Welfare Description

Welfare Description

Welfare is a government program that provides money, medical care,

food, housing, and other things that people need in order to survive. People

who can receive help from these welfare programs are children, elders,

disabled, and others who cannot support their families on their current

income. Another name for welfare is public assistance.

There are many organizations that supply this public assistance. Such

as Salvation Army and other groups. Public assistance benefits help many

people who live below the poverty line, an income level is established for

families. If your income is below this you would be eligible to receive this


Welfare in the United States

Federal and state governments in the Unites States serve the poor

people through about 60 public assistance programs. Most people receive

help through one of the four major programs. These programs are Medicaid,

Aid to families with dependant Children, Social Security, or Supplemental

Security, or the food stamps program. I will discuss the four programs


Medicaid provides free medical care to the poor people. Funds vary

from state to state. In some situations, people who may be able to pay daily

needs, but can’t afford large medical bills may also be able to receive

Medicaid. Some services paid for are bills such as doctor’s visits and nursing

home care. Most Medicaid funding comes from the federal government.

The rest is supplied by the state. Each state runs their own Medicaid


A.F.D.C. provides cash benefits to dependent children and the parents

or the guardians taking care of them. Most families that qualify for A.F.D.C.

have just one parent in the home. About 80 percent of these families are

headed by a woman. A.F.D.C. also pays benefits to two-parent families if

both parents are unemployed. Most A.F.D.C. funding comes from the

federal government. The states provide the rest of the money and administer

the program. The sizes of families’ payment vary from state to state.

Next is Social Security Income. This provides financial Aid to people

in need who are at least 65 years old, blind, or disabled. The federal

government finances and administers social security income programs in

most states, though some states supply the federal payment and are able to

run their own programs.

Finally, the Food Stamp Program helps low-income households buy

more and better food than they could otherwise afford. Each participating

household receives a certain number of coupons called food stamps. The

stamps are issued by the federal government. The number of stamps a

household receives varies with the family’s size, income, and expenses.

Cooperating grocery stores accept the stamps like money for food purchases


There are other programs such as energy assistance and public

housing. Energy assistance, which is federally financed but administered by

the states, helps people pay fuel bills. Public housing provides low cost

rental apartments in government owned buildings.

State and local governments fund and administer their own general

assistance programs. These programs provide financial aid for needy people

who do not qualify for other types of welfare. People waiting to receive

assistance from other programs also may get temporary emergency aid from

general assistance.

Back in the early days, welfare resembled the English system. Social

governments were responsible for helping the poor. But the colonies and

later the states, sometimes helped the local government provide aid. The first

federal welfare program, began after the Revolutionary War, they provided

pensions to war veterans. During the Civil War these pensions were

expanded to cover soldiers’ widows and orphans. In the early 1900’s,

primary responsibility for providing welfare benefits shifted from local to

state governments. During these years, states enacted programs to aid

dependent children and the elderly.

The criticisms of welfare ranges over a number of social and economic

issues. Some people criticize welfare programs for not providing high

enough benefits to eliminate poverty. Spending on welfare would have to

increase greatly to eliminate poverty, and many people believe the cost is

already too high.

Many critics of the welfare system charge that providing a steady

income to needy people encourages idleness. Actually, most welfare benefits

go to elderly, blind, and disabled people and mothers with young children.

But welfare does discourage some recipients from working harder by

reducing benefits if their income increases.

Many people also criticize the welfare system for being too complex

and costly to administer. Each program has its own eligibility requirements

and ways of calculating benefits, and these rules vary from state to state.

Public officials collect detailed information about applicants to determine

their eligibility for benefits. This process is time-consuming and costly.

Some people cheat the system by not reporting all the income they

earn. But suppliers of services to welfare recipients account for most of the

fraud in welfare. Some physicians, pharmacists, and others have been

overpaid because they have made up false bills.

In my opinion I believe you need welfare because people do need help.

But I would lower its percent because it won’t hurt that much. Most

importantly we have to do a better job at finding all the people who cheat the

program and make them work to repay it.