With all the talk about unemployment benefits and welfare, it’s important to understand just how much money we’re talking about.
In 35 states, welfare, housing assistance and other benefits pays more than a minimum wage job, according to a new study by the Cato Institute. The study also found that in 13 states, the payout is more than $15 per hour.
Of course, this study doesn’t take into account that not everyone on public assistance receives all of the programs. But if they did, their payout would be significantly higher than even a starting teacher’s salary in 11 states or a computer programmer in 3 states.
The states with the highest welfare payouts – more than $20 per hour – are Hawaii, with payments equaling $29.13 per hour, DC at $24.43 per hour, Massachusetts at $24.30 , Connecticut at $21.33, New York at $21.01 per hour, New Jersey at $20.89 per hour, Rhode Island at $20.83 per hour and Vermont at $20.36 per hour.
Critics say this ignores real situations.
The study “does make a lot of assumptions about what benefits a typical family receives and argues that all the means-tested programs should be included in their fictional family profile,” said Catherine Lawrence, an assistant professor at the University of Albany’s School of Social Welfare. “”Research with actual families shows the extreme financial strain of living on welfare or low-wage work; neither welfare nor low-wage employment alone do a very good job supporting the health and well-being of families with children.”
it varies from state to state, but most states’ welfare payouts top our after about 60 months in one lifetime.
The study was called “The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off, 2013, authored by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes.