Indiana Reviewing New Guidelines That Could Change State Welfare Policies
While the Federal Health and Human Services administration is offering states the opportunity to participate in a new wavier process as a means for resourcefully transitioning families from welfare into the workforce, state officials say that it still may be too soon to know whether Indiana will participate.
As of now, advisers at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration say that the waiver guidelines allowing for changes in Indiana’s temporary assistance program are still being evaluated.
Under this new waiver option, states are being permitted to propose strategies that could redefine how they measures success, work activity requirements, and the length of time a person can look for work on his or her own without being mandated by the state to participate in unpaid, work related program.
The current cash-based welfare policy requires a family of four to have a gross income of no more than $712.25 per month – earning them a monthly cash benefit of $346.
Welfare recipients are obligated to either actively search for work or participate in a state-approved work related activity including job training, education or unpaid community work experience.
As of June 2012, about 40,000 individuals in nearly 16,200 Indiana families were receiving temporary assistance.
Still, even though many states had been looking for ways to change their states welfare policies even before federal officials announced the new waiver option – Indiana has not.
Some Indiana representatives say that the only way we will see Indiana on board is if the waiver is consistent with the original goals of the program, which encourages two-parent households.
With only five months left in Governor Daniels terms, it is speculated that any waiver decisions will be left to the next administration.