Note: I got this from a new friend, Jamie Roads (click here). I definitely appreciate her efforts, especially now, as the right wing sets to reply the same crap they put out there in the 80s and 90s. I haven’t done the research since before Clinton’s Welfare Deform, so I’m grateful for the updates.
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-=[ Don't Believe the Hype ]=-
Or: Beating Up On The Poor
TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Average Payment/Benefit: Poverty Guidelines for most of the U.S. (-Alaska, Hawaii) is for 1, $10,830; for 2, $14,570; and for 3, $18,310. The average payment or benefit for Welfare Recipients averages NO MORE THAN 25% of poverty guidelines for a family of 3... That is $4577.50 (Per Year for a family of 3!!!) or approximately $381.46 per month (again, for 3 people!). One state (CA) does better by just under 50% of poverty levels (click here: pgs 9-11 ~ Map on page 11 is best breakdown!).
So this is an attractive, alluring way to survive how? Who is being lazy on this per month?
Can you collect forever? No (45/50 states). There is a 60 month lifetime limitation. Very few exceptions. Some states (8), like Connecticut have set their limitations lower (in their case, 21 months). This is regardless of the dollar amount you received (for example, if you collect $1.00, then that is 1/60 months). Some (12) are intermittent (i.e. 24 months on, then time required before can utilize again). Some states (only 5 -- Massachusetts, Michigan, NY, Oregon, Vermont) have no lifetime limits and move to state plans after federal has ended. Only 12 allow for assistance to children after that 5 year period (after adult has reached 5 year limits)
Would someone CHOOSE to be on welfare: Likely not, when you consider the average monthly payment for a family of 3 is under $400.00 and the average monthly cost of living is $1050.00 For the simple essentials (Based pretty low on $400.00 Rent, $147.00 Utilities, $249.00 Food, and $254.00 Transportation... per link above, pg 15). Most people WITH jobs struggle to maintain expenses month to month.
Qualifications: Must be a citizen and in most states, a resident. SS# must be provided, Proof of ages of ALL people in home, Income is based on state and specifics. In general if net income - expenses is less than Local Min. Income Figure in your area you may qualify. (I know locally, it doesn't take very much money at all to lose these benefits... unemployment will do it!
Additional Requirements on TANF: Depending on the age of the child, Recipients are required to attend classes, job seek, etc. 20-40 hours each week. They are required to show proof of job search (etc) and this is also followed up on (workers call and verify they are doing this, or expect documentation!)
Makes sitting 'on your butt' kinda difficult right?!
Who deserves Credit for much of these time limitations and added requirements: Bill Clinton.
Don’t Trash Talk the Poor: Clearing Up Misconceptions About “Welfare” (click here)
Policy (click here)
The Misconception About Welfare (click here )
TANF: Failing America's Poorest Children (click here)
THE HHS POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2010 (click here )
Consumer Expenditures 2007 (click here)
Cash Assistance from TANF (click here)