Snap programs, rent assistance, SSI, FEMA, and medical insurance are just a handful of programs that the government has put in place to help families survive in rough times. Here in the U.S we live with the luxury of having a helping hand when life has pushed a little harder than we can take; while requirements differ from state to state these programs are here to raise the living conditions of low income families. Two of the many programs that I would like to discuss with you are TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and Social Security. Both of these programs help a broad range of people while bringing stability to homes and easing the stress of not being able to make ends meet with job income alone.
The TANF better known as Welfare is a public assistance program that is federally funded targeted at families with one or more children or women that are pregnant. This program offers assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical. The key word in this program is “temporary”. I say this because this program brings many services to those who qualify, but these services are not life-long. They are merely meant to help families get a jumping start and on life’s obstacles. One of the main services available to applicants is limited cash assistance that’s hopefully used for food, clothing or child care needs. The importance of this program is that is means to give temporary assistance so that parents can make moves in other ways for a more secure future for their families. The TANF goal is to see families become independent and in a better financial and educational situation by the end of their maximum 60 months of benefits. They do this by helping you find GED preparation classes, vocational training, and offering job fairs that are looking for people like you. They also go as far as helping with child care needs and job retention services. Because their ambition is to have you be more advance in the end.
With the recent reform of the ADAC to what we have now the TANF there are many debates on what should actually be done to help families on this program. A significant change that is affecting families is the new rule that limits benefits to 60 months or 5 years. The argument here is that, this is just not enough time for families to sufficiently benefit from the program and become independent which is the ultimate goal. In DC council members are struggling with this idea. In the article, “D.C. Council softens penalties for welfare recipients who refuse job training” it states, “A strong majority of council members were concerned that some of the city’s policies would in effect punish poor children for the behavior of their parents.” The article also touches on the sanctions for adults who do not participant in programs/classes are supposed to help individuals gain skills to find work so they can be self-sufficient at the end of the 60 month period. The consequences of incompletion of the counseling courses can and will ultimately end up in suspension of benefits.
I take a more conservative view on this issue. Everyday i see people i know and love take advantage of this system. I know that the government is trying to help our economy and improve our low income families living but there needs to be more rules in making sure people are doing what they have to so they tax payers money is not going to waste. For example i over- heard a coworker saying that she only needs to work a minimum amount of hours so that she complies with the government support she was on. This is the mindset of many people who are on assistance, that do not plan on being in a better financial position after said benefits are done. They are just using the government help and tax payer money for the here and now; which is the complete opposite of what the system is trying to do. In other words I completely agree with the sanctions. The downfall to this is the negative effect on the