Welfare recipients ask for cap to be lifted

Welfare recipients ask for cap to be lifted


GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 22NEWS AT 5:30. I’M BARRY KRIGER. BARRY: NEARLY 200-THOUSAND CHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY IN MASSACHUSETTS. WELFARE FAMILIES TOLD 22NEWS STATE HOUSE REPORTER ELISHA MACHADO THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO CHANGE. ELISHA MACHADO: MASSACHUSETTS ENACTED A WELFARE CAP ON FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN BACK IN 1995, BUT MOTHERS TOLD 22NEWS IT’S TIME FOR THAT CAP TO BE LIFTED. DOZENS OF MOTHERS, FAMILIES AND ADVOCATES SHARED THEIR STORIES AT HE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING OF THE STATE COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. THEY’RE CALLING ON LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT A BILL TO LIFT THE WELFARE CAP ON KIDS. UNDER THE CURRENT WELFARE SYSTEM, A MOTHER AND ONE CHILD CURRENTLY RECEIVES $478 DOLLARS PER MONTH. IF PASSED, THE BILL WOULD PROVIDE FAMILIES WITH ANOTHER CHILD WITH AN EXTRA $100 DOLLARS PER MONTH. CRITICS ARGUE THAT THE WELFARE CAP DISCOURAGES RESIDENTS FROM HAVING CHILDREN FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING WELFARE BENEFITS. MANY FAMILIES IN HIGH-POVERTY COMMUNITIES, LIKE SPRINGFIELD AND HOLYOKE, HAVE TO STRETCH LIMITED BENEFITS, FORCING THEIR KIDS TO GO WITHOUT BASIC NECESSITIES, LIKE FOOD AND CLOTHING. JENNIFER LEE, AMHERST ADVOCATE: “FAMILIES SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD DIAPERS. FAMILIES SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE PUNISHED FOR LIVING IN POVERTY. WE SHOULD DO THE RIGHT THING AND SUPPORT FAMILIES WHEN THEY’RE IN NEED.” ELISHA MACHADO: MASSACHUSETTS IS ONE OF 17 STATES THAT HAS A WELFARE CAP ON

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