyy we qualified for food stamps!!! I can eat now! RT @CVEvil_138: Things are looking up! Just recieved some good news!!! :)
@TheJesseNeal Haha. I hear ya bud. Hope you're feeling better man!
@GenMeMax feeling great, the stamps will help! Ha!
@RowdyRodimus guess what ASSHOLE its not a fucking joke! How about u take ur dick comment and go fuck urself with it! ;D
I'm not even sure what to say other than the obvious along with some facts that give context to it: After all of the talk about TNA wrestler treatment, including low pay below the upper card, we now have a wrestler outright saying that TNA doesn't pay a living wage. The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program (for the stamps that were replaced by specialized debit cards in recent years) helps low income families with purchasing food. Like with Medicaid (the health insurance and prescription drug coverage equivilent), the programs are run by each state.
After the jump we'll take a look at SNAP requirements to put into perspective exactly what this means.
Since Neal and Von Eerie live in Florida, let's take a look at most relevant of the state's requirements:
- "Work Rules - Healthy adults, 18 to 50 years of age, who do not have dependent children or are not pregnant, can only get food assistance benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period, if they are not working or participating in a work or workfare program." I have no idea if they have children or not (I'm guessing no) so their benefits are limited unless she's pregnant, which, again, I have no idea about.
- "Income and Deductions - Most households must pass a gross income limit at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Households with a member disqualified for breaking Food Assistance Program rules, felony drug trafficking, running away from a felony warrant, or not participating in a work program must meet a gross income test at 130% of the FPL. Households with or without a disqualified member must have net income less than 100% of the FPL. Households with people who are, age 60 or older or disabled must only meet the net monthly income limit. Some household expenses may be subtracted from the total monthly income in the food assistance budget. The budget may subtract for shelter expenses, dependent care, medical, child support paid, standard deductions, and earnings." I would guess that "not participating in a work program" would put their maximum gross household income at 130% of the FPL.
The 2011 U.S. federal poverty level for a family of two people in the lower 48 states is $14,710 (and $3,820 is added for each additional person if there happens to be one). 130% would be $19,123 and 200% would be $29,420. That's all gross income, not net, so this doesn't take their road expenses or anything like that into account.
For what it's worth, Neal also tweeted this earlier today:
Being on hold with VA for 45mins. SUX!!! But knowing that I have full benefits and getting taking care of.... PRICELESS!!!!
The day after finding out that he's eligibile for SNAP benefits, Neal also looked into his Veterans' Administration benefits, which could include a number of different things.
My heart goes Neal and Von Eerie.
As far as TNA goes...wow. What can you say that isn't incredibly obvious?