Welfare is sucking this country dry!

Recently I read a blog entry by a brainy friend that left me thinking, “Really?”  The article was on the Kansas Lottery and showed how many Kansans believe that (from the beginning) the lottery revenue was promised to go to education.  In actuality…it never was.  Huh?  How can I think something for so many years and it be inaccurate?

Which leads me to the topic of today’s post…Welfare.  I have folks comment on a regular basis about the number of people on Welfare.  Their perspective is that there are a lot of lazy freeloaders on Welfare that are living high-on-the-hog on the government’s dime.

My response is: Huh?  You see I work with poor folks on a daily basis.  I daily work with the very system that would provide said “welfare”.  In my experience, “welfare” is not at all like most folks think!

The first thing I usually ask is: “To what are you referring when they speak of “welfare”?  Nearly always they exclude those people on disability.  So, those folks that are receiving a Social Security check because of a disability are not included in their statement about “welfare”.

With regards to Kansas, if we are not talking about Social Security (Federal monies), you’re talking about SRS (state monies).  Of course, SRS is no longer SRS.  It has had a name change.  See you agent for more details.

In the state of Kansas, the only cash “welfare” program is TANF.  TANF is “Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families”.  It is specifically for families and has a maximum lifetime limit on it of 60 months.  So, if you are single or a couple, and have no children in the home, this program is unavailable to you.

The families on TANF receive a maximum amount of $429/month (for a family of three).  That’s $429 to pay for rent, utilities, car insurance, gas for the car, clothes, over-the-counter medications if someone is sick, etc.  That’s an annual total income of: $5148.

So, for those family receiving TANF: there is no getting rich, and there is no living a lifetime on the government dole.

For more information on the TANF program, click here: http://www.tanf.us/kansas.html and/or http://www.nccp.org/profiles/KS_profile_36.html

The other primary state program to help folks in need is the Food Stamps program (which is funded federally by SNAP).  It is a program that has less restrictive income guidelines, thereby allowing more persons to receive assistance by this program.  The maximum amount of income allowed for a family of three is $19,090.  (That’s 100  percent of the federal poverty level.)

To see a chart outlining the Federal Poverty Level, go to the following link: http://www.coverageforall.org/pdf/FHCE_FedPovertyLevel.pdf.

Additionally, for family units to qualify, they may not have more than $2,000 in resources and assets and must be U.S. citizens or legal aliens. If your household has a  disabled or elderly member over age 60, the asset limit is extended to  $3,000.

For those that do financially qualify, there is a formula used to determine how much that family unit will receive in food stamps based on their income to expense ratio.  Some larger families receive significant sums.  Sums that are greatly needed to feed their families.  However, many individuals and couples do not receive “significant” sums.  I work with a man who is homeless.  He makes about $800 per month on Social Security Disability.  He gets $16 per month in Food Stamps.

All that to say, “welfare” is very different from what most people think.  The programs are fewer than realized, the amounts received are smaller than realized, and the length of time that someone can receive “welfare” is far shorter than realized.

It’s time for many to experience a perception correction!


3 thoughts on “Welfare is sucking this country dry!

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