Welfare changes head to Washington governor
OLYMPIA – The Legislature approved new limits to a major welfare program for those unable to work because of physical or mental health problems and changed its name from General Assistance- Unemployable to the Disability Lifeline.
Under the new rules that passed both houses Monday, those unable to work will be limited to 24 months of benefits over a five-year period between 2008 and 2013. Those who are in the program because of a drug or alcohol addiction can only receive benefits if they enroll and stay in treatment; those who are homeless and need chemical dependency or mental health treatment will receive vouchers instead of cash, and will only qualify if they stay in treatment.
House Bill 2782 passed 28-16 in the Senate and 57-40 in the House; it now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire.