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How does welfare work?My comittee are coming up with ways to improve the economy. Some...

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How does welfare work?

My comittee are coming up with ways to improve the economy. Some of the comittee members had an idea of putting people on welfare if they can't get a job. We were discussing about this, but we were confused on how it works.

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The program that most people think of when they think about "welfare" is something called Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).  TANF is the program that gives aid to poor families while trying to get the adult(s) in the family into jobs.

The process and eligibility differs from state to state so you might want to look up what the rules are for your state.  There is a link below to the Washington State government's page about TANF.  The basic rule is that people who have children and who have essentially no assets can apply for this benefit.  They may or may not get it based on how much money the state has.  This is not an entitlement.  They can only get a limited amount of money and can generally only be on TANF for 5 years total in their lifetime.

Once on TANF, adults have to get jobs as soon as they can.  While on TANF, they have to engage in "work activities" such as searching for a job or getting training.


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