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Idahoans Cross Border To Get Welfare Tough New Laws In Idaho Pushing Aid Recipients To Move To Washington

This sidebar appeared with the story: WELFARE CHANGES On July 1, the federal Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program was replaced by new state programs: Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI), and Washington’s WorkFirst. Major changes included: Time limit: In Idaho, a two-year lifetime limit. Welfare collected in another state will be included in that total. In Washington, a five-year lifetime limit. Welfare collected in another state will be included in that total. Maximum cash grant: No Idaho family, regardless of size, will be eligible for more than $276 a month in assistance. In Washington, grants rise with family size, starting with $440 for a family of two. Work required: Recipients in both states must work at least 20 hours per week or be actively seeking work or engaged in approved training programs. Underage parents: In both states, parents under 18 must live with their own parents or in a supervised living arrangement to receive benefits. New mothers: In Idaho, new mothers will be required to work when their child turns 3 months old. In Washington, new mothers are exempt from work requirements for a year. Paternity: In Idaho, single mothers will be required to disclose the identity of a child’s father and cooperate with caseworkers in the collection of child support. There’s no such requirement in Washington. In both states, child support enforcement can suspend deadbeat parents’ drivers’ or professional licenses. Contract: In both states, recipients must meet with a caseworker and sign a contract outlining the steps they will take to become financially self-reliant. Failure to meet terms results in penalties, including temporary or permanent revocation of benefits. School: In Idaho, all children of families receiving assistance must be enrolled and attending school or face a $50 per month reduction in assistance per child. There is no such requirement in Washington. Child care: In Washington, child care for all working poor is subsidized. A family of three making up to $20,000 a year is eligible for subsidies, although a co-payment is required. In Idaho, child care is paid for by the recipient, but reimbursed by the state on a sliding fee scale, based on the parent’s income.

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