Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hawaii Cuts Payments to the Temporarily Disabled

Like many other States in the country, Hawaii has been trying to make budget cuts where they can. However, their latest cut of payments to the temporarily disabled has thousands of Hawaiians in an outrage. Several prominent local authorities, such as Senator Suzanne Chun, are speaking out against the cuts saying they will leave many helpless, homeless, and hopeless. You can find the clip of an article discussing this recent development courtesy of the Associated Press below.

Right when more people need welfare, they're getting less from Hawaii's government.

Monthly payments to poor, temporarily disabled people fell by one-third this week, from $450 to $300, because more people are drawing benefits from the same pool of money.

State lawmakers met at the Hawaii Capitol on Wednesday to try and find more money for the program, and they questioned how government could shortchange these 5,055 people when they may have no other income.

"That money won't cover the rent anymore, so many of them will go homeless," said Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, D-Kalihi-Liliha.

This money, called general assistance, goes to people without dependent children who are unable to work because of a temporary disability. To qualify, they must have little or no income and can't get other federal assistance.

"What will happen in our aloha state to those who are most needy?" asked Alex Santiago, executive director of a group of nonprofits called PHOCUSED, which stands for Protecting Hawaii's Ohana, Children, Underserved, Elderly and Disabled. "This is their last hope. There has to be an alternative."

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