What being on welfare is really like


No, no one can live on $162 a month. It’s not possible.

$162 a month for a single mother with a young child with mandatory participation in work search, school (GED, vocational education), paid work, on the job training, or unpaid work, minimum of 30 hours a week.

That is “being on welfare” in the state of Arkansas.

There is a long list of “musts” that go along with it, with a much shorter list of assistance in the form of Food Stamps, Medicaid, limited childcare and, once in awhile, mileage reimbursement. A mother must turn over all child support money received, must put in that 30 hours a week work activity, must participate in counseling, must vaccinate her child, must report any changes in circumstances, must meet with the caseworker twice a month, must sign a release of information…

To dispel a common misconception, if a woman becomes pregnant and has another child while participating in TANF/TEA, the amount received does not increase. To dash another myth, that 24 month limit is a lifetime cap. 

Can you imagine what it would be like if this were your reality, your life?

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