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Michigan Gov. Snyder signs 48 month lifetime limit on cash welfare payments

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed into law a bill that sets a 48 month lifetime limit on receiving welfare cash payments in the state of Michigan.

Advocates for the poor say this will affect almost 30,000 Michigan children starting Oct. 1 and call this the worst possible time to cut people off from the help. Gilda Jacobs, President of the Michigan League for Human Services, said in a press release:

“With unemployment at nearly 11 percent and half of jobless people looking for work for six months or longer, we know that jobs are not readily available to absorb nearly 41,000 people leaving the state’s cash assistance safety net in October. The jobs just don’t exist.

We agree with the governor’s goal to provide more jobs in the state, but until that happens we must provide a safety net. Two-thirds of the caseload are children and the average age of a child on cash assistance is the age of a second-grader.

Getting tough on lifetime limits means children in our state will be harmed and our chance to make a difference in children’s lives – benefits that will last a lifetime — will be lost. The Department of Human Services has estimated that 29,700 children will be cut from cash assistance in October. Though the department says it will assist the families for a few months, it’s questionable whether new jobs will be available for adults in these families by the end of the year.

It will be a hard, hard winter for many of these families.’’

The limit does not apply to food stamps, Medicaid or child health services.

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