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Michigan Welfare Law: 4 Year Lifetime Limit

A new Michigan welfare law limiting lifetime cash assistance to four years will go into effect on October 1, ending benefits for 41,000 people--30,000 of which are children.

Perhaps the strictest welfare law in the country, Governor Rick Snyder backed the measure not only as a way to cut $60 million annually from the state's budget, but to "return[] cash assistance to its original intent as a transitional program to help families while they work toward self-sufficiency."

Though the Michigan welfare law should not affect state-sponsored health care, food stamps, and child care, it will cut access to monetary assistance for families with minor children, pregnant women, and disabled persons.

However, the state will make some exceptions to the lifetime limit, including the following reported by the Associated Press:

  • Disabled persons who cannot work
  • Caretakers for disabled relatives and children
  • Persons older than 65 who do not receive Social Security benefits
  • Victims of domestic violence

Though the state plans to connect people with transitional resources, the AP reports that some are questioning how 11,000 adults will find employment within the next few weeks.

There is also the matter of children who are not eligible for employment.

Unfortunately for the state's welfare recipients, there isn't much to be done on the legal front.

Whether it comes from the federal government or from state coffers, states are tasked with doling out welfare monies in a way that best serves the population. As long as they comply with federal conditions and defined non-discriminatory procedures, states are generally free to choose who should receive cash assistance.

The Michigan welfare law appears to fall into this category.

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