Under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the federal government doled out checks to unmarried mothers, which some rightly criticized as encouraging women to continue having children without getting married. Subsisting on welfare became generational, with never-married daughters, mothers, and grandmothers living on the dole.
In 1996, a Republican Congress pushed through welfare reform, and the bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Under the AFDC’s successor, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, benefits are limited to five years. President Barack Obama allowed states to apply to waive the program’s work requirement if they found other ways to increase employment.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps, supposedly is available only to no- and low-income citizens and legal immigrants with a job, looking for a job, or receiving job training. Indiana, which had waived these requirements, recently announced that next year, it will require certain recipients to work. From Fox News:
Starting in spring of 2015, new requirements will mandate that any able-bodied Indiana adult without children will need to be working at least 20 hours a week, be in job training, or searching for employment in order to qualify.
“You can work less than 20 hours a week and still be in this category. So you could work less than 20 hours a week and lose your SNAP benefits on this timeline,” said Fraser.
Fraser said the state assistance program aimed at helping Hoosiers find employment is not ready for an influx.
“The employment and training program served 783 people in 2014, and when this waiver takes full effect, there’s maybe 65,000 Hoosiers that are going to be rushing in to try to get on that program,” she said.
Photo credit: Selbe B (Creative Commons)