Whether or not families and individuals qualify for welfare depends on several factors, including income, size of family and emergency situations like homelessness, hospital visits and teenage pregnancy. Welfare requirements vary among states and from case to case. When considered for welfare, individuals and families receive a documented case, which undergoes evaluation by a case worker to determine eligibility for welfare designation.
In the United States, welfare assistance began during the 1930s in response to dire economic circumstances surrounding the Great Depression. During the Depression, the national government felt the strain of many people and families with no income and in need of basic necessities. In response, the government established the national federal welfare program to provide needy families with basic items like food, shelter and clothing.
The welfare program remained in control of the federal government for more than a half century, but eventually wound up under state control. Although beneficial for some, the welfare program receives criticism from others over alleged abuse by people whose qualifications do not meet national criteria. Welfare services vary among the states, but typically include food stamps, transportation, child care and housing assistance. People apply for welfare through a formal application process, which determines eligibility for short or long term welfare assistance.Learn More
For a low-income family, the government has several programs that are meant to help with living expenses including TANF (temporary aid), food stamps, medical assistance and help with paying energy expenses. All of these programs are readily available, and benefits are given to those who qualify.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 >
Welfare, like many social programs, began during the Great Depression. While the programs of the New Deal helped increase employment, single mothers and widows with children to care for still needed protection. Aid to Dependent Children was established in 1935 to provide financial assistance to those women and children.Full Answer >
To receive welfare, applicants are first required to fill out a form that can be obtained at state welfare offices. The filled form is returned to the welfare officer. The next step in the process involves an interview at the welfare office, at home or over the phone. A determination is then made after a certain period of time, usually 30 days.Full Answer >