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Archive for Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Changes in welfare make little difference to some in Kansas

December 28, 2005

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— An increase in federal welfare benefits is providing little help to some low-income disabled Kansas residents.

That's because a 4.1 percent cost-of-living increase announced in October raised the income of many disabled people who receive Supplemental Security Income just enough to result in cuts in food stamp benefits.

The Supplemental Security Income program, which is part of Social Security, provides a monthly allowance. The state runs the food stamp program but uses federal dollars and follows eligibility rules set by the Department of Agriculture, said Dennis Priest, assistant director for programs in the economic and employment support division of the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

"It doesn't seem right at all, but it's probably happening to everyone who gets SSI and food stamps, and that's probably a lot of people," said state Rep. Geraldine Flaherty, D-Wichita.

"Unfortunately, that doesn't really surprise me," she added. "I know people who are down and out, and we (the government) seem to do everything we can to keep them that way."

About 39,000 Kansas residents received Supplemental Security Income last year, the Social Security Administration said. And about 182,000 Kansas residents in 81,000 households receive food stamps, Priest said.

It was not immediately clear how many people received both benefits, but state officials said disabled people often receive both because of the low income level that Supplemental Security Income provides.

Comments

Ragingbear 9 years, 1 month ago

Typical. I have seen how the system works. Between the Housing Authority, Welfare, and disability benefits; we often see a penalty greater than the amount gained. I recently saw one that had a 63 dollar reduction in bills... and a 78 dollar increase in cost. So this person was out an additional 15 dollars for saving money. Kind of makes it a moot point to try to do anything when you are in the system.

Ragingbear 9 years, 1 month ago

It's more than that. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing in the system. Oftentimes things are repeated to death at an accumulated cost that would easily account for several million each year in the state. The organization has many flaws, and the system to spot, find, and eliminate abusers is pathetic at best.

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