Welfare programs are state regulated programs for those who live under the minimum accepted level means as determined by each state government. Welfare benefits can fall under multiple different program umbrellas, all of which require certain elements of eligibility to acquire and maintain payments. These programs are cash assistance (TANF), the child support program, child care, energy or utility assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, and vocational rehabilitation services.
TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or cash assistance is available to bring income into households where there is minimal or none. The purpose of the TANF program is to allow income into the homes so that children, elderly or other dependants can be cared for. The criteria for these welfare benefits are that the heads of household are working to obtain job training which will enable them to leave the welfare programs.
The child support program will provide families with state regulated child care placement assistance that will enable parents/caretakers the time available for working and job training opportunities. The child support program can supplement partial child care fees or provide 100% fee assistance.
Another of the welfare programs is the energy or utility assistance program which is intended to help those who cannot afford to pay for basic utility needs, such as heat, electricity and/or gas and water. Like the child support program, it will supplement part of or provide 100% of the monthly utility costs.
The food stamps program will help household acquire food for the home without having to use other sources of income on groceries. Food stamps are part of a very important program which allows for those households with very limited means to be able to use those means on other necessities. Food stamps provide the nutritional needs for the family. There are restrictions on what can be purchased with food stamps. Only WIC approved items can be purchased with the food stamps from qualifying retailers.
The medical assistance program provides the welfare benefits of medical insurance to those without it. Well checks, doctor visits and basic medical care cannot be obtained without insurance. Medicare and Medicaid provide the coverage necessary for health and well being while also providing for regular doctor visits prescriptions, dental care and eye care.
One of the basic criteria for the SRS program is that the recipients work towards someday leaving the program. For that purpose vocational rehabilitation services will give job training and skills that will help the recipients obtain gainful employment on their own.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
Eligibility Requirements of Welfare Programs
- A basic lack of gainful employment opportunity through either lack of places of employment or lack of job skill.
- A commitment to self-sufficiency is necessary before any potential recipient can begin to receive benefits. Heads of household must enter into an agreement they will become self-sufficient within a certain timeframe.
- A commitment to cooperation must be signed by the heads of household that they will comply with and continue all regulations and requirements while receiving aid.
- Dependant children must be living in the household. There are some very few exceptions, but generally all dependants must be within the home.
- All minors must be attending school during school days.
- All minors and dependants must be fully and appropriately immunized.
- The recipient must be 18 years of age.
- You must be a legal and permanent resident of the state to which you are applying.
- You must be a citizen of the United States or a qualified non-citizen legal resident, (restrictions apply).
- A commitment to complete accuracy and honesty during the program.
- All monetary resources must be divulged. This includes cash within the home, in checking or savings accounts and items of value in possession such as jewelry or electronics.
- A household financial budget must be created and adhered to.
Regulations and restrictions do vary from state to state for obtaining welfare benefits through welfare programs, however the basics have been outlined here and can be used to aid you in your research.
Welfare Information Articles
- US Welfare System - Help for US Citizens
- Applying for Welfare
- The History of Welfare
- Child Welfare Services
- Programs & Benefits
- Welfare Assistance Works for Everyone
- How US Welfare Services Can Be Used
- Corporate Welfare
- Welfare Reform - Social Welfare Change
- Welfare Department - The Dept of Health and Human Services
- What is Welfare State
- Social Welfare Services
- Payments and Allowance Benefits