Assumptions About “Welfare”

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I hate to burst some people’s bubbles about the welfare system and the actual amount of wastage or fraud. I’m offering a view from someone who is actually ON welfare.

  1. Don’t marry her!

    Marriage requires a whole set of massive paperwork to prove that your income is NOT affected by anyone else. It doesn’t matter if a married couple live together or not, it still requires that boatload of paperwork AND requires a full investigation to prove you are not lying.

  2. Recieve mail at your mom’s house.

    After a certain age (usually somewhere around the age where a parent can no longer keep the child on their medical insurance), this flags an immediate investigation. Particularly if the boyfriend is named father on the child(ren)’s birth certificate – which, trust me, happens more often than not. Some of these people don’t have a clue that there is a mound of paperwork that follows every American citizen from birth to death. Yes, it can be forged but it is fairly difficult (and expensive) to do so.

  1. Guy buys a house, rents it to girlfriend and Section 8 pays for it.

    Buying a house requires a shit-load of money these days. Since the real estate bubble burst, getting a loan (especially without any sizeable down-payment) is virtually impossible particularly without any job that pays over minimum wage. And even if he works in an industrial capacity (factory worker, welding, etc) that tend to pay a little more, he’s not going to have a decent down-payment.

    Section 8 has very strict guidelines on who is or who is not eligible for the vouchers. To quote the HUD website in regards to this:

    Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, a PHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location.

    Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet

    U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

    Citation: Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8.
    (2000, April 1). Retrieved August 09, 2016,
    from Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet

    Added emphasis is mine.

    Once the hypothetical male owns a house, and the hypothetical girlfriend moves herself and her children into the home, regardless of where he gets his mail, the fact that he owns the house in question means that he gets investigated and his income is included in the assessment of the Section 8 application. If his income exceeds that 50% amount, no Section 8 voucher will be approved.

  2. Obamacare

    Every state-offered Obamacare equivalent requires that if there is the possibility of any other medical insurance, that insurance must cover medical costs before the state-run equivalent even considers payment. Additionally, if there is another insurance in effect, the person or persons covered by that other insurance are rejected for the free variant of state-run insurance. It can still be covered, but they are required to pay a premium just like any other person. At minimum, because he is named as the father of the child(ren), the hypothetical man is forced to cover them. This leaves only the hypothetical woman needing healthcare insurance.

    Trust me, as someone who is ON Obamacare insurance, I am required to jump through a HUGE amount of hoops to get the actual healthcare that I require. I need to go to specific state-run centers before I can even consider going to any specialists. I may get it for free because I have no income, but in order to get the medical care my body and mind require I have a long journey to get that care. For example, I have been experiencing what can only be described as “brain fog.” It has had a major impact on my cognitive abilities. There are two specialist types who can test for and assist with caring for this kind of issue. One is a neurologist and the other is a neuropsychologist. The first deals with any organic damage to the brain, and the other deals with the other issues that can affect cognition. It has taken over a year to finally get approval to go to the neuropsychologist. And as for the neurologist, I needed to exhaust all options offered by my general practitioner before I could be referred to that specialist.

  3. “Free college”

    More often than not, like many corporations, the assistance to go to school is re-imbursed, not paid up front. Now, yes, there are assorted grants and scholarships available for a person (regardless of gender) to go back to school – but most of them are not “government loans” so much as “government guaranteed loans” – and trust me, those loans haunt you forever. I still have a quarter of a million dollars to pay off for my loans ($150K principle and $100K interest and fees). Even with no income and on welfare, I’m hounded on a daily basis to pay these back.

    Additionally, even if there are ways to get “free college,” there are few options for people on welfare who have children. One of the bigger issues is childcare. Even if there is an added payment to cover childcare, you have to find a reputable day-care provider who will accept the governmental payment. There are day-care providers who accept the governmental payment, but quite a few of them have been investigated for child neglect and abuse. Would you as a single parent be willing to allow those kind of day-care centers to care for YOUR child?

    Finally, in the case of someone who has a job but doesn’t make enough to cover basic survival needs, you either need to have classes that will allow for your work schedule or have a very understanding employer. Online classes have helped in that regard, but often those online courses can be a problem for people with learning disabilities. Plus, if the parent has multiple minimum wage jobs (which a number of welfare recipients actually do), it becomes difficult to attend to even online classes in the time outside of work (which is usually barely enough to allow a reasonable amount of sleep). The choice is classes versus work, and too often work wins out.

  4. Food stamps

    I’m on food stamps. However, they are no longer “stamps” or even checks per se because those were too easy to sell off. These are now electronically based, and must be approved the same way a debit card is. Automatically, anything on the HUGE list of unapproved items (not just non-food items, but certain types of food) does NOT get covered, and must be paid out of pocket.

    Additionally, food stamps – like Section 8 – requires investigation of the entire household. For us, with a minor in the house, his mother, and myself, we ONLY get quite a bit less than the $600 stated in the above image, and as I said in the above paragraph, the actual foods we can buy are limited.

    And even though we have a minor in the household as well as a college student for vacations, we do not get ANY WIC payments because the minor is not under the age of 5.

  5. “Free” Cell Phone

    First, please read: Phone Home: Is an Obama administration program providing free cell phones and cell services to welfare recipients?

    Snopes is a non-political website that evaluates rumor, gossip and urban legends to report whether they are true or false. More often than not, many memes on Facebook are false. One should ALWAYS check Snopes first before continuing to post false information.

    In this case, the specific programs for low-income phone access was started in 1984, during the Regan administration and covered landlines. During George W’s administration, it was expanded to include cell phones, and the land line version is being slowly ended. This is not “Obama’s fault.”

    Nor is this program limited to those on welfare. There is an entire list of other individuals who can access this opportunity. The list is given in the above link to Snopes.

  6. “Free” Utilities

    BUZZZ, sorry, thanks for playing.

    First, especially for the northern states, there is the “cold weather rule.” The specifics for it are NOT free. The utility must keep the utilities on (and this is only relating to gas, water and electricity) but ONLY if the client has a payment plan in place. And they are required to offer the payment plan even if you’ve screwed up previous ones. Plus, it is ONLY available from Nov. 15 to April 15.

    Additionally, the “help” received for paying for utilities is limited to only ONE month’s bill, and sometimes doesn’t cover a full month, but only a portion of a month.

  7. Head-of-Household & Covered Dependants

    There is a very limited option for who can and cannot be eligible for “head of household.” Again, this requires someone to actually prove they are not part of the same household. Even with the lie that the person lives with his mother, the IRS is not stupid. They routinely investigate claims like this. And there are multiple ways to find out if they are living together or not that don’t involve the postal service.

    Only one of the individuals will be able to qualify as “head of household.” because one of the criteria to qualify is that the person must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. In the image’s hypothetical relationship, the girlfriend is paying rent, NOT paying for half of the upkeep. Additionally, that money being given the hypothetical male must be included in his own income taxes. So, even if they each qualify for “head of household,” he’s still going to be required to pay the income tax on the rental income, which could end up completely erasing the deduction that he is allowed as a “head of household.”

  8. Disability

    This one is a HUGE and GLARING lie. To be approved for SSI (a.k.a SSDI), you have to have to prove that your disability has an impact on your ability to work. You don’t just get it because you are “crazy” or “have a bad back.” You must have a massive amount of medical and psychiatric proof of your particular problem, including alternative ways of trying to find a way to accommodate your issue(s) which would allow you to work.

    In fact, more often than not, the initial disability judgment is rejected. In fact, you are more likely to be denied if you have what many people call “invisible illnesses.”

    For myself, I have the issues that are dismissively referred to in this image. I have arthritis in my back and feet (making most blue collar jobs difficult, and some white collar jobs if they require lengthy sitting or any other way of holding a specific pose for any length of time [i.e. I need the ability to move around approximately once an hour, and pay for it in chronic pain if I don’t do so]). I’m in constant pain, regardless of anything I do. I do as much as I can to maintain my mobility including various forms of exercise, and hopefully relieve some of the pain, but there is only a limited amount of either that is even remotely possible.

    I’ve also got depression, anxiety and a mild form of PTSD. If you think those illnesses cannot affect your ability to work, I envy you. Not only do I have the depression, anxiety and PTSD from the verbal and mental abuse (see Battered Person Syndrome) I also have chronic depression, as well as depression and anxiety related to my chronic pain. (read more about it)

It’s a popular pastime to blame all of the ills of our nation on welfare recipients. And, as usual, there’s disagreement over the real impact of the costs. The favored meme that states welfare is less than 1% of the budget is considered false and misleading by Politifact because it does not include the mandatory spending by our government.

I would also state that there is some misleading information in Politifact’s variant, because while it whittles the military spending down to the real numbers, you don’t get a clear idea of what is paid for under each heading.

The three biggies in Politifact’s pie chart are Health (28%), Social Security (25.3%) and Military (16.2%). The welfare program is considered to be part of the Food and Agriculture’s pie (which is 4% of the budget).  Health covers not only Obamacare, but also Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the Children’s Health program.  Social Security, while it is part of the government’s budget is only being counted because the government has used its funds for other things and must pay it back.  The monies in the Social Security fund are put in by every working person in this country, and the government should have never been able to stick their sticky fingers into that fund.

So, honestly, if you want to bitch about welfare, how about you look at the other places (and other dishonest dealing in government) for the abuses and fraud.

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