Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

ICYMI: Christie policy change results in fewer welfare recipients

The number of general-assistance welfare recipients in New Jersey has plummeted, with thousands of applicants being denied enrollment, in part because of a controversial new policy of the Christie administration.

ICYMI: Christie policy change results in fewer welfare recipients

In case you missed it, in today's paper I looked at the steep drop in general welfare recipients in New Jersey. Turns out the state is saving money and denying more people for welfare because of a new requirement that advocates for the poor say is onerous and unfair: 

The number of general-assistance welfare recipients in New Jersey has plummeted, with thousands of applicants being denied enrollment, in part because of a controversial new policy of the Christie administration.

The July 1 change, which already has saved the state money, established a prerequisite to qualify for aid: attend job training or offer proof of an active employment search, for four consecutive weeks.

The administration says the rule is intended to improve applicants' odds of finding work, which will keep the general-assistance rolls down.

But advocates for the poor say New Jersey has created an obstacle to enrollment that is insurmountable for many of the most vulnerable and that, in some cases, could cost the state more.

"People without resources are an easy target for politicians," said Pat McKernan, chief operating officer of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, which runs homeless shelters and provides other services to the poor.

"Keeping cash out of the hands of people who really need it is, I think, a violation of the social contract," she said. "People are hurting enough."

Finish reading the story, here.

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