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Letter: Welfare reform

By Sheila Wood

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, July 31 2014 7:27 p.m. MDT

I think there needs to be welfare reform. As it is now, if you make a little bit more money, you are cut off. I can't understand why there isn't a graduated way to help people get off welfare. If there were a graduated system, a person receiving welfare who began to make a little bit more money, would then receive a little bit less welfare. Having a graduated welfare system would encourage people to get off welfare and not punish them for doing better. I understand that many believe that those on welfare don’t want to go off of welfare. They are wrong. And with a little bit more of the right help, they’d prove it to you.

I know someone who has been on welfare for a few years. Every time she begins to do better, she loses her food stamps and her child gets kicked off Medicaid. Then, she can no longer pay her rent, feed her family or take her child to the doctor. The system punishes her for improving her situation. If she was able to improve her circumstances and keep her benefits at a lower rate, she could eventually work her way off of welfare and become a taxpayer.

She really doesn't want to be on welfare. But each time she tries to stand up, the system pounds her back down. Is this what we want?

Sheila Wood

Orem

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