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Four-Year Welfare Limit Begins Saturday

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A new law that effects thousands of people in Michigan kicked in Saturday. The law puts a four-year lifetime limit on cash welfare benefits for 41,000 people, about 30,000 of which are children.

Judy Putnam with the Michigan League for Human Services said there aren’t many other options for these people, and not much help either.

“We know that case workers are already overwhelmed. So are these families getting good solid  information? The department has been very slow on offering up any kind of, you know, press releases, or information on their website,” Putnam said.

A new policy that puts a $5,000 limit on assets for the Food Assistance Program goes into effect Saturday as well.

Putnam said a coalition of groups are calling for Governor Rick Snyder to reverse this policy.

“We hope that as stories of what’s happening to families come out, that maybe policy makers will reconsider,” she said.

Human Service Advocates, like Ross Yednock with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, say the newly implemented regulations go too far and will make it more difficult for people to get out of poverty.

“This can result in families spending a longer time in governmental programs and instead of breaking the cycle of poverty, or helping the newly displaced workers and families get by for a few months with just a little bit of assistance, this change in policy could actually perpetuate and possibly even create new generations of Michigan families and children living paycheck to paycheck or in poverty,” Yednock said.

But, Republican Governor Rick Snyder disagrees.

“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.

Read more on the welfare debate, here.

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