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I have six siblings, one of whom has been receiving SSDI (and other government benefits such as housing assistance and Medicaid) for a number of years. She's a long term alcoholic and addict, but is actually a lot less disabled than many working people I know ( including another sibling who has truly been plagued with health problems all their life). She claimed seizures and memory lapses to get on SSDI, but she's pretty functional overall. She is really just a freeloader, someone who has never wanted to work at a real job. She's been in and out of jail and rehab, but claims to be sober for several years now.

Naturally she's had lots of money problems, as SSDI doesn't pay very well, (especially if you're buying street drugs with the money). She feels that other family members are obligated to help her (including bailing her out of jail, paying for her car repairs, etc.) since the rest of us all work or are retired with employer pensions. Now she's lost her front teeth and needs several thousand dollars for a new bridge. She emailed me and two other siblings asking for a "loan", and was infuriated when we each said we don't have that kind of money to lend out. (Especially to her, because I can't imagine how she would ever repay it given how little income she receives.) Now she's furious and nasty, demanding to know why she's being treated so shabbily and how the rest of us would like going around without front teeth. I sympathize with her really, but I don't feel obligated to help her (although I did help her in the past before I was retired). I have told her a million times to GET A JOB and she was never willing to consider it. I think being toothless (or carless, or homeless) is just the price you pay for making those choices, and it's nobody's job to bail her out of it, even her family's. Any thoughts?

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I'm with above, she has made her own choices. Some of us are not as strong or have good work ethics. There may be programs out there that may be able to help her, however I do have empathy for her situation. I wouldn't like not having front teeth either, however I don't think I'd be asking my siblings to shell out a lot of money. One doesn't mind helping those that can help themselves, but for those that don't; they are on their own. Let her get mad, what's the worst that can happen?
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She is an adult and made and is still making her choices. Sadly, some people are just like that (my ex's brother and kids are exactly the same - they feel they are owed and are all adult losers no matter how much help they get) My daughter is a wise woman and she summed it up. "You help someone, you give advice, but in the end if they had wanted to change their lives they would have, and if they haven't by now, they won't." There is plenty of federal help out there but from what you have said, she is probably too lazy to try to find it. I agree with you. Tough love. You don't "owe" her, it would just be enabling her to continue to be what she is and always has been.
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guestshopadmin - I also thought there must be some cheap options such as a dental school, and suggested that to her in my email response. She didn't say that the price she quoted was the lowest she could find, or what options she explored before asking family for the money. I think she just feels we're obligated so she should only have to put her hand out to get what she needs.
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freqflyer - You raise a good question, because my sister has lied before to squeeze money out of me (once even telling me she was mugged at an ATM while attempting to make a cash deposit...like she'd ever put cash in the bank if she had any!). I believe her but there's no way to know. It's also possible she found an affordable solution to her dental problem, but doesn't want us to know that, so she can pocket the difference. I am sure the money would never be repaid given her very limited income, and nobody in my family has thousands of dollars to just kiss goodbye. So it almost doesn't matter if the teeth are gone or not.
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hey Carla, Putting on my serious hat for problem solving and assuming that sis is really seeking loan for dental...
Many people don't realize that some dentists do take Medicaid. It just doesn't always cover the "nicer" kinds of plates and implants that some folks feel entitled to. Many individuals stay with dentist that they had before Medicaid and don't do the research. It takes effort, but it can be done. These dentists can also set up payment plans or loans. I agree, if she is only on SSDI, how would she ever pay you back?
Also schools of dentistry have lower cost programs for individuals that utilize students with instructor supervision. I have a friend who has had several procedures done that way who is too young for Medicare, intermittently self-employed and unable to work consistently yet who doesn't qualify as disabled. He says that the work is not high end cosmetic, but he can chew and no longer has obvious missing teeth. Take care and maintain those boundaries.
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Carla - you are on the right course. You do not need to fund your sister :)
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Carla, yep tough love is needed here. You are doing the right thing.

Did Sis really lose her front teeth? My sig other ran into this problem with a step-son that lived out of state. He told the step-son that yes he will pay the dentist BUT he will pay the dentist directly.... step-son didn't like that idea, he wanted the money instead. Well that wasn't going to happen and sig other never heard another word about any teeth that needed to be fixed.
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Hi Carla, I agree with you.
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