Statement on 48-month limit

Sept. 6, 2011
Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436 or (517) 410 5798 (cell)

With few jobs available, it’s the wrong time to cut thousands of kids from safety net

MLHS President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs on signing of bills to enact strict 48-month time limits on cash assistance:

“With unemployment at nearly 11 percent and half of jobless people looking for work for six months or longer, we know that jobs are not readily available to absorb nearly 41,000 people leaving the state’s cash assistance safety net in October. The jobs just don’t exist.

We agree with the governor’s goal to provide more jobs in the state, but until that happens we must provide a safety net. Two-thirds of the caseload are children and the average age of a child on cash assistance is the age of a second-grader.

Getting tough on lifetime limits means children in our state will be harmed and our chance to make a difference in children’s lives – benefits that will last a lifetime —  will be lost. The Department of Human Services has estimated that 29,700 children will be cut from cash assistance in October. Though the department says it will assist the families for a few months, it’s questionable whether new jobs will be available for adults in these families by the end of the year.

It will be a hard, hard winter for many of these families.’’
The Michigan League for Human Services is a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that Michigan’s low-income residents achieve economic security.