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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

What do assistance cuts accomplish?

Cash benefits to the poor will continue in Michigan, at least for now, A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the state failed to give recipients proper notice.

This is good news for the tens of thousands of welfare recipients who were cut off Oct. 1.

But this is only a temporary reprieve to those affected. Angela Nelson fears she may be one of them.

A single mother of five.  Nelson, 50, went to college, received a degree and was employed as a clerk for Wayne County for more than 15 years. Then laid off. Like so many others, Nelson did all the right things in life, but found herself unemployed.

With just six weeks left collecting unemployment benefits, Nelson is uncertain about her and her children’s future. Since she’s been on and off of some type of cash assistance for the last 10 years, she does not yet know if she will qualify for more. Nelson said she avoids going to her mailbox because she fears finding notification that her family aid is cut off for good. At least now, she has a month or so, until the state sends out new notices.

There are many people just like Nelson, with a variety of reasons for seeking financial assistance. There will be repercussions to the state’s decision to inevitably cut off benefits, the possibility of a rise in crime being one.

So, do these benefit limits really help the state, in the end?

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