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States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work
Welfare

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work

Otherwise, they can only receive benefits for up to three months every three years.
But states can request waivers of the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
Instead, they say these food stamp recipients should start moving toward independence by getting jobs or enrolling in training programs.
By the end of May, recipients in 112 counties will be subject to the three-month time limit on benefits if they don’t work, up from 20 counties at the end of last year.
Lifting these waivers will impact most of the 87,000 Kentucky adults in the program who don’t have dependents, according to the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
In West Virginia, state officials will start phasing out the number of counties with work requirement waivers later this year.
But in October 2022, West Virginia will no longer be able to apply for a waiver for any county, no matter the economic circumstances, according to a bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice last month.
The bills aim to apply the work requirement to parents of school-age children, to increase the number of hours food stamp recipients must work and to explore developing employment plans for those living in public housing.
Many of the proposals will require either federal approval or a change in federal law.
Three states — Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas — have already received federal approval to do so.

Zimbabwe fires 16,000 striking nurses, says their action “politically motivated”
Unemployment

Zimbabwe fires 16,000 striking nurses, says their action “politically motivated”

Thomson Reuters HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe said it had sacked 16,000 striking nurses, as the new government sought to keep a lid on labour unrest in the build-up to the first elections since the fall of Robert Mugabe.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga accused the nurses of staging a “politically motivated” walkout and said they would be replaced by retired and unemployed staff.
The nurses’ union told its members to stay calm as it considered its response.
The nurses went on strike on Monday over unpaid allowances and other issues, leaving hospitals understaffed.
The action came days after junior doctors wrapped up a month-long walkout over pay and working conditions.
[nL8N1QV42Y] Chiwenga, the retired army general who led a de facto military coup against Mugabe in November, said the Zimbabwe Nurses Association had rejected a $17 million offer to clear wage arrears. “Accordingly, government has decided, in the interest of patients and of saving lives, to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect.”
He did not say which political group he thought was behind the strike.
Mugabe regularly accused opposition groups of trying to undermine his government by encouraging the public sector strikes that punctuated his time in office.
Mnangagwa has promised to revitalise the economy after decades of severe mismanagement.

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work
Unemployment

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work

Otherwise, they can only receive benefits for up to three months every three years.
But states can request waivers of the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
Instead, they say these food stamp recipients should start moving toward independence by getting jobs or enrolling in training programs.
By the end of May, recipients in 112 counties will be subject to the three-month time limit on benefits if they don’t work, up from 20 counties at the end of last year.
Lifting these waivers will impact most of the 87,000 Kentucky adults in the program who don’t have dependents, according to the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
In West Virginia, state officials will start phasing out the number of counties with work requirement waivers later this year.
But in October 2022, West Virginia will no longer be able to apply for a waiver for any county, no matter the economic circumstances, according to a bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice last month.
The bills aim to apply the work requirement to parents of school-age children, to increase the number of hours food stamp recipients must work and to explore developing employment plans for those living in public housing.
Many of the proposals will require either federal approval or a change in federal law.
Three states — Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas — have already received federal approval to do so.

The Trump Administration Is Waging War On The Poor
Unemployment

The Trump Administration Is Waging War On The Poor

The Trump administration seems to be engaged in all kinds of war these days.
But while these wars have dominated the headlines, there’s another war that’s gotten less attention: the war on poor people.
To many Americans, work requirements seem like a no-brainer.
Accordingly, 73 percent of Americans think it’s very important to work hard to get ahead in life while only 35 percent of Europeans think so.
This belief lies at the heart of the American dream, which says that if you work hard, you can achieve success no matter how much the deck is stacked against you.
If you’re lucky enough to be born into a rich family, you can inherit as much as $22 million tax free and never work a day in your life.
Work requirements add complexity by requiring “able-bodied” adults to work or participate in other approved activities, such as job training programs, for a certain number of hours per week in order to receive benefits.
Beyond administrative issues, there are two deeper problems with work requirements.
First, work requirements only make sense if everyone can get a job.
In Ohio, 75 percent of new Medicaid enrollees had an easier time searching for work after acquiring coverage, and 52 percent reported that coverage made it easier to work.

Softer tone and focus on job training at ASU+GSV, the glitzy educational technology conference.
Welfare

Softer tone and focus on job training at ASU+GSV, the glitzy educational technology conference.

Weise and others said this means change for more than higher education.
“The only way I can retain talent is to create it,” he said.
Carson from Treehouse, however, was more critical of traditional colleges than many other panelists at the conference, suggesting the college degree may be overrated.
“Why not just go around them?” His fellow panelists pushed back, arguing that despite their flaws, college degrees help employers assess job applicants while also allowing workers to have “portability” to move across jobs.
Seleznow, for example, warned that apprenticeships without the imprimatur of the federal registration process can be of lower quality.
“There’s rigor in the standards,” Seleznow said.
“Our equity gaps are as bad as they’ve ever been,” said Martha Kanter, a former U.S. under secretary of education during the Obama administration, adding that roughly half of college students now receive federal Pell Grants, which shows “who’s in the pipeline.” As universities adjust to better serve growing numbers of older and lower-income students, conference speakers suggested they would be wise to study what works well among upstart providers, including coding and skills boot camps.
A high-profile example on display here is the move by California’s community college system to create a statewide fully online institution that will issue only nondegree credentials aimed at working adults.
“We’ll see higher education transform the way we did,” said Jonathan Lau, the vice president and general manager of skills at Cengage Learning.
Schwartz didn’t attend because he was with his company’s employees.

Reducing opioid use requires multipronged approach
Welfare

Reducing opioid use requires multipronged approach

Reprints Louise Esola SAN ANTONIO — The head of risk management for a company whose 454,000 workers are tasked with delivering 2.5 million packages around the world each day, said solving the opioid crisis will take a multitude of strategies.
“There’s no silver bullet,” Michael Fenlon, Atlanta-based senior director for corporate risk management for United Parcel Service Inc., told attendees at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in San Antonio on Tuesday.
Mr. Ruser said numerous strategies put in place nationwide and in individual states are working in concert to lower unnecessary opioid prescribing in workers comp — echoing the common sentiment in comp circles and what Mr. Fenlon has noticed in his own workforce.
The solution involves everyone from the injured worker to the legislation in their respective states, to the claims managers and providers, they said.
UPS has several protocols in place for injured workers who have opioid prescriptions.
Strategies include case managers for individual workers, “opioid letters” to both the worker and his or her prescriber that explain the drugs’ dangers, and “red-flag” notifications that tell a claims manager what a worker was prescribed and how much, said Mr. Fenlon.
Today, with tighter programs in place at UPS, 21% of injured workers receive a prescription for opioids, representing 22% of total drug spend, he said.
Overall between 2013 and 2017, UPS has seen a 30% decrease in lost time claims receiving opioid prescriptions, Mr. Fenlon said.
Overall, states that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs have seen a noticeable drop in the amount of opioid prescriptions, said Mr. Ruser, highlighting WCRI data from states with programs in place.
His researchers looked at states without PDMPs to see whether their prescribing behavior changed year over year.

Spotting the red flags of workers comp fraud
Welfare

Spotting the red flags of workers comp fraud

PHILADELPHIA — The red flags indicating potential workers compensation fraud are evolving, and employers and workers comp insurers must be aware of these new indicators, especially the nature of the injuries.
Pennsylvania’s workers compensation law is designed to be remedial in nature, meaning whenever there is an inequity, it is construed in favor of the injured worker, said Niki Ingram, Philadelphia-based director of the law firm’s workers compensation department.
And that is why we are on a not so level playing field when we go into the courtroom representing insurers.” The traditional red flags are still relevant, including length of employment in terms of new hires claiming injuries or alleged injuries that occur immediately before or following a vacation, retirement or layoff, Ms. Ingram said.
Adjusters should always make sure they get the injured worker’s medical records because they will give a more accurate indication of when the injury actually occurred, she said.
“I think the one instance that drives every employer and carrier crazy is the person who just starts the job and then sustains an injury and is out for two or three years,” Ms. Ingram said.
But those are cases where you should immediately put your antenna up.” Disgruntled employees are also a traditional red flag for workers comp fraud, according to the lawyers.
Two days later, she slipped and fell at work, landing on her shoulders, alleging bilateral shoulder tears.
“This is how brazen a disgruntled employee could be … but in our system, I could have lost that case just as easily as I won if the judge decided to accept the claimant’s doctor as more credible than our doctor,” he said.
“Analytics rules now,” she said.
It rules in insurance.

AP FACT CHECK: No, tax-filing migraines are not going away
Unemployment

AP FACT CHECK: No, tax-filing migraines are not going away

Trump himself, in USA Today, declared: “This is the last year Americans will fill out outdated, complicated tax forms.”
But everything old is new again, or will be, for many people when they sit down to do their taxes next year.
A look at some statements on the matter and the reality behind them: PENCE, in tweets Tuesday: “Thanks to the historic TRUMP TAX CUTS, today marks the last time the American people will file taxes under a complicated & outdated tax system.
And: “Next year will be simple.”
Yes, for the last time.
There’s already a one-page form, the 1040EZ, which has been around for years.
Trump previously had promised a card-size tax form but now appears to be backing off that claim by describing next year’s form as “for the most part one page” but “may get a little bit bigger.”
In fact, there’s no sign that the IRS is planning new filing forms, card-size or otherwise, for the 2018 tax year.
As for Pence’s claim that the tax cuts are the biggest in history, no.
Trump wrote, more modestly: “I signed one of the largest tax cuts in history and the most sweeping tax reform in a generation.”

Treasury yield curve touches narrowest since 2007 as investors pare growth expectations
Unemployment

Treasury yield curve touches narrowest since 2007 as investors pare growth expectations

The 2-year Treasury yield rose while those for the 10-year slipped, resulting in the tightest spread between the pair since 2007, as investors trimmed long-term growth expectations even as they expected the Federal Reserve to stick to two to three additional rate increases for the remainder of 2018.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.07% fell 2 basis points to 2.814%, while the 30-year bond yield TMUBMUSD30Y, -0.11% slipped 3.3 basis points to 2.998%, its third straight decline.
The 2-year note yield TMUBMUSD02Y, +0.18% rose 0.8 basis points to 2.386%, the highest yield since Aug. 2008.
The spread between the two-year note yield and the 10-year note yield, a widely-watched measure of the yield curve, narrowed to 42.8 basis points, the tightest since September 2007.
The yield curve, which normally slopes upward, has extended its tightening trend as lackluster economic data have pushed down long-dated yields even as senior Fed officials’ backing for a gradual-but-sustained hiking trajectory have lifted long-dated yields.
The yield curve may also be narrowing over concerns that a boost to fiscal policy through tax cuts and an increase to spending caps may foreshorten the U.S.’s second-longest economic expansion.
The question lingering on investors’ minds is how many rate increases the central bank intends to implement until the end of the tightening cycle, and if it was willing to raise rates above it its so-called neutral rate.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the current unemployment rate was below the neutral rate, leading to a potential buildup in higher wages.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said gradual rate increases were appropriate and that the risk of the economy overheating wasn’t very high.
The 10-year German government bond yield TMBMKDE-10Y, +0.00% fell 1.4 basis points to 0.509%, according to Tradeweb data.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s tax-form claims are exaggerated
Unemployment

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s tax-form claims are exaggerated

On the eve of Tax Day, President Donald Trump is exaggerating the government’s plans to shrink the much-dreaded federal income tax forms.aa He is promising a simplified, one-page tax form for next year that basically already exists — the 1040EZ.
And after weeks of promises, Trump appears to be dropping a pledge to create an even smaller, card-size tax form.
A look at the statements and how they don’t hold up: TRUMP: “Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates.
But in three straight currency reports issued since Trump took office, the administration has not branded China or any other country as a currency manipulator.
But that reflected new economic sanctions the United States imposed on Russia — not rising U.S. interest rates or efforts by the Russian government to drive down the ruble’s value.
Trump is correct that rising U.S. interest rates could contribute to boosting the dollar’s value against other currencies by making investments in the United States more attractive to foreign investors.
Very importantly, next year, it’s going to be a simple — for the most part, one page.
Trump previously had promised a card-size tax form but now appears to be backing off that claim by describing next year’s form as “for the most part one page” that “may get a little bit bigger.”
In fact, there’s no sign that the IRS is planning new filing forms, card-size or otherwise, for the 2018 tax year.
It’s been a political gimmick for years.