It is a common misconception that individuals who receive public benefits don’t work and solely rely on the government to support them and their families. At LAF, we know this is not the case. According to new research from The UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, which you can read more about in this New York Times piece, more than half of funding from public programs goes to working families who still do not make enough money to independently support themselves.
This report studied the cost of public benefits in all 50 states, for the four major areas of benefits, which include Medicaid, Cash Assistance, Earned Income Tax Credits, and Food Stamps. They discovered that in every one of these areas of benefits, at least 56% funding went to working families.
Even with the improving economy, wages and benefits have been at a standstill for most American workers. This is not only a problem for these individuals who cannot support their families, but also for the federal and state governments, whose budgets are strained with the responsibility to care for their citizens, and the taxpayers who must support these costly and necessary programs. This vicious cycle will continue to occur as low-wage workers continue to struggle to make ends meet. The truth is, most people who receive benefits are working, they’re just not making enough to survive in our economy.
LAF’s Public Benefits Practice Group is familiar with these issues and the stigma that goes along with them. At LAF, our attorneys help their clients receive the benefits they are entitled to, including Food Stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid, Social Security benefits, Crime Victims compensations, and Veterans Benefits. Our clients often come to us in desperation, feeling like they have used up all other options and are relying on our help for survival.