Tag: Welfare

John Currie’s new part-time job: $92K at Passaic County welfare board
Welfare

John Currie’s new part-time job: $92K at Passaic County welfare board

Democratic Party chairman John Currie has landed a part-time job with the Passaic County Board of Social Services that pays him $92,000 a year to help get the word out to the public about welfare benefits. “I’m doing a job.
I’m entitled to do have a job, and I’m doing a good job.”
The new job comes with no set hours, and it significantly boosts Currie’s public salary at a time when he’s nearing retirement, which will jack up his pension.
Currie has served on the county board of elections for 21 years, but at a miniscule salary, currently $22,000 a year.
(Photo: Mitsu Yasukawa, Mitsu Yasukawa/ Staff Photograph) Depending on how long Currie stays on the job, the salary bump could increase his pension significantly.
Not surprisingly, Currie had the support of both Democratic freeholders who sit on the Board of Social Services, Assad Akhter and Bruce James.
“I’ve known John Currie for a long time,” said Peter Murphy, the Republican leader from Totowa.
Traier was recently appointed to the Passaic County Board of Elections and serves with Currie.
“People are really cynical about government,” Traier said.

4 Ways Your Social Security Benefits Are Being Reduced
Social Security Disability

4 Ways Your Social Security Benefits Are Being Reduced

Full retirement age increases reduce aggregate payouts Back in 1983, the Reagan administration passed the last major overhaul of Social Security.
On the other hand, if you wait until after your full retirement age, you can actually further boost your monthly stipend.
When passed in 1983, the Amendments mapped out a two-year increase in the full retirement age, from 65 to 67, over a span of four decades.
As the full retirement age increase, future retirees have to either choose to wait longer to receive their full benefit, thus reducing the number of years they’re collecting a benefit, or accept a steeper reduction to their payout if they claim early, hurting their aggregate payout over the long run.
This new revenue stream applied ordinary federal income tax on 50% of single filers’ or couples’ Social Security benefits if they respectively earned more than $25,000 or $32,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI).
Further, an inflationary measure for seniors, such as the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, would still fail to account for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) expenses, causing it to still underrepresent the true inflation seniors are facing.
The current payout schedule is unsustainable beyond 2034 And as the icing on the cake, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report in 2017 and found that the program will be facing a major funding gap over the next 75 years.
According to the report, Social Security is expected to begin paying out more in benefits than it’s generating in revenue by 2022.
That’s a reduction in benefits for current and future retirees.
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Misconceptions about welfare malign the poor: Letter
Welfare

Misconceptions about welfare malign the poor: Letter

President Donald Trump has no problem limiting access to food stamps and housing benefits.
Popular misconceptions have proliferated about welfare that malign the victims of poverty.
Take the Supplemental Nutrition Program, formerly known as food stamps.
The average benefit per person is $1.50 per meal.
Most other government assistance programs provide only the barest minimum amount.
Fact is, they’re not eligible for any benefits except emergency Medicaid (severely injured or sick).
The majority pay taxes, including billions to Social Security tax benefits which they’ll never receive.
Myth: Welfare takers are lazy and deceptive.
Most people on welfare are hard workers like you and me, or they’re impoverished kids and elders or people with disabilities being helped to survive, not thrive.
It’s because more and more jobs are paying less and less, or are being eliminated due to automation, outsourcing, et al. Mike Kulla Poughkeepsie

Salinas woman faces jail for lying to get $31k in welfare, food stamps
Welfare

Salinas woman faces jail for lying to get $31k in welfare, food stamps

A Salinas woman who fraudulently received more than $31,000 in government aid pleaded guilty to felony charges.
Licila Castillo, 34, was receiving both cash aid and food stamps between Dec. 1, 2012 and June 1, 2016 while claiming that her children’s father was absent and she needed the benefits, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.
An investigation by the DA’s office and the Monterey County Department of Social Services found that the father actually had been living in her home and had a job, prosecutors say.
The family’s income should have made Castillo ineligible for benefits.
Castillo also misrepresented her household income on her eligibility status reports to social services, according to the DA’s office.
Castillo was overpaid $31,741, prosecutors say.
Castillo is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, and she faces three years of formal felony probation and a year in jail.
She will also be ordered to pay back the overpayment of benefits directly to the Department of Social Services.

GOP lawmakers seek federal money for Gov. Scott Walker’s welfare limits that would cost nearly $90M a year
Welfare

GOP lawmakers seek federal money for Gov. Scott Walker’s welfare limits that would cost nearly $90M a year

Scott Walker’s welfare limits even as GOP senators considered seeking federal help this week to cover more of the nearly $90 million in costs from the proposals.
In addition, Assembly Republicans will also vote separately Thursday on a five-year, $12 million pilot program to require food stamp recipients to use their benefits for healthy food.
Critics say the bills will be costly for state taxpayers to implement and less effective than using the money for programs like training for workers or public transportation to get them to jobs.
To offset some of the state costs, some Republican senators want to seek additional federal money for Food Share, the state’s food stamp program.
To respond to this, Republicans on the Senate Public Benefits Committee Wednesday amended the bill requiring parents on Food Share to work, including in it a request to the federal government to share some of the savings with the state of Wisconsin.
It’s unclear whether President Donald Trump’s administration would have the authority or willingness to do so.
An opponent of the bill said she believed that such a move would take an act of Congress.
Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, said the proposal was “straight out of Dickens.”
The Assembly is voting on a companion bill to the Senate proposal that doesn’t include the request for additional federal money.
The existing Food Share work requirement — proposed by Walker in 2013 and implemented in 2015 — has led so far to about 3.5 recipients losing benefits for every one who secured a job through the program.

Welfare For People Too Lazy To Work?
Social Security Disability

Welfare For People Too Lazy To Work?

“Join the club.
Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?” It’s a common line from conservative politicians: that the Social Security Disability Insurance program is just welfare for people too lazy to work.
Before his body started to fail him, Pitts, a 43-year-old in Lake County, Tennessee, was a public servant.
He was elected county commissioner, a position he used to champion solar power.
Then in 2013, Pitts, who already had moderate arthritis and herniated discs in his back, was diagnosed with renal failure, an extreme form of kidney disease — the beginning of a chain of events that would leave Pitts and his family dependent on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which offers assistance for workers who develop disabilities and illnesses that render them incapable of working any longer.
Too weak to stand and talk, he campaigned for reelection but narrowly lost his seat.
In 2015, struggling mentally and physically, he had to give up his job; these days, he’s unable to dress himself without help from his teenage son.
… After visiting Tennessee, talking to SSDI recipients across the state, and scouring the rich economic literature on the program, I was left with a starkly different conclusion from the prevailing criticism.
SSDI is not a gusher of free federal money for lazy people with backaches.
SSDI serves people who are desperately sick or injured; its beneficiaries have a mortality rate triple that of other people their age, and one-fifth of men and one-sixth of women on the program die within five years of first getting benefits.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed welfare limits could cost more than $90 million a year
Welfare

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed welfare limits could cost more than $90 million a year

Scott Walker’s administration estimates that implementing his proposed limits on welfare could cost state and federal taxpayers nearly $90 milliona year, plus millions more in startup expenses.
Walker and GOP lawmakers have said that the bills will shift more welfare recipients into the workforce at a time when unemployment is at the historic low of 3%. “Instead of wasting (millions in) taxpayer money on an election-year gimmick, Governor Walker and Republicans ought to finally start addressing the real struggles of hardworking Wisconsin families.” State Health Services spokesman Julie Lund responded by pointing to the cases in which workers got jobs through new requirements that Walker has placed on welfare recipients. “This is an administration that has taken an aggressive approach to making sure people who want to work get the support they need to overcome any barrier,” Lund said in an email.
Walker is pushing for a series of welfare bills, including requiring able-bodied parents of children on food stamps to work or get training to receive more than three months of benefits and increasing the existing work requirement for all able-bodied adults from 20 hours a week to 30.
This existing requirement — proposed by Walker in 2013 and implemented in 2015 — has led so far to about 3.5 recipients losing benefits for every one who secured a job through the program.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review of state agency cost estimates found the 10 welfare bills proposed by Walker would cost: $37.9 million a year for state and local taxpayers when fully implemented and $35.5 million for federal taxpayers, for a total of $87.5 million.
In addition, the bills would cost a total of $21.7 million in state and federal money for one-time costs such as computer upgrades.
Medicaid programs like nursing homes for the elderly and health benefits for needy families will cost about $20 billion in state and federal money over the two-year state budget.
But in other programs like food stamps, it would be difficult for state taxpayers to recoup the costs since the $887 million in Food Share benefits paid out to Wisconsin residents last year were covered by federal taxpayers.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushes welfare overhaul to include work requirement for parents on food stamps
Welfare

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushes welfare overhaul to include work requirement for parents on food stamps

The GOP governor is pushing for a series of welfare bills, including requiring able-bodied parents of children on food stamps to work or get training to receive more than three months of benefits and increasing the existing work requirement for all able-bodied adults from 20 hours a week to 30.
This existing requirement — offered by Walker in 2013 — has led so far to about 3.5 recipients losing benefits for every one that secured a job through the program.
“We want to remove barriers to work and make it easier to get a job, while making sure public assistance is available for those who truly need it.”
Walker has referred to Tuesday’s loss in Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District as “wake-up call for Republicans” and this week the governor has pushed aggressively to remind his voters about his records and goals.
Republicans say these proposals would make individuals more self-sufficient and help employers find workers at a time when the state unemployment rate is at 3%.
Taking parents’ food stamps will lower the household’s income and have an inevitable effect on their kids, they said.
The other bills deal in part with the food stamp program known as Food Share, in which federal taxpayers pay for benefits and the state helps pay for administrative costs.
The state’s existing training requirements for childless adults cost the state roughly $18 million in state money over two years and have led to 24,420 able-bodied Food Share participants in the state finding work through the program and 86,000 state residents losing their federally funded benefits.
The state could use the money to pay contractors for reaching big cost savings or improvements in performance.
“Public assistance was never intended to be permanent,” Vos said in a statement.

Contra Mick Mulvaney, People Know Disability Is Part Of Social Security
Social Security Disability

Contra Mick Mulvaney, People Know Disability Is Part Of Social Security

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s budget chief said repeatedly this week that when people think of Social Security, retirement insurance is the only thing that comes to mind ― not disability insurance.
A “welfare program for the long-term disabled,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on Tuesday, “is not what most people would consider to be Social Security.” Social Security is best known as retirement insurance, but plenty of people are aware that it’s also disability insurance.
Forty-three percent of survey respondents said they knew someone who received disability or survivors’ benefits from Social Security, according to a 2010 poll by AARP.
Trump’s budget, which Mulvaney unveiled this week, breaks that promise by proposing cuts to both Medicaid and Social Security.
“If you ask 999 people out of 1,000, [they] would tell you that Social Security disability is not part of Social Security,” Mulvaney said on Monday.
And, as the progressive think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, even Republicans amenable to cutting Social Security Disability Insurance have talked about the program as a basic part of Social Security.
“Social Security provides vital financial support for more than 57 million beneficiaries,” House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) congressional website says.
Getting the benefits “helped me pay for college, it helped her go back to college in her 50s where she started a small business because of the new skills she got,” Ryan recalled during the 2012 vice presidential debate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also discussed the importance of Social Security survivors’ benefits for his younger sister, when both their parents died in a short span of time.
In fact, it was a Republican who first created the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

Lakewood rabbi, others arrested in alleged million-dollar welfare fraud
Welfare

Lakewood rabbi, others arrested in alleged million-dollar welfare fraud

Lakewood rabbi, others arrested in alleged million-dollar welfare fraud.
LAKEWOOD — A prominent rabbi and several others were arrested in simultaneous federal and state raids Monday morning on charges related to alleged public assistance fraud on a scale rarely seen before in New Jersey, according to law enforcement sources.
Four others were arrested Monday and are being taken to Trenton to face federal charges in U.S. District Court.
The Lakewood residents are accused of taking advantage of multiple public assistance programs to defraud the government of around $1.3 million over the past few years, according to law enforcement sources.
The Nussbaums allegedly under-reported their incomes and failed to disclose money they received from a number of companies in order to collect Medicaid, Section 8 housing assistance and food stamps between 2011 and 2014, according to a federal complaint signed by FBI Special Agent Michael Farina.
The complaint against Mordechai and Rachel Sorotzkin accuses them of also under-reporting their incomes to collect Medicaid.
Rachel Sorotzkin allegedly failed to report $1.5 million she received from a limited liability company when signing up for public assistance.
Complaints against the other two couples have not been released, but law enforcement sources said the state charges are expected to be similar to those laid out in the federal complaints.
It is alleged that the couples made tens of thousands dollars more per year than they reported to the public assistance programs, a law enforcement source said.
The scale of the alleged public assistance fraud may well top several millions of dollars.