Who Is Eligible for Welfare

Caseworkers must determine who is eligible for welfare before anyone can receive government aid. Strict requirements must be met in order for someone to qualify for various government assistance programs, including food stamps, Medicaid and limited cash.

Types Of Welfare Assistance
Cash assistance is given to qualified applicants via a plastic debit-style card, with a small amount to help pay bills. The assistance is determined based on need and income. Food stamps take care of pre-approved food purchases, such as milk, cheese and meat. Welfare can even take care of some of the applicant's childcare costs with qualified caregivers.

Citizenship
A welfare applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America or else a legal permanent resident. Every person in the household must also qualify via citizenship. Each household member must have a social security number and provide it to the caseworker. This requirement includes any dependent children as well. Generally, birth certificates are enough to prove that someone is a citizen.

Income And Assets
To qualify for public assistance, the household income cannot exceed a set level. Public assistance is for low-income families or for those temporarily out of work. Applicants need to provide proof of income to the caseworker. Assets cannot exceed a certain level set by the government. The caseworker will also review any assets that the applicant possesses.

State Requirements
Because the welfare programs are state-run, each state has its own set of requirements. The applicant must also provide the caseworker with the documents that meet the state's criteria. These could be, but are not limited to, three months' worth of paycheck stubs, tax returns, recent bank account statements, lease or mortgage paperwork, utility documents and any child or spousal support decrees.

If you cannot produce these documents for the caseworker, the application process will be halted until such documentation can be supplied. Many states also require that the applicant enroll in the worker program, which allows the applicant to receive new training or job skills while using welfare.

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