Oct. 16 2013
The government shutdown cannot end soon enough for poor residents of North Carolina, as the state has become the first in the country to cut off welfare benefits due to the gridlock in Washington.
The decision came from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which ordered its local offices on October 10 to stop processing applications for November until the federal government is back up and running.
The state’s welfare program, called “Work First,” services more than 20,000 people, primarily children, and requires participants to reapply for benefits every month. Work First is funded entirely by the federal government, and helps poor residents purchase food and other supplies necessary for day-to-day life.
But Work First isn’t the only North Carolina service hampered by the government shutdown. According to Reuters, other programs will also be affected - including one that provides childcare subsidies covering more than 70,000 children. In various parts of the state, the delivery of those subsidies has already come to a halt.
"I would say this is an emergency," Alexandra Sirota, director of the low-income advocacy group North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, told Reuters. "They’re cutting off a lifeline for thousands of North Carolina families who have experienced significant hardships."
Critics of the state’s decision point out that Work First only cost $4.8 million in September - a small number compared to the $650 million “rainy day” fund that North Carolina has set aside in case of emergencies. They argue that the reason for stopping programs like Work First is not based on the shutdown, but rather on politics.
However, North Carolina’s HHS department doesn’t agree.
"We are heavily dependent on federal dollars," state HHS spokeswoman Julie Henry told Reuters. "When these kinds of things happen at the federal level, it has an immediate impact."
Work First applications will still be accepted by local officials in the meantime. Processing will simply be delayed until Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement to end the shutdown. Many reports suggest a deal is imminent.
This isn’t the first time North Carolina has considered halting social services. Last week, the state contemplated ending its Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program as the government shutdown dragged on, potentially hurting poor women and children who rely on the service to purchase baby food and formula. The decision never formally went through, and the program has not been interrupted.
- newzat10 reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- papaseanproductions reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- ijustwannalivemylifewithyou likes this
- thepeoplearewatching reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- sayyeahletsbealonetogether likes this
- treatyoshelf likes this
- treatyoshelf reblogged this from descentintotyranny
- oseithegreat likes this
- kamiche likes this
- dontjudgefreeshit likes this
- audqotsa likes this
- erineatfaith reblogged this from lovemist
- erineatfaith likes this
- miss-arieai reblogged this from jerroncouture
- sooo-electric likes this
- sans-nuage reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- blamegamejae likes this
- moneycarsclothesanddreams reblogged this from jerroncouture
- odestojoy reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- blacbubbles reblogged this from jerroncouture
- foruspeterpans reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- imatyou likes this
- mt-money reblogged this from jerroncouture
- shantisscenario reblogged this from jerroncouture
- shantisscenario likes this
- heyrandi reblogged this from jerroncouture
- vagaskisses likes this
- spacedowtmarvin likes this
- lovee-ashley reblogged this from jerroncouture
- dappermarc reblogged this from jerroncouture and added:
- dappermarc likes this
- kaylabettawerk likes this
- lovemist reblogged this from descentintotyranny
- jerroncouture reblogged this from twoshotsandafountainpen and added:
- twoshotsandafountainpen reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- ineffable-experience reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- suprcalafragaohfuckit reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- kevskewl reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- kevskewl likes this
- thisunfamiliarplace likes this
- hippielies reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- winawinadajcie likes this
- chrodgangsta reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- thatguykasey reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
- thatguykasey likes this
- joshuavssociety likes this
- america-wakiewakie reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm
- america-wakiewakie likes this
- curlyfriiies likes this
- disvgunoak reblogged this from disciplesofmalcolm