Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

In your opinion...What should we do to reform the PA system?

There have been several post regarding PA (public assistance) on CM in the last month. After reading through hundreds of post/replies on PA it seems to me that we REALLY need reform in the PA system in this country.

It seems that people who don't really need PA are getting it just because they qualify but why do they qualify if they don't need it??? If you can afford to budget for luxaries than can't you budget for needs like food and health insurance?

IMO PA needs to be harder to get. If there is an able body person in the home who chooses not to work for whatever reason they should be denied PA. I think all money coming into the home through out the year needs to be counted when determining eligability and then it should be decided if that money was spent on needs or wants.

These are just a few of my ideas for reforming PA.

If it was up to YOU...How would you reform PA?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:35 PM on Oct. 8, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (11)
  • I don't really think you have ever been on it have you? It's not as easy as you think, and sometimes people really do need it but the worker screws up and gives them either too much or too little. And what would qualify as needs and wants? I am on it. Not on cash though we may have to go on that soon because my hubby was fired yesterday after we were given a 30-move out notice cause our house is selling. So here we sit with my measly $500 a month that can only last until Nov 16th because I am due to have a baby, and our only source of income was taken from us just before we have to move! Fair? I don't think so, but when you look at the numbers and not the people, maybe it is? We have an outrageous cell phone bill because my boss says that if he can't get a hold of me I will lose my job (leaving a message and waiting for me to get home isn't "getting a hold of me" in his eyes). But to others cell phones wouldn't qualify.

    Answer by mammacjjc85 at 5:00 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • Well, firstly, I wouldn't make it "harder to get" b/c for any normal person down on their luck, its near impossible to receive PA. I would put more money into having caseworkers evaluate each situation so that the folks who REALLY need assistance are granted that right. As of now, if you make even a minimal amount of income, you cannot qualify. That's just unacceptable. Things happen in life and everyone deserves a helping hand, even the working class folks who make a few dollars over the limit! Especially in this economy. So, more scrutiny, more caseworkers.

    Answer by kenzie07 at 5:05 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • So, i've never been on it either. BUT i know a few moms on it. I know a mom who sells her milk/milk coupons for cash, then buys her kids toys (her kids have all the latest, expensive toys). I know a mom who lives with her SO and he pays for eveything, but she won't marry him b/c she gets pa so she doesn't have to work and she litterally goes shopping (clothes, shoes) every two weeks when her check comes, and she wears designer. I know a mom who works "off the books" and uses her non-taxed income to buy clothes, booze, cigaretts. I know several moms like these (i work in a human service field).I make a decent living, but i can't even afford designer clothing, expensive and massive toys for my kids, and such. I know very few moms who use pa for the right reasons, don't cheat the system, and work to get off it. This is why so many people get upset about the pa issue.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:10 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • They need to make everyone reapply. Yes, I know you are SUPPOSED to reapply; but a lot of those places do not follow through. My sister has been on PA for 6 years and has never reapplied. My mother was on PA and is currently on Government housing she never had to reapply either. I know if they made everyone on PA reapply a large amount will not qualify anymore and that would save lots of money!

    They also need better regulations and more programs to help families get off PA. I always thought the JOBS program was a great idea but not many are required to use it. I think if you are on PA / FS not WIC should be required to use JOBS. I think that they should make Vocational schools a joint program with PA and offer discount tuition to those on PA to help get them an education that will get them working and able to support their families.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 5:12 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I think each individual case should be assed.

    For example, I think that if you have two families that make nearly the same amount of money but one family is somehow able to afford new TV's and video game systems, car payments on brand new cars, etc. but the other is busting their but just to pay off debt and keep a roof over their head than the one who obviously needs it should get it. BUT the one who qualifies based on income and doesn't NEED it should be denied.

    I also think there should be limits on what you can buy on FS. You should not be able to buy fried chips and other unhealthy junk. It's a supplemental system there to help you meet basic nutrional needs.

    And I think FS, Medicaid and TANF need to be more like WIC. I think you should have to attend health, nutrition and budgetting classes every 3-6 months in order to get it.

    That would also create more jobs. :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:22 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I know people who have traded their FS for drugs their wic formula for drugs etc...I also hate to see some big fat slob pay for junk food with FS. I think people who abuse the system should have their kids taken and left to fend on their own. Sink or swim.

    Answer by Carpy at 6:28 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I like the idea of classes and such for other aspects of PA than WIC but where would they get the money? People already scream bloody murder about "Their tax dollars" not being spent right. I think they should find the most cost effective solution in every case. In our case our social worker ran the numbers and it was cheaper for the state if I stayed home for three years. Because of DH's income, they would just give us FS and health care for DS. If I had wanted to go back to work, they would still have had to give us those till I found a job AND they would have covered daycare for DS for at least a year. He still would not have lost his medical, so which, as a taxpayer would you rather? $200 a month for food or $900 for daycare?
    Now we are trying to get off of it and they are trying to keep us on it, I know they are trying to help, but sometimes it makes me want to scream.

    Answer by auroura at 6:33 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I heard of someone having to take classes (I think it was because they were unemployed) but the classes were scheduled during the time that this person was trying to go to school. So she missed school to take a class about getting a better higher paying job or she goes to school, and misses the class and doesn't get the help.

    Anyway I'm just pointing out that mandatory classes can sometimes hurt the people they are trying to help.

    To answer the OPs question I think we should scrap PA all together and put in HUGE tax benefits for those that donate to charities.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:02 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • They need to be checking who resides at the residence. Too many times a woman will be on PA with children, while her live-in boyfriend is working under the table bringing in more money. They need to check up on if the person is actively looking for employment. The length of time a person is on PA should be a factor. For some on PA they feel getting a job will only cut some of their PA so they just simply don't work-that needs to change. Classes should be mandatory to get one motivated and into the working world.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:18 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • First off I am on PA (FS and Ins for the kids). I agree that they need to get the people off who abuse the system. But then what about the kids, where does that put them. You can, however, call your local DHR, DCFS, DCF office and get the number to report fraud. It is a crime and those doing it can be penalized and have to pay back all the money they received as well as a stiff fine and possible jail time and denied PA in the future. 


    Answer by luvmygrlz at 10:48 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.