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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