What is Welfare

What is Welfare? Well, Welfare is a government funded program that gives aid to individuals that may not be able to support themselves fully. It goes hand in hand with domestic policies because it deals with the needs in our country. How is Welfare provided? Welfare is provided through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families(TANF), along with this comes the responsibility of finding a job within two years of assistance or the recipient maybe at risk of losing their aid (Momoh, 2017). Some Welfare programs like Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, Pell Grant, Unemployment Compensation, and FHA Loans are some primary reasons why many people can provide not only for themselves but also their families.
Medicaid
An impending question that has been brought up is what is Medicaid? According to Medical Assistance it is to provide “free or low-cost healthcare coverage to families with low income, elderly, and pregnant woman”. Even though this is a government funded program it is operated by states but depending on which state the program or goals may be different. To apply for Medicaid, it depends on your income, disability, household size, and family status. In some states Medicaid is “expanding” so what that means is that if the household’s income is below one hundred and thirty three percent then you qualify for Medicaid (“How Medicaid Health Care Expansion Affects You”). One thing about Medicaid is since some facilities do not accept Medicaid patients/ or prefer higher paying patients, it makes getting treatments for Medicaid patients harder because the facility could be far from where the patient or their family lives.
I do think that Medicaid is necessary because with medicine continually advancing and getting more expensive it makes it harder for people in low income families to get regular checkups when comparing: Paying bills or going to the doctor, I would choose paying my bills. I would change the need for a home address when it comes to applying for welfare not just Medicaid. It’s funny because the people that really need the help are the ones that may not even have a home so when it comes to applying to programs like these it makes it difficult to have faith in a government that cares more about the address than the human. For those that don’t have one should be able to put the address of one of those churches that give shelter to the homeless or the needy or just have a designated place in each state for people to use as an address to put for government funded programs.
SNAP
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP aka food stamps), is an example of a Welfare program that gives vouchers in exchange for people to purchase healthy/nutritional food. It is distributed once a month on an EBT card, which can be used at farmer markets, grocery stores, and convenience stores. According to snap.org eligibility depends on “family size, citizenship status, age, student status, and household income,” but other than that anybody can be eligible, for example someone living alone, with a roommate, homeless, low income or someone with a stable income can be eligible (no discrimination).
I do not have any new implementations for SNAP and some of the reasons are because they cater to a broad audience, they have the lowest percentage in fraud, which is one percent, and it motivates people to get a job/keep their job. The only disadvantage to SNAP would be the emotional turmoil when it comes to asking for help which causes a lot of people to miss out on great opportunities like this because of the fear of other people finding out. A personal to this is one day when I was volunteering at this food pantry this lady walked that I knew (I went to school with her daughter) and when she was walking by me to get her food she told me not to tell anybody because apparently her own daughter didn’t even know that they were struggling and she was too embarrassed to tell her. The thing is we all at some point fall on hard times and if someone thinks that they will never end up in a situation like that than they are just kidding themselves. So, I would want to change society’s mindset when it comes to receiving or giving others help.
WIC
Woman, Children, and Infant (WIC) provides supplementary foods, health care recommendations, and nutritional education for low-income pregnant mothers, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding post-delivery women, and to infants and children up to age five (“Women, Infants, and Children”, 2018). To be eligible for WIC the recipient would have to go through a prescreening that would entail some households earning and unearned income (i.e. child support). Then after that depending on which category the recipient fit in -Woman (pregnant or breastfeeding), Infant, and children- WIC would give the appropriate benefits needed to the recipient. According to USDA since WIC is a “short-term program participant will stop getting benefits at the end of each certification period”, which depends on pregnancy, post-partum, and/or health circumstances.
One thing about the program I would change is the monitoring of who gets WIC because as crazy as it may seem there are people that have sold “free” WIC cards online to earn a profit, when there are people that need the program but couldn’t get in because there was no more funding for any new people. Also, I would go back to using the voucher in all states instead of using the card because people can take their EBT card and put it in an ATM and take the money out and use it on other miscellaneous things other than their kids.
PELL Grant
The Pell Grant is from the Department of Education to promote secondary education/ college to scholars from low income, which means it does not have to be repaid. According to Federal Safety Net Pell Grants were started by “President L.B. Johnson who wanted to help needy college students, the first grants would give up students up to a thousand dollars”. To be eligible the grant takes into consideration the colleges tuition, family’s contribution, full time/ part time, and how long will the student be in school. Also, to be eligible the student should not have a bachelor’s degree prior to getting the grant or may be currently enrolled in a postbaccalaurette program but must have a high school diploma. To receive the grant some schools either pay the student directly or put the money into their school account. Students with the grant depending on the school would either get paid once per semester or twice per academic year. To apply just fill out FASFA, an online financial need-based application (U.S. Dept. of Education, 2015).
I recently found out that attached with the Pell Grants is something called ‘White Collar Crime’ and basically this is people stealing other individual’s information to get the Pell Grant, so they can use the money to do anything but go to college (Green and Dansley, 2014). My issue with this is that some people have accomplished to steal millions of dollars untouched until the government months or years later get ahold of it. The FASFA is said to be this excruciating mind-numbing piece of work to fill out asking for a bunch of unnecessary information when the only thing that they count is your finances. So, I would implement that the government take out questions that aren’t related to finances and information that doesn’t revolve around student’s financial needs. If people can scam the government out of millions, then clearly the FASFA needs to be rebooted
Unemployment Compensation
Unemployment Compensation aka Unemployment Benefits or Unemployment Insurance is paid for by the state to unemployed workers to provide a source of income until they can find a job. To be eligible an individual must have worked for a minimum amount of time and be actively looking for employment. According to Investopedia this program is “managed by state and federal governments and paid for by taxes”. In most states people get paid four hundred and fifty dollars a week, this varies by state.
The unemployment Compensation is a good program that provides for those that can’t help themselves and with the economy ever changing and the job market changing with it having programs like these make a big difference in providing some sort of safety net. I would not make any current changes.
FHA Loans
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage that is insured by qualified lenders. The purpose of the loan is to decrease lender risk and increase the housing market. FHA loans are for low income individuals with a credit score as low as five hundred. To maintain the loan the borrower must pay a twelve-monthly insurance mortgage to FHA to keep the loan. Let’s just say the borrower does not have a credit history, well with FHA the lender does not look at credit score alone but at other things for example rent payments. According to Investopedia with an FHA loan “the lesser the credit score and the lesser the down payment, the higher the interest rate.” For the loan to be approved the borrower must have mortgage insurance. To be eligible for an FHA loan the pledger with a credit score of five hundred eighty or lower must make a down payment of ten percent or higher, the pledger must have proof of steady income and employment, and the home being refinanced or purchased is pledgers main residence (“FHA Loan Basics, 2018).
Apart of me feels like this is a catastrophe waiting to happen because what if the borrower backs out of the deal then do they potentially must pay the lender back all the money? I know it takes money to make money and investing in someone’s home could make someone a lot of money, but there should be more clearer rules on that. I would implement that both parties sign a non-disclosure agreement and if one party (doesn’t matter which) wanted to back out then instead of paying back all the money loaned (if the borrower backed out) then they would just pay a certain percentage and vice versa.
Conclusion
Welfare was not made for systematic oppression, but some treat it as such. With welfare being such a big part of today’s modern economy, it makes sense why in society people feel entitled to certain things or carry certain agitated feelings to those that depend on the extra help from the government. Welfare was not made to make people lazy but as a safety net.