As of July 8, 2014, the demographic breakdown of welfare recipients was 38.8 percent Caucasian, 39.8 percent African American, 15.7 percent Hispanic, 2.5 percent Asian and 3.3 percent Other. There are 12.8 million Americans on welfare, which is equivalent to 4.1 percent of the U.S. population.
Welfare began during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the number of families that were in need of food, clothing and housing became so great that the existing resources of local governments and private charities could not adequately help. At the start of the Great Depression in October 1929, there were already 18 million Americans struggling to survive. By 1933, an additional 13 million Americans had lost employment, and the head of the federal Children's Bureau reported that 20 percent of the nation's school children showed signs of poor nutrition, housing, and medical care.
On Aug. 18, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which, in addition to establishing a federal retirement program for Americans over the age of 65, created a national welfare system. This new welfare system provided assistance to dependent children under the age of 16, the unemployed, the needy and the disabled. Significant changes were made to welfare in 1996 when President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which provided some federal funding to states to assist the poor. States are expected to take steps to ensure welfare recipients are being encouraged to take steps to return to employment.Learn More
To apply for welfare, familiarize yourself with the income, work and citizenship requirements, and make sure you meet them. Gather all the necessary paperwork, find your local office, and go there to apply in person.Full Answer >
The criteria for determining if someone is eligible for welfare benefits varies by state but generally includes income and family size as key factors. An application needs to be filled out for an individual or family that wishes to receive welfare support. Welfare benefits are not automatically given out. Often a case manager is assigned and a claim made before determining eligibility for benefits.Full Answer >
There are several programs within the basic welfare program, but the basic criteria for all the programs is that recipients agree to work on getting out of the program within a specific time frame. Welfare programs include cash assistance, food stamps, child support, medical assistance and utility assistance.Full Answer >
As of July 3, 2014, Sam's Club accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards, which used to be known as EBT cards. SNAP is accepted at all Sam's Club locations, but customers must be members to purchase items without a fee. SNAP is not accepted on the Sam's Club website.Full Answer >