THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON MOVES FORWARD ON WELFARE REFORM, ADDING MISSOURI
AND MONTANA TO LIST OF STATES WITH WELFARE WAIVERS
Today, President Clinton continues his efforts to end welfare as we know it by granting two more states -- Missouri and Montana -- the flexibility to reward work over welfare. Like previous welfare reform efforts, these states will use the freedom from federal rules to reward work, make welfare a transitional system, demand personal responsibility, and strengthen child support enforcement.
As a former governor, the President recognizes states as the nation's laboratories. In two years, this Administration has approved 30 welfare demonstrations in 27 states, granting waivers to governors of both parties for a variety of reform efforts. In an average month, the welfare demonstrations cover approximately 6.3 million people, representing 45 percent of all recipients.
The themes of work, responsibility and family are consistent messages and goals of the state demonstrations. Some are targeting specific approaches, while others are experimenting with many program components. Some are testing projects in a single county, while others are ambitiously undertaking statewide efforts. All are using incentives and sanctions with the primary goal of moving people into work. States are also making important strides in increasing child support collections, requiring teenage parents to live at home and stay in school, and demanding parental responsibility.
Welfare reform demonstrations granted under President Clinton's leadership have begun to move toward a new welfare system. As President Clinton has said, "We won't have ended welfare as we know it until its central focus is to move people off welfare and into a job so that they can support themselves and their families." National reform, embodying the principles of work and responsibility and building on the success of state demonstrations, will truly offer hope and opportunity for millions of families and children.
Since January 1993, the Department of Health and Human Services has approved welfare demonstration projects in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Fact sheets on Missouri and Montana and their recently approved welfare reform programs follows.
"Missouri Families -- Mutual Responsibility Plan" requires AFDC recipients to sign and fulfill a self-sufficiency agreement that establishes a plan for work and a two-year time limit on benefits. An additional period of up two years may be allowed under certain circumstances.
Individuals who are not self-sufficient by the end of the time period must participate in job search or work experience programs. Those who have received AFDC benefits for 36 months or more and have completed their agreement by leaving AFDC will not be eligible for further AFDC benefits, with good cause exceptions. Children's benefits are not affected.
Minor parents must, with some exceptions, live with their parents or guardians. If they attend school full-time, they may keep all employment income. In some counties, non-custodial parents who volunteer for the state's JOBS program can receive a credit against child support arrearages.
For two-parent families where at least one parent is under 21, the limit will be waived on the number of hours the principal wage earner can work. The resource limits will be increased for all families, and they may own one automobile, without regard to its value.
1993 AFDC cases 89,906 demonstration covers 90 percent of caseload. Missouri's application was received in two parts, on Aug. 15, 1994 and Jan. 30, 1995, and was approved on April 18, 1995.
Montana's "Families Achieving Independence" has three components: Job Supplement Program, AFDC Pathways Program, and Community Services Program.
The Job Supplement Program helps at-risk families avoid becoming welfare dependent by providing a one-time payment of as much as three times the monthly AFDC payment the family would otherwise be eligible to receive. Child support collections will also be passed directly to the custodial parent.
Other AFDC applicants must enroll in the AFDC Pathways component and sign a Family Investment Agreement that limits benefits to 24 months for one-parent families and 18 months for two-parent families, with exceptions. Income disregards and asset limits have been raised, and recipients must participate in JOBS, comply with child support enforcement provisions, and obtain medical screenings and immunizations for their children. Adults who do not leave AFDC by the end of the time limit must enroll in the Community Services Program and perform, 20 hours of community work per week. Children's AFDC benefits are not time-limited, and they will continue to be eligible for Medicaid and food stamps.
All participants must also choose between a reduced Medicaid benefit package and a partial premium payment towards a private health insurance policy. Full Medicaid coverage will be provided on an emergency basis when certain services are needed for employment purposes.
1993 AFDC caseload 11,738, demonstration covers 75 percent of caseload.
Montana's application was received April 19, 1994 and approved on April 18, 1995.
The Clinton Administration has approved 30 demonstrations in 27 states, launching welfare reform for thousands of families in half of the states, more than the two previous Administrations combined. In an average month, the welfare demonstrations cover approximately 6.3 million people, representing 45 percent of all recipients. All of the waivers granted build on many of the central principles of President Clinton's vision for welfare reform, including:
Principle Description States Approved --------- ------------------------ ----------------------- Work Eighteen states are helping Connecticut, Florida, people move from welfare to Georgia, Hawaii, work, from receiving welfare Indiana, Michigan, checks to earning paychecks, Mississippi, Missouri by increasing education and Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, training opportunities and Oklahoma, Oregon, South creating public/private Carolina, South Dakota, sector partnerships. Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming (18)
a way of life, by providing Montana, Nebraska, opportunity, but demanding Oklahoma, South Carolina responsibility in return. South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin (14) --------------------------------------------------------------------- Child Twelve states are Connecticut, Indiana, Support strengthening child support Michigan, Mississippi, Enforcement enforcement and sending a Missouri, Montana, clear message that both New York, Ohio, Oregon, parents must be responsible Vermont, Virginia, for their children Wisconsin (12) --------------------------------------------------------------------- Making Work Twenty-three states are California, Colorado, Pay providing incentives and Connecticut, Florida, encouraging families to work, Illinois, Indiana, not stay on welfare, so Iowa, Michigan, they can achieve and Mississippi, Missouri, maintain economic Montana, Nebraska, self-sufficiency. New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming (23) --------------------------------------------------------------------- Parental Twenty states are promoting Arkansas, California, Respons parental responsibility by Colorado, Connecticut, -ibilty encouraging education, or Florida, Georgia, limiting benefits for Illinois, Indiana, families who have another Mississippi, Missouri, child while on AFDC. Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming (20)