Facts & Myths About Welfare

Facts & Myths About Welfare
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There are many myths about welfare that circulate in the media. If you have never been in the position where you needed the welfare system, you may have false impressions about government assistance and the people who collect welfare benefits. It is important to be educated and informed about America's poor and the way that the welfare system operates.

Having More Kids to Get More Money

A rumor that continues to exist is that unmarried, low-income women will purposely continue to have more children in order to collect more benefits. In reality, data collected by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) shows that on average, the majority of people who collect welfare benefits only have two children or less. Other TANF studies show that only one out of every 10 mothers collecting benefits has more than three kids in her household.

People Can Stay on Welfare Forever

One of the most notable myths that exist about welfare is that people can collect welfare indefinitely and are not expected to ever get a job. This is completely false. In 1996, President Clinton approved the Welfare Reform Act. Since then, welfare-to-work programs continue to be a priority. Adults who are physically and mentally able to work and are receiving welfare benefits are provided with resources to get a high school equivalency diploma and to be placed in jobs.

Only Addicts are on Welfare

It is wrong to say that only drug addicts and alcoholics receive welfare benefits. A large number of welfare recipients are innocent women and children who have had to flee from abusive relationships and living situations. Some women and children are beaten so badly that they are forced onto the streets with nothing but the clothes on their backs. These people are examples of those who are most in need of Section 8 housing, food stamps and welfare money while they attempt to begin a new life.

All Welfare Recipients are Lazy and Don't Work

Saying that all welfare recipients are lazy and do not have jobs is simply not fair and untrue. It is possible to work and receive benefits. Although it may be unlikely to receive cash assistance while working, a single mother who holds a minimum-wage job and has two children may still be eligible for food stamp benefits. It is important to keep in mind that food stamps are meant to help people with low income, not just people with no income. No mother wants to see her children go hungry because she needs the last dollars in her bank account to pay the electric bill. Food stamp benefits can help keep families fed.