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Welfare Reform Essay

1718 words - 7 pages

Welfare is a government program that provides food, money, housing, medical care, and other things people need in order to survive. These programs are designed to help elderly, children, disabled individuals who cannot support their families on their current income. In order to qualify for assistance the individual’s income must be below the poverty line. There are about sixty assistance programs, however most people receive help though Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and Temporary Assistance of Needy Families also known as TNAF. I would like to reform welfare because welfare has become a way of life for some its recipients and has created a culture of dependency. The welfare reform ...view middle of the document...

He or she must be a citizen of the United States or a qualified non-citizen legal resident. The applicant must commitment to completing the application with accuracy and honesty during the program. All monetary resources must be divulged. This includes cash within the home, in checking or savings accounts and items of value in possession such as jewelry or electronics. A household financial budget must be created and adhered to by all applicants. “Under the old rule a mother would be cut from rolls once her case worker discovered she had a job that earned significant income” (Price 617). Applicants are now subjected to drug testing. “Two major goals, she said, are to protect taxpayer money and motivate drug users to escape from their addiction” (Montgomery).
The policy options that I would consider changing first would be the time limits because limits do not apply to benefits funded by the state. In addition to that states have great flexibility under federal laws. Which means the state is responsible for setting the limits in which an applicant is allowed to remain on benefits. In which applicants are on assistance. “The typical AFDC beneficiary was on welfare for an estimated average of 13 years” (Rector 98). The next options that I would consider changing is the drug testing because applicants are only required to take only one drug test once each year and after the first year applicants are randomly assigned a month within that year to submit to testing if a reasonable notice is given. The last options that I would consider changing would be the compliance portion of the policy. When it comes to compliance the applicant are given a questionnaire or a phone interview. This means the case worker has to take the word of the applicant. “These improved incentives have resulted in fewer welfare enrollments, shorter spells of welfare dependency, and smaller caseloads across the country” (Rector 101).
When it comes to policy changes there are always Pros and Cons. The welfare administrator and the governor do not want to be responsible for large number of families lose their benefits do to a time limit. They also try to limit the number of families that are not ready to be self-sufficient due to a time limit expiring. For these reasons they create exemptions and extensions to protect those recipients who can’t achieve self-sufficiency no matter what they do to help them. “More curious, although research has determined that welfare reform reduced the number of women receiving assistance and pushed many into work, analysis of how this has affected their well-being remains scarce, in part because poverty has been among the least-studied outcomes” (Pimpare 57). On the other hand this would force the case workers to pay closer attention to cases to ensure the time limit set does not expire. When looking at the pros and cons of drug testing, it could save the welfare program money by removing drug addicts from the program. This could also be a reason...

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