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					Welfare Reform

In 1996 welfare reform laws were initiated in order to help get the most
out of these programs. After generations of dependency upon welfare the
goal was changed to help people to be able to help themselves. The
government decided they could continue to give out money and benefits
each month with nothing in return or they could get some productivity out
of welfare recipients.

One of the biggest changes was with the cash assistance program. It used
to be called AFDC for Assistances for Families with Dependent Children.
With the welfare reform though it became known as TANF for Temporary Aid
for Needy Families. There became a five year lifetime limit for families
to receive such add. Once they had reached that limit they could no
longer apply for it.

What this means is that a family basically had five years to get a plan
in order and to take action upon it. Each welfare recipient also had to
see a case manager to complete an IRC or Individual Responsibility
Contract. They had to decide if they wanted to go to college and get a
degree, look for work, or to engage in job training skills.

In order to help the welfare recipients achieve their set goals other
funds could be offered as well. For example they could assist with
vehicle repairs, paying for child care, counseling, clothing for work,
buying books for school, and getting them enrolled in on the job training
programs.

Of course there are those individuals that still believe welfare benefits
should be a right. They have no intension of doing anything to better
their own life for their children or themselves. Initially they believed
they could just sit around for five years and collect benefits. They
government was ready for this and took action in the form of sanctions.

Anyone not complying will lose 25% of their benefits the first month, 50%
the second month, and then get nothing after that until they are back in
compliance. This means they have to go in and discuss their plans with
their case manager. With welfare reform in place it is no longer to be
viewed as a hand out. Instead it is a stepping stone to helping families
to obtain a better quality of life.

				
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posted:3/18/2011
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