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Due to waning funds and growing caseloads, Utah’s Department of Workforce Services temporarily will close the door to new General Assistance (GA) applicants next Wednesday, May 1.
It was a whopping $287 a month but no there will be persons in Utah with no where to turn.

This is the land of Mormons and Lost Boy's mind you. They have a prepared population that they intentionally take into other distant towns and drop on the side of the road. The fact it is their own children does not bother them in the least.

This to me is unconscionable.

Here are some of Utah's rules for General Assistance

R986-400-401. Authority for General Assistance (GA) and Applicable Rules.

(1) The Department provides GA financial assistance pursuant to Section 35A-3-401, et seq. as funding permits.

(2) Rule R986-100 applies to GA.

(3) Applicable provisions of R986-200 apply to GA except as noted in this rule.

(4) The citizenship and alienage requirements of the Food Stamp Program apply to GA.
R986-400-402. General Provisions.

(1) GA provides temporary financial assistance to single persons and married couples who have no dependent children residing with them 50% or more of the time and who have a physical or mental health impairment that prevents basic work activities in any occupation. This means that the applicant or client is unable to work any number of hours at all in any occupation.

(2) The impairment must be expected to last at least 60 days after the date of application.

(3) Drug addiction and/or alcoholism alone is insufficient to meet the impairment requirement for GA as defined in Public Law 104-121.

(4) Married couples meet the impairment criteria and time limits on an individual basis. If the household includes an ineligible spouse, the income and assets of the ineligible spouse must be counted when determining the eligibility of the household and the ineligible spouse will not be included in the financial payment. The household can consist of any combination of impaired, non-impaired, short term disabled, or long term disabled as long as at least one spouse meets the eligibility requirements.

(5) GA is only available to a client who is at least 18 years old or legally or factually emancipated. Factual emancipation means the client has lived independently from his or her parents or guardians and has been economically self-supporting for a period of at least twelve consecutive months, and the client's parents have refused financial support.

(6) A client claiming factual emancipation must cooperate with the Department in locating his or her parents. The parents, once located, will be contacted by the Department. If the parents continue to refuse to support the client, a referral will be made to ORS to enforce the parents' child support obligations.

(7) A person eligible for Bureau of Indian Affairs assistance is not eligible for GA financial assistance.

(8) In addition to the residency requirements in R986-100-106, residents in a group home that is administered under a contract with a governmental unit or administered by a governmental unit are not eligible for financial assistance.

(9) An individual receiving SSI is not eligible for GA. This ineligibility includes persons whose SSI is in suspense status, as defined by 20 CFR Part 416.1321 through 416.1330. An individual whose SSI benefits are suspended because he or she has not attained U.S. citizenship, may be eligible for GA if the individual actively pursues U.S. citizenship to regain SSI eligibility.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Utah is not the first. Florida has no general (29+ / 0-)

    assistance program. (I knew a homeless man who died of throat cancer, unable to get any medical care in the 1990s.) I'm guessing that other Southern states are similarly uncaring.

  •  they probably expect you to go (9+ / 0-)

    to that gigantic Mormon outreach program (which admittedly, is pretty big and actually will help you, but apparently comes with lots of strings. Someone from Utah will have to explain more.)

  •  Join the Mormon Church (4+ / 0-)

    if you are on hard times. Don't they pay rent/mortgage and assistance for those members on hard times? Actually, couldn't this rule be appealed somehow on religious grounds? Mormons take care of Mormons. The state has given this function to a religious institution.

  •  Does anybody else see the irony... (10+ / 0-)

    ...that the states most cruel to the poor are also the ones where the folks who bear the brunt of poverty and cruelty are armed to the teeth?

  •  Ugh. All I got to say. (6+ / 0-)

    Too many in this country feel the Constitution should include the 2nd Amendment. And nothing else.

    by blueoregon on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:12:09 AM PDT

  •  No need to stain your diary with this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, FG
    But please go back to debating whether we should moderate democratically or autocratically.
    Utah's move is a big deal and needs eyes on it, none of which also need to have rocks thrown at them in the process.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:41:44 AM PDT

  •  Good (4+ / 0-)

    It's the Republican agenda all over the country to gut the social safety net.
       The reddest of states should be the first to feel it. That way they understand the consequences.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:41:47 AM PDT

  •  I think they're counting on the media... (4+ / 0-)

    to do the same thing they always do with regards to this particular cult...  (And I'll let you decide whether I'm talking about the Mormon Church, OR the Austerians)

    Completely ignore all allegations, and blame those pointing it out for being "Intolerant".

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:56:10 AM PDT

    •  Intolerant is putting in that caveat about (5+ / 0-)

      minors have to contact their parents.

      Lost boys are told if they say anything to the authorities and are returned that they will be punished. Basically they know they will be struck every time that parent sees them until they are out of the house. So I guess this doesn't apply to them either.

      What this means for me is these people will probably start getting bus tickets to local states.

      •  Of course, Jebus has an entire take on children (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        than the dude incessantly quoted in 'Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John.'

        By the way, it's a good band & has some of the most quoted lyrics in the history of the world.

        Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

        by sturunner on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:09:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is one place the TANF Grant is growing .. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, nchristine

    ...that is in foster care. Foster care is growing by leaps and bounds in every state and the states are using most of their block grants to take kids from their families.

    TANF is also used for GA if the states so deem ~ and more and more refuse to do so. I write about this all the time because as an activist for the low income, I have seen the alarming increase in taking kids from low income families and placing them in foster care rather than assisting low income families. It literally costs tax payer 1000% more to take kids than to assist these families. I have been in meetings protesting this. I have had to become an "instant wonk" and ask the questions of my legislators that nobody else will ask.  They reluctantly tell me I am correct about my concerns ~ but then proceed to do it anyway.  

    Here are the haps (and you can ask your state legislators on your Children's committees and in the U.S. House, Michelle Bachman (R) and Jim McDermott (D) and while they will squirm they will tell you it is true):

    At the national level the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee are the ones who allocate TANF and Title IV monies to the states. Both have strings attached to this funding that tells states to abide by them or they lose the money. Some of these strings allow exceptions to the rules ~ but only if the state  asks for them and they are granted by The Powers That Be to do so.  It is often a mystery as to who these "Powers" are but most of the time the allowances come from The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).  

    TANF at this time is considered discretionary funding meaning that it is allocated basically at the whim of the committee as to how much they will allocate (at this time it is about 3% of the budget).  It will allow a small proportion of it to be used for adults ~ but most of it is to be used for families with children. TANF used to come out of Social Security and was mandated ~ until Welfare Reform took it out of Social Security and put it in the "general funding".

    Title IV comes out of Social Security and is considered mandatory funding. It is under what they call the "American Safe Families Act" and is used for foster care, CPS, and all things about taking kids.

    The mandates for Title IV are alarming and what is taking more and more of the TANF budget ~ I will get to why in a minute. Their mandates say in essence (and yes I am being harsh here but it is the truth): "The more kids you take the more money you will make. If you return these kids home you will LOSE all present and future funding for allowing any kids to return home..."

    States at this time get around (differing from state-to-state) about $1.2 BN dollars. TANF on the other hand is much less in the $100 MN amount. Because of the Title IV mandates, states go in and take an additional 1/3-1/2 of the TANF budget (and also take from Medicaid, food stamps and housing), for taking kids.

    States and the U.S. government know full well that putting kids in foster care is not good for the kids. Less than 15% of these kids are in what they legally call "imminent danger". This means that, even though nobody knows what the future holds, they can use as a fact in court that no matter whether or not the child has been abused in the past, they "could" be abused in the future. Most states have laws that prohibit taking kids from families because of poverty, but the conditions of poverty are legal definitions of "maltreatment and neglect". The family that is in poverty is often used in court as coming under the definitions of Imminent Danger.

    So in essence States take what little they get for TANF monies and use 1/3-1/2 of it to take kids by operating under the Title IV mandates saying "The more kids you take, etc". They refuse services to the families and then take their kids because this is the way their DSHS departments get more and more money from the Ways and Means Committee. See?  

    States know full well they are causing life long damage to kids when they take them from their families. This should only be done in the most dangerous conditions. They know over 85% of the kids taken are not in "imminent danger" and would never be if they would assist the families. I have seen kids taken because the parents could not afford the electricity bill, the water bill, are homeless, cannot take time off their McJobs to take kids to a follow up medical appointment (you do not work you do not get paid and the job barely pays the rent, plus you could lose that job if you take time off), they are disabled, cannot afford childcare and many other reasons that merely require assistance at 1000% less the cost than foster care costs. Recently I have witnessed my state in Olympia, WA, who took away 4 kids from an intact family, a married couple, because even though there has never been any indications of abuse, these parents were deemed "slow learners". My state spent $hundreds of thousands" of dollars to terminate these parent's rights and put their children in foster care while the parents had to stand by in agony watching their kids begging CPS workers to see their mom and dad.

    States know that taking kids causes far more future problems than assisting families, but because of the Title IV mandates, they actually get more and more money by taking kids. They know that kids are far more successful to be left in the home with services. Adopted and foster kids are more likely to drop out of school, become substance abusers, be 5-7 X more likely to be abused while away from their families, turn to criminal behavior, become "street kids", go to jail as adults, and become teen parents. Any city has a large population of these street kids who "live under the bridge (while their state Departments of Children's Services rake in Title IV money until the kid reaches 18, and whether or not they know where the kid is who ran away from the abuse they endured).  In fact a foster child or adoption child is seldom believed if they report abuse because this would mean the state has to admit their "better" home is worse.

    If anyone wants to do anything about this, first they should understand that changing the laws would help. Under the US Code it is not only illegal for a government official or any of their contracted entities to lie, they cannot use the law against anyone and they are supposed to be fined or imprisoned. But this is ignored by state in order to get that funding. Be active in ensuring that at the state level they are not allowed to take TANF funding for foster care. Also, if you are one of those mad because Social Security is hurting, you might protest the use of so much of this money for foster care and adoption.  Make your legislators both state and federal you are aware the Title IV mandates are not helping most kids and it is the impetus to take discretionary funding instead of allocating it to things like disabled and elderly services.  

    Yes we all want kids to be safe ~ but when a kid is 5-7 X more likely to be abused and even killed in foster care and adoption that is costing 1000% more than if they had remained with their families, this is something to question. At this time under most state laws a CPS worker and her many contracted entities can go into court and LIE with complete immunity. she can then collect up to $5000 in bonuses for each successfully taken kid plus bring in $Mns to her department. In Milwaukee WI alone, there are over 160 agencies, both public and private contractors all dedicated to making more money each time they take a kid. If anyone thinks Mil;waukee is an oddity, for get that. WI was used as a model for this type of funding under Welfare Reform (many of us call it "welfare DEformed"). $Millions every year in every state is being given to these people.

    No nobody wants a kid to be burned by cigarettes, they do not want a kid to be beaten, starved, raped, or murdered. But it is admitted by DSHS that 85% of these kids are not abused. It is not admitted though the numbers tell the truth, these kids are being exposed to far greater risks than if they stayed in their families and it is costing 1000% more to take them than to assist their families. It is no secret that ALL of this abuse happens far more in foster care and adoption than with the family. Grandparents, cost far less (maybe even nothing) and they have less rights than foster homes. If accused of child abuse grandparents can be put on a publicly available list for the rest of their lives alongside sex offenders with never having  a trial to prove their innocence. They cannot rent a home, they cannot find work, they cannot even volunteer in their grand kid's school or care for them when parents are working.

    These are the laws that have been made in order to divert needed funding and reap more money from the government that is being used for foster care instead of assisting people who need it.

    I cannot thank the National Coalition for the information I have used in committees and speaking in places like Kos.  You can find white papers with very credible information here: You can contact Richard Wexlar who is a journalist working on this issue for decades at NCCPR.

    This issue is important to every citizen as it is far reaching. Not only is it undermining Constitutional rights for all, it is destroying families, it is expensive, it takes from anyone who needs assistance, and it is needless unless it is the most dire cases. This money could be used for GA instead of casually taking kids such as they have taken from the Olympia couple I mention above who have lost their kids so that contracted agencies, the courts and DCS can receive personal bonuses and government funding  ~ sadly whose case is not a rare case diverting desperately needed funds to these activities.

    My 2 cents,

    Cat Sullivan
    Board member of People Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (P.O.W.E.R.)

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    by mntleo2 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:42:53 AM PDT

    •  This needs to be its own post. (0+ / 0-)

      There are far too many hurdles for applicants.

      •  Yeah I've tried that, lol (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, nchristine

        ...but the truth is those hurdles are put there in order to thwart the applicant in every way possible.  We will GIVE $Bns to banks no questions asked, but to a person in need? You and I know what the hope is. That the applicant and all their problems will go away and die. They will prosecute a welfare mom for selling her food stamps for gas to get to to work and diapers for her baby and let greedy SOBs go free who steal $Mns and lack for nothing.  

        As you probably have experienced, poverty is not a "sexy" subject plus people tend to think poverty is a "choice" when in fact poverty is an institution. Institutions remain in place for a reason: because they benefit somebody. In this case all aspects of poverty benefit the upper classes. People in poverty are FAR from a "burden", the poor are money-makers for the rich in many ways. I have written about ways the poor enrich the upper classes. Even on Kos I usually get a great big ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  

        I am trying to say that poverty is a heueueuege industry, even using kids for profit. To make ANY access to support hard to get is simply a mechanism to keep this money for "other things" while continuing to blame the poor for "choosing" to be poor while getting to pretend the gate keepers do not live off their backs.

        Believe me I wish I were just being cynical and dark, but I am telling it like it is. I have been in those meetings with the legislative people and the DSHS suits. They are dripping with judgement and fake "concern". It is not just one side or the other either, although I will say the Dems are a little better at supporting a safety net. It would make you sick and to tell you the truth, I have been literally sick after going to those meetings. But dammit, I STILL go because somebody who has experienced poverty 1rst hand has to speak, nobody else cares about the conditions ~ just what they can get out of the government so they keep their jobs. They never question the dummass policies that only continue the misery, they just schmooze with each while jumping through the hoops to get the reward at the other side ~ and then pat themselves on their backs about how "kind and generous" they are.

        I have so much admiration for you Dear. I always read your posts. The way it is, IMO, is all the more reason to write the things that you do. And to stand with our signs, to speak at legislative sessions, to write our legislators ~ and most of all to inform those who do not understand American poverty to see what it is all about.

        Hang in there and keep tellin' it like it is!

        Love, Cat

        First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

        by mntleo2 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:56:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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