The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 20, 1994 - 7.
IT'S UN-BEAR-ABLY COLD!
Official hails changes in state
welfare program under Engler
LANSING (AP) - Social Ser-
vices Director Gerald Miller claimed
yesterday that welfare changes have
put more recipients to work and said
more lie ahead, including replacing
food stamps with cash.
Miller told lawmakers that 23.3
percent of those receiving Aid to Fami-
lies with Dependent Children (AFDC)
are working now that the state allows
recipients to keep more of what they
earn. The 50,838 parents working is
about 50 percent more than before.
"The results have been phenom-
enal," he said.
Welfare rules announced by Gov.
John Engler in June 1992 permit re-
cipients to keep the first $200 a month
they earn, plus 20 percent of earnings
above that amount.
Miller said it is impossible tojudge
how much the improving economy
might have to do with the proportion
of welfare recipients working. But he
said nationally only 8 percent of re-
cipients work, despite better times.
"This is the ticket. This is the key
to moving people to self-sufficiency,"
But he said the state has not hit the
ceiling on the share of recipients work-
ing, if more rule changes are made.
"I don't want to say where that
'Success is not to remove somebody from the
rolls. Success Is to get them participating as a
member of society.'
- Gerald Miller,
Michigan social services director
50,000 will go. I don't want to make
a prediction. With these incentives, I
believe we can see a further substan-
tial increase," he said.
The additional incentives he out-
lined to a joint meeting of the House
and Senate budget subcommittees on
social services covered child support
collections, health care and keeping
families together. Engler touched on
some of them in his State of the State
address Tuesday evening.
Chief among the work incentives
was allowing welfare recipients who
work to collect the earned income
credit each month.
Now, the working poor must wait
until they file their income tax returns
to get the credit and then get it in a
lump sum. But Miller said few actu-
ally file for the credit at all.
Working welfare recipients also
would be given cash instead of food
stamps to cut the temptation to sell the
stamps and to remove the stigma of
food stamp usage, he said.
Rep. Ken Sikkema(R-Grandville)
said the share of people working was
encouraging, but questioned when the,
recipients would become self-suffi-
"I think the average person would,
like to see the AFDC caseloads begin
dropping at some point," he said.
But Miller said the 217,744 fami-
lies on the program in December was:
down 8,000 from 1993's peak in April
and many of those still on the pro-
gram are getting less from the state
because of their paychecks.
"Success is not to remove some-
body from the rolls. Success is to get.
them participating as a member of
society," he said.
The state also will sweeten the
social contract arrangements. Wel-O
fare recipients are supposed to work;
go to school or do volunteer work 20,
hours a weekin exchange for their
Even bears of snow find the recent weather a
corner of Packard and Madison.
bit nippy. This one's trying to claw its way into Blimpy Burgers, at the
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WORK STUDY STUDENTS wanted (2):
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The Sixth Annual
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