Thousands of Michigan citizens have lost cash welfare benefits in each of the past four months, after a strict 48-month lifetime limit was imposed on recipients by the state legislature last year. The new law signed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder went into effect on October 1, 2011, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
By the end January, almost one in four people who had been on the welfare rolls in Michigan in September had been dropped. The decline in cases continues as official unemployment stands at 9.3 percent in the state, leaving little prospects that those cut off will find work.
About 60,000 parents and children—making up 17,000 family cases—abruptly lost their support, with almost no notice. Even before the law was signed, and to avoid any challenges to cutting the rolls, Department of Human Services (DHS) director Maura Corrigan began to strictly enforce the 60-month limit approved years earlier by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm.
The exemptions for families whose caseworkers stated they were making progress by finding employment, or in counties where the unemployment rate is 25 percent above the state average, are no longer in force under Corrigan’s directive. Other federal rules related to meeting “Work First” reporting requirements can also be used to remove families from the program. Read more......