Thursday, May 15, 2014

How Can We Support Food Stamp Distribution

Government benefit programs help many families that are struck by poverty and the unemployment crisis nation-wide.  Things such as food stamps are sometimes the defining factor on whether or not their kids get to eat that day. Medicaid assists families in financial crisis when a medical emergency arises, they are capable of getting the help that they need at a reasonable price so they aren’t left to the wolves. Although these government programs prove resourceful for many families, there are people who take advantage of and abuse the system so there are flaws to improve upon.

To improve the effectiveness of these government programs we can impose mandatory drug testing in order to receive these benefits. This will ensure that the funds and assistance these families receive are going towards the necessary items to survive and not spent on drugs. With this mandatory drug testing implemented it will take away from the people who abuse the system and give it to families who really want to better their lives and not live off these government programs for the long term.

Another improvement to be made is to have the family periodically submit a form to prove they are actively searching for a job. The form would demonstrate that each family is fighting to try and make things better for their families. It will prove that they are using their government benefits for the better.

The benefits that the government provide are the crutch that families stricken by financial crisis need to survive. They are an important part of the American system and are a big help to families nation-wide. Medicaid allows for families who can’t afford the top notch medical insurance to get the medical attention they need in times of crisis. It also provides access to essential preventative care that allows families to stay healthy. Everyone goes through hard times and when a medical issue arises, Medicaid is there to assist a family in need. Food stamps help in a crucial way as it is in most cases the main food supply for a family in a financial rut.

A good analogy for the government benefits is to compare them to jumper cables. When a car is broken down and can’t seem to make it down the road, jumper cables are used to give it that jump start and put the car back on the path toward the desired destination. Government benefits are the jump start that some families need to get them back on their feet and on the right path to success.

One improvement that should be made would be to require recipients of government benefits to get up on their feet and help the community. Some people have a hard time going out to actively find a job such as single moms, so to keep them active they should have to do some form of community service. It eliminates the negative stigma that tax payers label “welfare recipients”. They assume that the recipients are slumping around the house while receiving their benefits so the required community service will take away that negative connotation and help people get more involved in their community.

In conclusion, the government benefits have a positive  effect on families. Although there are some flaws in the system, there are some improvements that could be made to ensure that  the government benefit system run much smoother and more efficiently.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why getting Medicaid is so Hard

Since the accomplished formation of a stable government, the U.S government has enforced programs and passed laws that have influenced individuals in one way or another. Many of these programs currently in place today are frequently debated. A few of  the most common programs are those listed under federal benefit programs such as:, Food Stamps, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and FASFA. These government benefit programs are important resources for helping people with financial difficulties because in some cases there are no other options for families to turn to. Although these programs can be improved, they provide hope to families in need and incentives to progress.

The importance of these programs basically comes down to a families desire to efficiently support themselves, however the necessary means aren’t always available. With the help of various programs poverty has been found to be reduced significantly. Growing up, I have many clear visuals of my mother being embarrassed at the cashier register as we paid for our groceries. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood the meaning and reasoning behind her embarrassment. As a single mother raising two children, times were often very difficult. Many of our essential needs such as food were barely met. However, Food Stamps provided our family with nutritional support. Low-income individuals generally spend all of their income meeting daily needs such as shelter and transportation, but can’t meet their basic food needs. During their time of economic downturn, Food Stamps temporarily help families afford an adequate amount of food. In addition, Food Stamps provide an important work incentive. For every additional dollar a Food Stamp recipient earns, her/his benefits only decline by 24 to 36 cents. Families that receive this aid thus have a strong incentive to work longer hours or to search for better-paying employment. 

Another resource that has personally affected my life is FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is a form that can be prepared annually by entering or current college students to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. When it came time to start considering different colleges to visit and apply to, financial burdens always weighed me down. I did not know if college was going to even be an option for me. My mother had a hard enough time supporting my brother and I in high school, how was I ever going to be able to afford college on my own. However, a government benefit program known as financial aid is allowing my dream of attending college to come true. I am provided with an amount of aid to help pay for tuition, books, housing, and other expenses. In simple, financial aid posed as an incentive for low-income families to send their children to college. Without that resource, I, along with many other students, would most likely have to eliminate the option of attending college after graduating high school.

Now although programs such as Food Stamps and Financial Aid are helpful, there are always ways in which we can improve the effectiveness of them. Overall, our programs are very well developed and only contain minor flaws. 

For instance, certain procedures can be developed that would strengthen the Food Stamp programs’ integrity without making it more difficult for eligible households to participate. There is typically an issue with households reporting their accurate income as well as separated parents both claiming a child when the child only lives with one parent. We can improve this program by making the application more extensive and demanding. More specifically, when it comes to a parent claiming a child for Food Stamps, that parent should have to prove that they have custody of that child. It’s not fair for the government to provide financial assistance to a single parent claiming a child, when that child does not even live with them.

In addition to Food Stamps, the FAFSA application can be improved by providing independent students with the option of claiming themselves without having to provide their parents information. Typically, this cannot be done unless students answer “yes” to at least one of a series of questions. However, there are always exceptions. I personally did not fall into any of the given categories, but I could still prove that I’m independent had I been given the opportunity to.

In conclusion, the United States government does a magnificent job at providing its citizens with programs that contribute to the overall well-being and financial state of an individual. Without these programs, the poverty level would drastically increase. People would have no support system to catch them and help them get back on their feet. Instead of constantly criticizing these programs, I believe we should all be thankful that they are available in the first place. With the help of these programs, individuals no longer have to hope, they can act.