Kansas Faces Social Security Fraud Penalties, May Lose $100-Million-Grant
New Kansas Cheapskate Law
That?s what a new Kansas law is forcing the people who need Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to do. Kansas compels its recipients to access their money from ATM’s in $25-dollar-per-day increments.?Kansas?is the only state to impose such draconian restrictions on those in need.
On top of the inconveniences, families receiving TANF have to pay the bank?sATM fee plus a $1 Kansas ATM fee. Oh and let?s not forget that ATM machines only shell out in $10 increments. So the families really only have access to $20 a day less fees.
Social Security Fraud Penalties
“The Social Security Act requires states to ensure that recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, ?have adequate access to their cash assistance? and can withdraw money ?with minimal fees or charges.””
Kansas can either comply with the federal law or commit Social Security fraud penalties and lose $102 million in TANF block grants from the federal government.
Robbing The Poor
Apparently Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is trying to recoup the money he lost from poor Kansans when his great financial experiment failed. Not only does the new Kansas law make it harder to qualify for assistance, he shortened the length of time people can receive TANF.
The new Kansas state law also tells recipients how to spend their money. It forbids recipients from buying cruises ? that?s a real problem in our state ? and going to the movies. Cooling off at the neighborhood pool is out and so are nail manicures among other frivolities.
Brownback said that the $25 limit was not his fault,
?We?ll work with them; it?s a joint program. We?ll do what we have to do to work with the federal partnership.?
Liz Schott, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C., think tank said,
?The $25 limit is uncharted territory. The question is, given the transaction fees and the limit, when you put those two together, is that a reasonable access to assistance??
Standing Up For The Poor
State Sen. Tom Holland (D), from Baldwin City, Kan., heartily supports repairing the outrageous bill, which he said is ?horrible the way it is.? But he had misgivings about a $60 fix,
??I?d want to make sure we?re not just introducing less-onerous roadblocks by raising the limit to $60. I think we need to have a discussion about what is the appropriate amount.?
Kansas has dropped about 2600 people from its public assistance rolls, down to 15,000 from about 17,600 last year.