LANSING (WWJ) - About 12,000 Michigan families have less than a month to figure out how to live without the cash benefits they will lose under the new welfare limit law signed this week by Governor Rick Snyder.
According to Karen Holcomb-Merrill of the Michigan League for Human Services, 41,000 people will lose those benefits come October 1, and 30,000 of those people are children.
"The average kid that is going to lose his or her cash assistance is a 7-year-old, probably a first grader, or a second grader," said Holcomb-Merrill. "So we're not talking about taking cash assistance from abled bodied single adults. We're talking about families here."
Holcomb-Merrill said in many cases the cash benefits are used for rent payment, so now their major concern is working to figure out housing for those families.
The governor said in a a news release that the state will offer exemptions for those with a disability who can't work or in certain other cases. He maintained that this reform is the right thing for Michigan.
"We are returning cash assistance to its original intent as a transitional program to help families while they work toward self-sufficiency and also preserving our state's integral safety net for families most in need," Snyder said.
Meantime, the Michigan House passed bills Wednesday that would restrict the use of Michigan Bridge Cards, used like debit cards for state food assistance and cash programs.
Welfare recipients would not be able to use their state-issued debit cards to draw cash from casino ATMs or buy lottery tickets, alcohol and tobacco under the new legislation moving through the state Legislature. (More on this, here).
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