Thursday, May 05, 2005

General Assistance Update

Well, I'm slowly but surely making my way off General Assistance. I went in for my appointment earlier this week and found out that I made a little too much money to get the full amount of assistance. My assistance went down by a little more than 50 bucks but I could split it up however I wanted. Over the next three months, a certain amount of the money I make won't count towards whether or not I get assistance. They do this to let people get on their feet as they work at their job.

There is one major change in the program and one that I certainly didn't need to do anymore. People on assistance no longer need to do the work letter. The work letter had people on assistance going to various places, filling out applications, and getting a form signed by their potential employers. Five employer contacts needed to be made every month. The letter was a good idea, in theory, to make people search for work and keep them from leeching off the program. However, it was getting outdated. More companies are switching to online applications. Since you had to have the letter signed, online applications couldn't count towards your letter. I got my job via an online application. In fact, I only got a call back from one employer who signed the work letter. Also, I found out that some people made up contacts on their letters. It wasn't always to cheat the program. I heard people mention that some employers wouldn't sign the letter. Now, the Township is working on an honor system that people on assistance will look for jobs on their own. This means that Workfare is the one thing that everyone will have to do in order to stay in the program. Screw up Workfare and you seriously screw up your chances for assistance.

So, it looks like I only have a couple more months to stay on assistance. I'm looking forward to the day when I no longer need it.

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