When Help Turns to Abuse
I can remember the conversation as if it was yesterday.While in a grocery store walking in the grocery aisle, I overheard a woman talking to another woman and her husband.The part that caught my attention was the young lady saying, “I can get you the cheese, milk, and eggs with my WIC, and all you have to do is give me the money when we leave the store.
” I knew this wasn’t right, so I made sure I was at the check-out counter to see if what I overheard was true.
To my surprise, the young woman paid for things using a check like piece of paper and waited for the couple to leave the store. In the parking lot, I witnessed the young lady giving the couple the bags that she left the store with and they handed her some cash. For this and many other reasons I would like to propose that people that receive this state appointed assistance should have a time limit on how much they can receive. Doing research on the assistance that is afforded to individuals, I learned how and why these programs were implemented.
For instance, the WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) program was established in 1968 after a group of physicians described to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and also the USDA that young women, often pregnant, came to their clinics with various ailments that were caused by lack of food. Those doctors would prescribe the needed foods, with prescription acting like a food voucher (Women, Infant and Children. gov). In this new day and age the program isn’t respected like in the past. The purpose of the program has taken a turn for the worse.
Where the program gives women a chance for a better nutritional way to feed their family, some take the route of scamming the government. Per the conversation I overheard, I use it as my main point on why there should be a limited amount of time placed on this for both women and men. Right now women can receive this assistance until their child reaches the age of five. While not all women abuse the system, the small amounts that do leave a nasty pill to swallow for those that don’t. Being put in the same category as a cheater give some mothers a bad rap.
My proposal to put these people on a timetable may not seem fair to some, but it will give these women a chance to help feed their families and also give them a chance to become independent on themselves instead of the government. As long as these women continue to have child after child before the first one reaches five, we the tax payers have to support the system that is being abused. For each program the person is on, I propose that we give them education and job training. This will help them get off the program and develop a sense of worth. Instead of hand outs, let the government give hand ups.
Making them accountable for more than just receiving a check or voucher will instill values in that person. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we should help those that cannot help themselves. I believe that we shouldn’t just give help without checking to see how the recipients are doing with this help. While finding a clear cut way to track the applicants is a good way to start with this help. For instance, if the social worker sees a trend that a person turns up pregnant six months from the end of benefits multiple times may send up red flags that the system may be abused by that person.
This is a way of tracking and putting them in a category as maybe this person is abusing the system. As a taxpayer, seeing these people going to work would be a great accomplishment. RN Eugenie Hildebrant, author of Impoverished Women with Children and no Welfare Benefits states,” It is important that public health researchers investigate the experiences of the families for whom Temporary Assistance for Needy Families has failed” (793). This comes from her opinion that the system isn’t giving the families the help they really need.
Helping them with education and a way off the system will help them more than the handout they are receiving. Families that want to better themselves will try to get off the program. Being undereducated and entering an under skilled workforce may cause more harm than good to the family. Realizing their children will grow up poor or in poor health they have no choice but to get back on the system. The main issue on this is at least they tried to make a go of it before they had to come back onto the program. Offering job training may be a way to help families on the program.
It would give them a sense of pride in themselves and not the feeling of relying on the system for a chance to help their family. The training will get them off the program in two years with job training and the much needed education to have a well paying job. As far as Douglas Wolf, a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis states, “Underreporting or completely failing to report earnings to a welfare agency is a way of welfare fraud” (The Dynamics of Welfare Fraud) (438).
For the government to realize that some participants will this, then the system should have the right to monitor them. Getting the applicants a job, the system will be able to monitor the pay for a year. This way if you continue to work plus receive assistance, the assistance can be cut if you are getting a steady paycheck. Once a steady paycheck is coming in, your assistance will be evaluated to determine if it will be terminated. If for some reason the job does not offer any type of medical assistance for you or your children, the system will continue to pay you the medical portion.
If you stay at the job for two years in good standings and you receive a good income then you will be cut from the program. Once you have been released from the program if you lose your job due to anything beyond your control you may reapply for assistance until another job can be found for you. If you have lost the job and it was because you were not in good standings with the employer, then the system will make you reapply and the assistance you receive should be short term. They have already given you the skills needed to get a job so you shouldn’t be able to rely on the system again long term.
Pushing them to find another job should be the systems main focus on getting them back into society and providing for their family. Some may say what happens at the end of two years? It is tempting to pretend that if we just invested adequate resources, two years of intensive education and job training could make every single mother education and job training could make every single mother economically self-sufficient. But while that will surely be true for some, it will never be true for all. Unless we want another round of welfare reform that fails, we need to be realistic about the options open to us.
Contrary to what many politicians claim, the big obstacle to making single mothers economically self-sufficient is seldom the shortage of jobs. During recessions, of course, jobs are hard to find. When the economy is healthy, minimum-wage jobs are relatively easy to find. The problem is that a minimum-wage job will not make a single mother economically self-sufficient. There is endless controversy about how much money single mothers need to make ends meet. Absent fathers seem to imagine that these families can live on air.
My proposal is the most likely effect of time limits is that they will reduce the receipt of welfare benefits among single parents. The loss of welfare income might improve outcomes for children and families by reducing the stigma of public assistance receipt. In a way, the U. S. welfare system actually makes poverty more attractive, perhaps even to those who would otherwise have been motivated to work and support themselves. Do not decrease their motivation to work rather, give them the opportunity to participate more productively in their society.
The issue that comes with the WIC program and any other government program is why have it for people to abuse it? The program is in place to help those that need it the most. Unfortunately you have those that take advantage of the system as well as those who use the system to provide for their families. I have come to the realization that the programs should have limitations to it. As part of the working class, I feel that those on assistance should be given a time limit for being in the program. The system helps some, but those that take advantage should be punished.