Making Changes...

Family Services... - Family Services...
@twoey68 (13650)
United States
February 2, 2008 6:03pm CST
I have started a discussion or two on ppl that live rather well while collecting social services...welfare, foodstamps, wic, medicaid, you name it. Even when they have adequte income they still get benefits somehow. I am not referring to Social Security but rather Welfare. I am not picking on anyone or criticizing those that really need it and I am not saying that everyone that is on it is cheating it or abusing it. However, we do in fact have ppl in this country that are purposely having more and more children simply to get more benefits. I know several ppl like this. I have no problem with ppl getting help that really need it but there are some that can do fine without it and still keep getting it. My question is simple: If given the chance, how would you fix this problem. You obviously can't starve children or make them homeless but I'm curious as to ppl's different approaches to this problem. Alot of ppl were very upset at a discussion I had about a friend on Welfare that was having a very lavish wedding...the fact that she could afford that while on Welfare and I was upset that she is doing this but how would you fix it? I think if it was up to me...I'd make the checks they get payable to their landlord or utilies offices rather than to the person. I think I'd make the foodstamps usable only on regular food items rather than chips, soda, candy, ect. I'd put a time limit on how long they could be on benefits. What about you? How would you change things? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
21 people like this
39 responses
• United States
3 Feb 08
I'm now 61 years old and have never been out of work more than a few days, usually going from one job to the next.In the past 30 years, I've had 2 jobs and 1 of those was in the military. I feel there is a job available to everybody if they are willing to do it. Some of the jobs are not glamarous like flipping burgers but sometimes we have to do what we do. ***************NOW TO THE BIG QUESTION, WHAT WOULD I DO TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM.********* Anybody drawing welfare, food stamps ect. who are able bodied men and women and not over the age of 62 would be required to report each morning at 8:30 AM, Monday thru Friday at a specified location. They would then be given work assignments, whether it's cutting grass, picking up liter ect. Naturally, there would be exemptions, like mothers with young children. There would be too many to name them all but those persons who paticipated in the program would be making a statement, " I need the help and am willing to work for it."
• Enumclaw, Washington
3 Feb 08
You have to in Washington State. It's called the Work First Program. You have to go every day to meetings, even the women with kids. You are expected to find daycare immiediatley to do this. Even if you live where there is no public transportation, or day care, you are expected to be there, or they cut you off.
2 people like this
• United Kingdom
3 Feb 08
I agree with some of what you say but I know that not everyone can get a job that easily although in the UK, if you are already on some benefits then you can get help to find a job and the jobcentre has to find you a job after 6 months if you haven't got one by then. But I have looked for work for the past two years without success. My younger sister found a part time job after looking for almost three years and my older sister applied for a number of jobs, being turned down for every one of them.(None of us are or were on benefits). And, I know you didn't mean it maliciously but it really bugs me when people say how easy it is to get a job. My partner was lucky as he left one job and went straight into another one but it's not that easy for some people.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Feb 08
Responses for slothgurl and pumpkinjam. I'm surprized that such a program exist in the US considering some of the liberal politicians we have. In fact, it sounds like they went a step beyond what I was reccommending. I based my response on what I see every day here in SC. I personally saw a number of people turn down jobs because they would lose their benifits, "deserving or not" and I feel they are cheating the hard working tax payer, especially the middle class. *********To pumpkinjam; No, I don't have a malicious bone in my body. I'm not aware of the job market in the UK or in the particular area where you live. Is there high unemployment in the area where you live? Were you open to any job available or were you looking for a particular type of job, salary ect.? Regardless, based on your response, I wish you the best of luck in finding a job.
2 people like this
@cynddvs (2949)
• United States
3 Feb 08
I know a lot of people may not agree with me on this one. I would put a cap on how many children they are allowed to have while on welfare. I can understand people who fall on hard times that already have larger families to take care of. But these women who have baby after baby to continue to stay on welfare are the ones I'm talking about. If you can't afford to take care of the children you have you don't need to be having more babies. I know people won't agree with me on this one but that's just my opinion.
4 people like this
• United States
3 Feb 08
I agree with you 200%, cynddvs. It's one thing when a large family suddenly falls on hard times..job loss or illness, but a whole nother when babies are being created just to stay on welfare.
4 people like this
• United Kingdom
3 Feb 08
I do agree with that although it would not suit everyone! But the problem is that you can't force people to stop having babies. Maybe people who keep having kids while on benefits should have their kids taken off them. Not those who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own of course. And I don't mean that if you've got one kids and you're on benefits and have another one unplanned or the baby's dad left you or whatever. I mean those where both parents have obviously chosen not to work eg. where people have 5 or 6 kids and keep having one every couple of years with no intention of either parent ever getting a job. Having a little help to supplement your income or if you have a disability or if you're a single parent with pre school children then that should be ok but I do think that much of the problem lies with what I just said, although there are single people with no reason to be on benefits who I think just get forgotten about. That's another thing too. Well, here anyway, it seems families are the ones to get picked out while there are plenty of other people on benefits who are left to get on with it. I know of at least one very large family where neither parent works and they obviously have no intention of ever working but no one seems to have noticed and then there are what I would call proper families where one parent works full time and the other looks after the children, sometimes working part time to supplement their income, who can not get any help all because they are trying to help themselves.
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12646)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Its upsetting to me to, to see people taking advantage of the system. Its a tough situation to fix. It does seem that certain people know how to "work" the system. It also seems that some people who really need some help and have never asked for help, get screwed. I know what you mean about people buying lots of junk food with foodstamps. That a tough one too, kids do deserve treats. I do know its hard for the ones that don't get food stamps to sometime afford treats for their kids, and then they see people getting treats with food stamps that the person working and paying taxes has help buy. Their are some people who do get food stamps that are just buying decent food, its sometimes is hard for them to stretch their foodstamps for the whole month. I do think their is a limit on how long you can get benefits already.
4 people like this
@drannhh (15237)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Instead of allowing good food to be thrown away, excess food could be bought by the social service agencies and handed out the way it used to be done long ago instead of giving out food stamps. I don't remember anyone complaining about the lovely milk, cheese, and bread that were doled out 60 years ago to those who needed a little help. There is so much food thrown away! Remember when farmers poured milk down the sewers instead of selling it at the then prevailing prices? Bulk food is cheaper to buy, too, instead of giving people money to buy overpriced food at fancy markets, the agencies could buy the food at quantity discount and divide it up like the coops used to in the 60's. Just as social security wasn't meant to be people's sole income, I this "welfare" is supposed to be a supplement for many, not complete support for a few. Those who do cheat are stealing from the people who need the benefits but don't get them. Benefits should go to the neediest, not the most brazen, I think. Yes, of course the rent check should go to the landlord, etc.
4 people like this
• United States
3 Feb 08
I like your ideas a great deal. I think rent and utility vouchers are a great thing. And I've never liked the idea of candies and things being available to buy with food stamps. While a little is okay - the main reason for them in the first place is nutrition. And I've seen it over and over where there is a great deal of junk food bought with them. I've even had customers when I was a cashier get upset that certain holiday candy merchandise wouldn't qualify...and the rule was that the candy had to be worth 50% or more of the toys or items it came with. I think the key factor here is TIME - it should be a limited amount of time that you can have the benefits.
4 people like this
@winterose (39893)
• Canada
3 Feb 08
then you are basically saying that because a child is born into a poor family they don't deserve to eat candy or have pop, or anything they see their friends having, what you are doing is making them feel that they are useless, worthless and of no consequence to anyone. that is heartless and cruel. what I would suggest is the government having closer tabs on the people and weeding out the one's that are abusing the system and educating the ones that just need to spend their money a little more wisely
3 people like this
@twoey68 (13650)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Ok, wait a minute, I never said that a child doesn't deserve a pop or candy but I have been in the grocery store and seen adults buying whole carts filled with nothing but cases of soda and bags of chips, frozen pizza's and bags of candy. To me, feeding children with all that junk is heartless and cruel. There has to be a happy medium. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
3 people like this
• United States
3 Feb 08
I've seen it as well, twoey, and I'm sure alot other ppl have as well. I only bought juices and other healthy stuff the few months I had food stamps. My daughter got all the candy and chips she wanted at the food pantry.
3 people like this
@winterose (39893)
• Canada
3 Feb 08
if you never said that what does this mean: I think I'd make the foodstamps usable only on regular food items rather than chips, soda, candy, ect. I'd put a time limit on how long they could be on benefits. how would they get a treat if you are not allowing them to use any of that money on food stamps?
3 people like this
@teison2 (5923)
• Norway
3 Feb 08
There will always be people cheating the state. However most of the people that recieve benefits really need it. Most of them do feel really bad about being in a situation like that, and they feel embarrased and get upset and depressed by the way others view them. So what changes would I make? I would make sure there were work to be had for those able to work. Work and get paid. I would put uneducated people in school or in an aprentiseship. Educated people are able to support themselves better. I would get treatment for people that are ill and cannot afford to get treatment. I would supply daycare, and have langiageclasses for people that need that. I think it is a better way than handing out money without trying to help in any other way. Hardly any like to be om welfare for years and years. It does get harder and harder to get back into the swing of things when on welfare. People do ned help and they do need someone requireing something from them in return.
3 people like this
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
3 Feb 08
This is such a good answer! I don't think most women deliberatly have children just to stay on welfare. I think those women are suffering from low esteem, probably from being on the system and make very poor choices in men. Councelling and education would help much. It becomes a way of life and a rut they don't know how to get out of. It also sets a very poor example for the children they are raising. These women really don't get ahead on the system.If the father of the child stays with them, then their benefits are reduced or ended. Most times he doesn't stay around. She is hurting.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12912)
• Australia
3 Feb 08
I know what you are on about for sure. We have a similar problem in Australia. I would be the last person to deny that very low income people should go without basic essentials, such as food, health care & schooling. By all means the Government should support them, via our taxes. I notice here though, that there seem to be two groups of people who qualify for the healthcare card & school card. One group are the genuine poor, which may be a single parent, or a couple with kids who for whatever reason can't find jobs. Then there is a second group who receive the health care card & school card (and cheaper utilities, etc). This group is largely single parents with kids, who do receive maintenance (child support) from their ex spouse. This group still get income from centrelink, still get the the health & school card, etc. Some of them end up better off that what we are with all these benefits. I am NOT referring to single parents who do not receive child support. Solution: Reduce the child support payments a lot.Take into account large gifts of money given my parents to this second group.
@stephcjh (32303)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Some people have all the luck LOL. I don't know how people do it either. I have asked for help in the past and couldn't get it because we made just a little bit too much. You can look around at alot of other people who get assistance though and they have alot of nice things and they get alot of help and assistance. It doesn't make sense. It isn't fair to the ones who really need it or have to have it at the time. I don't like asking for help anyway because it is very embarrassing but still.
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
3 Feb 08
I like your approaches to the welfare problem. Sending the checks to landlord or utilities instead of to the person receiving them. It pisses me off when I'm behind someone using food stamps and most of the stuff on the belt is junk food. I even went as far as telling one lady off bout it. I got foodstamps for a few months just over a year ago. I only bought meat, canned/fresh veges/fruit, milk, all the healthy food with it. I never did buy junk food much being if it's in the house, it gets chosen over the fruits and veges as snacks which isn't good for you. I would add one thing thou that, hopefully, would stop ppl from having 10 kids just to be on welfare. Put a limit on how many kids in a family that can be on it. I know it's harsh but if these welfare mothers that are purposely having more and more kids just to get more money knew that only their 2 oldest were going to get benefits, they just might stop having more kids. Or maybe if they clearly have no intention of working their way off welfare, don't let them have more than 2 kids. Either make it a law that after 2 kids, they have to get their tubes cut,tied,burned..whatever so they can't have any more kids. My daughter is an only child for a good reason. I knew we were having a difficult time financially, and it would be even tougher with 2 kids. I didn't want our daughter to go without alot which is what would of happened if we had more kids. I knew when to stop so we won't have to go on welfare.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Hope you don't mind my butting in...I don't think sending the money in the form of checks directly to landlords or the utilities would work out well. I get SSI Disability....not much only $724 a month...by the time I pay my bills if I have $30 cash money left for the rest of the month I'm lucky...that $30 goes for things like maybe that bottle of aspirin, or toilet paper, or of course first and foremost cat food and litter for my two kitties.--In other words all the taxables one can't get with food stamps, which thank God I also get otherwise I'd be starving here...LOL. As for what I get on food stamps I too get good foods, but heck yes once in awhile I'll indulge...like I did yesterday and got myself some cookies..hehee But you should see how the WIC program is abused here...think women have more kids just to stay on the program to get their free milk, eggs, cheeses, cereals, juices and the such
1 person likes this
• Enumclaw, Washington
3 Feb 08
Thanks pye, you're right . I don't think alot of people understand. When you usually only get around $425 cash, and $375 food stamps, that there would be any way to send a voucher for rent, because they dont give you that much. They also don't help with utilities, you have to apply for that at a differnt department. As for WIC, what pisses me off, (I used to live next door to a WIC building)was watching the illegal immigrants, from down south, drive up in big SUV's, with spinning rims and a DVD player in it to keep the other 5 kids busy while someone went in to collect the WIC check! AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 08
I never received cash. Just $200 in food stamps a month and the medical card. Hubby stopped paying the mortgage when he left and I couldn't afford to pay it so came very close to losing this house. The mortgage is cheaper than rent which means my daughter and I would of been living in the car. Thankfully, hubby realized what a stupid mistake he made and willing went to marriage counciling with me to try and work things out. Our combined income is just above poverty yet we can't get help with anything. Told hubby if I dropped 2 of my routes, we could get food stamps but then I wouldn't be able to pay some of the bills. We are in a no-win situation here. WIC was great when I was preggy with our daughter but when she turned 2yrs old, I stopped going even thou I could of stayed on it for another 3 yrs. I didn't want to cause our finances were improving. Then I hurt my back so back downhill we went and is pretty much where we stayed till present. WIC is great but is more abused than public aid, it seems.
1 person likes this
@twils2 (1812)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Hello twoey68, I think the first change I would make is tat anyone that wants Federal benefits should be willing to do volunteer work like community service of some kind. At least that way they would feel like they are sort of earning it. Then I would make the children a ward of the state and any misuse of the system would be grounds for removal. Lets face it, these women aren't having kids because they love children. Anyone that can work WILL be actively seeking work or risk losing there benefits. In most cases they choose to be single mothers because they knew they had the government to fall back on. Any retailer that accepts food stamps for anything other then basic necessities will receive very stiff fines. 35+ years ago when I was living with my mom in the projects, I seen lots of people that were working the system and having more kids just to get more benefits. I can only imagine that the situation has gotten a lot worst now days. After all, all of the kids that grew up in welfare homes are now learning from their parents how to work the system. I'm not saying that this is always the case, but as time moves on it seems more and more are looking for a free ticket through life. I think its kind of sad that they are willing to accept this kind of life when they can do so much more with their lives. I guess that makes the government an enabler. Just my two cents. Take care, Terry
• United Kingdom
3 Feb 08
There are loads of people brought u pon benefits and just go straight to the dole office when they hit 18 and end up doing the same. While there are people who genuinely nede to be on benefits, it is not good for kids to think it's a good thing. If I need to be on benefits then I will be, if in the future, my kids need to be on benefits, I will make sure they don't feel ashamed of it bu will make sure they know that it's not the best thing to do. I was brought up on benefits and my sisters and I must be the execption to the rule because we don't want to be on benefits. We're all doing what we can to not have to do that although, as I say, if it is necessary then that's ok.
2 people like this
@twils2 (1812)
• United States
3 Feb 08
I agree that people shouldn't be ashamed if they are truly in need, My mother went on welfare after my dad left when I was 10 years old. I still think that if we had some kind of community service for those that accepted public assistance they would be more likely to get a real paying job a bit quicker. It might also do something to make them feel better about taking the money if they thought they were doing something to earn it.
3 people like this
@anniepa (27520)
• United States
3 Feb 08
I agree with you about the food stamps to some degree, although I do understand how kids should be entitled to SOME treats like you mentioned. Maybe they could program the cards they use now to allow only a certainly percentage of certain items? I'll tell you something that really bugs me, and funny this should be the night before the Super Bowl; a few years ago I was grocery shopping either the night before or the day of the Super Bowl and the store was packed. I was behind a guy who had a cart that couldn't have held another item without it all spilling out, and I'm talking the cart itself and the rack on the bottom. The majority of the stuff in the cart was party items - chips and other snacks, chicken wings, shrimp, a bunch of big bottles of soda plus drink mixers, cheeses and dips, snack meats, you name it. He paid for it all with food stamps. This guy had one heck of a Super Bowl party on US. Anyway, it's really a shame because these people who abuse the system have found some way of playing it because I know of too many people, especially these days, who really could use just a little bit of help but since they're working and doing the best they can they can't get a red cent. It's really a shame and I wish something could be done without hurting the ones that are really in need for a good reason. Annie
2 people like this
@cripfemme (7710)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I sometimes buy treats with my foodstamps, like Snapple drinks or chips or snacks for bus/train/plane trips. I buy it her because I'll need it for travel and it's cheaper to buy them here at the grocery store than in some big city CVS. If I'm going to be at home, I buy real food. However, if I'm traveling (often gor my job), it's more useful to purchase snacks or disposable foods.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Feb 08
Well I myself was on welfare from the time I was 18 til just before I had my daughter and our system out here is awful but I bet it would solve the problem out there. They have made the system really hard to get on. They make you find a job before they will allow you on and if you can get a job then they will give you a check and make you pay it back. and if you have kids you only have til they are 1 before you have to go back to work. Most men are refused welfare unless they have a doctors not that says they are unfit to work. I hate the way they have done things out here but in some circumstances it needed to be done.
2 people like this
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
3 Feb 08
Unless they are being paid cash for working, they will be found out. There used to be a list of things you could not buy with food stamps, and I think it was changed just to make checking out at the grocery store easier for the cashiers. I do think you have a good idea there about making some type of voucher that can only be used for specific things, rent, utilities, etc. I do know that there are more honest people out there that could actually benefit from receiving assistance than get it.
2 people like this
@pumpkinjam (7585)
• United Kingdom
3 Feb 08
I'm sure I know people who keep popping out babies just to get benefits. I don't know how it could be changed but it would be difficult because whatever happens, there will always be genuine people suffer from the greed and selfishness of others. I think some benefits should have time limits. Her in the UK, benefits get reviewed every year expect if it's permament disability I think. This is ok but there must be ways of getting around this because of the number of people who get money they don't need. I think that's a good idea about using food stamps only on regular food. Also, here if people get benefits, they might get housing benefit to help pay their rent and that usually goes directly to the landlord. I don't think it is right that it is so easy for people to get benefits they don't need when some people who really don't have a lot can not get any help. If I was a single parent, I could get benefits and help finding a job, etc. (although I wouldn't be working if I was a single mum cos I'd need to look after my kids and I don't have anything against that sort of thing) but, because I don't fit into a particular category, I can't get any help to find a job or anything. So basically, if you're not already on benefits, no one cares but they help people who are to get off even if they need to be on them. I think that came out a bit wrong but I'm sure you know what I'm trying to say. I would never begrudge anyone anything that they have worked for or saved for and if, for example, someone has a lavish wedding, that doesn't mean to say that they don't need to be on benefits. They could have been saving up for years or be getting help from someone else, etc. but it someone regularly goes on holiday or drives a nice car, etc. then they should not be on benefits. We're not on benefits and can not afford luxuries like cars and holidays so it certainly wouldn't be right for someone on benefits to have more than those who are not.
• United States
3 Feb 08
I would ween the entire country off of welfare within the next decade or two, shrinking the amount of aid given to everyone but putting the children who can't control their parents poor life decisions ahead of everything else. This period would terminate with the complete destruction of Welfare, so that the government could restore more economic power to the citizens. Philanthropy might pick up some slack and help out those who are still in need. The main thing is that people will lay less claims on the lives of others through their claims to others funds due to their own "need."
2 people like this
@valerie37 (996)
• Christiansburg, Virginia
3 Feb 08
It really upsets me when I hear of someone who is taking advantage of the system. And while they're doing that there are ones who really need it who can't get it because they make just barely over the income limits.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 08
You just described our situation, valerie. We are just over the income limit, literally, and only thing we can get is the medical card for our daughter only because it's now available to all kids whose parents earn under $60,000 a year. That card helps but not always being doctors are dropping it cause it takes the system sometimes over 2yrs to pay the doctor for the services. Our daughter also gets free breakfast/lunch at school and her education fees are free for us as well but only cause the principal knows our situation so he 'helps' us out that way.
• Australia
10 Feb 08
Neither my partner or I work. He is a student and I am a stay at home mum, and our government looks after us well enough. We are managing to save money at the moment, but that's because I've not been shopping online for a while. oops! lol. The system here is if you are caught not declaring income, then you end up with a debt against the government. This then has to come out of your benefit, but is usually only a percentage, depending on how badly you cheated. Our charities make it clear when handing over food vouchers that they are not for luxury items or the top market brands either, and they only hand them out to the same people about 2 times per year.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 08
I would make the checks out to the landlord and the other companies to and yes food stamps should not be used for chips candy and junk food like that. They need to do that to some of the women that get childsupport to
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (20976)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I agree with you, but also include helping the people get a job or even helping them with some kind of training for some skill so they can stand on their own feet..I believe most people that are on welfare and food stamps can do something to earn an income, even if they are physically disabled, they can do soemthing..