LANSING (WWJ) – About 12,000 Michigan families have less than a month to figure out how to live without the cash benefits they will lose under the new welfare limit law signed this week by Governor Rick Snyder.

According to Karen Holcomb-Merrill of the Michigan League for Human Services, 41,000 people will lose those benefits come October 1, and 30,000 of those people are children.

“The average kid that is going to lose his or her cash assistance is a 7-year-old, probably a first grader, or a second grader,” said Holcomb-Merrill. “So we’re not talking about taking cash assistance from abled bodied single adults. We’re talking about families here.”

Holcomb-Merrill said in many cases the cash benefits are used for rent payment, so now their major concern is working to figure out housing for those families.

The governor said in a a news release that the state will offer exemptions for those with a disability who can’t work or in certain other cases.  He maintained that this reform is the right thing for Michigan.

“We are returning cash assistance to its original intent as a transitional program to help families while they work toward self-sufficiency and also preserving our state’s integral safety net for families most in need,” Snyder said.

Meantime, the Michigan House passed bills Wednesday that would restrict the use of Michigan Bridge Cards, used like debit cards for state food assistance and cash programs.

Welfare recipients would not be able to use their state-issued debit cards to draw cash from casino ATMs or buy lottery tickets, alcohol and tobacco under the new legislation moving through the state Legislature. (More on this, here).

Comments (12)
  1. Dan says:

    There should be drug testing for everyone on welfare. Just like they do when you apply for a job at more and more places. That’s how you can weed out dead beats and save millions

  2. Dillmom says:

    It’s really a shame that not only our state, but also the entire country is such a mess. The majority of people want to be self sufficient, but there certainly aren’t the jobs out there. One cannot support themselves, let alone a family working at a fast-food restaurant. We need to stop issuing these blanket edicts wherever social programs are involved and get our population educated and stop sending all our jobs oversees. Wake up people. Most of us are a paycheck away from poverty and if you think it can’t happen to you, think again. No one gets rich on assistance or collecting unemployment. It doesn’t cover the cost of housing, food or health insurance so wake up. Even “if” a person receiving assistance was using drugs, just how much drugs do you think they could obtain with that money. Not a whole lot. Even legitimate unemployment is humiliating and one does not ask to be in that position. I’ve recently exhausted my windfall unemployment benefits, have applied for so many jobs in the last 4 yrs (yes, I was looking for something better before my position was eliminated) that I can do them blindfolded and I’ve been on one interview!! No I don’t have a degree, but I’m a 55-year-old widow with some college who has a stellar record of employment going back 40 years! So much for building ones knowledge base. No one wants me. I’m no longer counted in the statistics on the unemployed and there are thousands out there like me. Instead of criticizing those in need, why not lend a helping hand!

  3. Alpha6101 says:

    I notice the headline is “30,000 kids……” BUT it is the parents that lost it after 4 years or more on the “dole”. Let’s put the focus on the problem, not the kids to make the headline!!! 4 years!!! Kids do not get a check from the government, PARENTS or Grandparents do. Obviously a Liberal report.

  4. Jill Hood Wrenbeck says:

    First if all, the majority of these families are the WORKING POOR. They have jobs but minimum wage doesn’t cover rent, gas, utilities, food and daycare. Losing this assistance will force these people to lose their jobs, if they can’t afford daycare while they work, etc.

    @Dan You should keep yourselves more informed. Florida is now drug testing recipients and 2% tested positive. It has turned out to cost MORE for the state than to be the savings Governor Scott expected.

    The majority of welfare recipients work or want to work and are drug free. If I had 3 facts about you I could stereotype you in the worst way, if I wanted to. But why would I want to when helping you would be much more rewarding?

  5. Jill Hood Wrenbeck says:

    Alpha6101. You do realize that that money is what FEEDS THE KIDS, right? The parents are losing the assistance to buy food and pay rent. The kids will not be able to eat or keep warm this winter without that assistance. You can lay blame on whoever you want to blame but who is going to feed the innocent children? Who is going to make sure they don’t freeze to death this winter? Did you know that Michigan’s shelters already cannot handle the homeless we have NOW? And yet every month thousands of people are going to be added to that problem. Michigan law states that a person is only allowed 3 weeks at a shelter but then IS BARRED from ALL Michigan shelters for an entire year. An unthinkable solution is seeing these children become wards of the state. Do you think taxpayers won’t pay billions for the added costs of that? Don’t tell me whose fault it is that cash assistance is still needed in a state where the true unemployment rate is 40%, tell me HOW ARE WE GOING TO KEEP THESE THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ALIVE? You won’t have to turn on the TV to see death, devastation and horror anymore.

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