LA county supervisors request federal government relax welfare rules

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has asked the federal government to relax eligibility requirements for welfare recipients. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has asked the federal government to relax eligibility requirements for welfare recipients. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more.

Frank Stoltze: Supervisor Gloria Molina says L.A. County denied 7,000 families CalWORKs welfare assistance last month because of federal eligibility rules. The county turned down another 19,000 households seeking food stamps.

Gloria Molina: We’ve always had people who’ve been disqualified but we’re seeing a huge escalation.

Stoltze: Federal rules disqualify families with more than $2,000 in accessible cash resources – like a savings account – or a car worth more than $4,600. In some cases, Molina said, people who receive unemployment insurance don’t qualify for welfare.

Molina: Right now, many of those families are watching insurance companies get bailed out, automakers getting bailed out, and they’re sitting there saying “Why can’t I get a helping hand at a time like this?”

Stoltze: Molina said the county and federal governments likely would share the cost of increased welfare payments, if Congress and the Obama administration agree to loosen eligibility requirements.

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