Welfare Now Has Time Limits
After you begin receiving cash assistance, you are required to be at work or in a work activity as soon as possible, or as soon as your caseworker determines you are ready to begin work. You should begin work or a work activity immediately, unless you are deferred, but no later than 24 months after going on assistance. Your caseworker will offer you the opportunity to participate. You will need to cooperate, or you will be sanctioned. This means your welfare grant will be reduced.
A Five-Year Limit of Assistance During Your Lifetime
When you get a job and go off welfare, the "clock stops ticking" on your five-year limit. Any time you have left will remain available to use for a future emergency. There are, however, certain situations in which you may qualify for an extension of cash assistance. Your caseworker will discuss these with you when you get close to your five-year limit.
Once you use up your five years, you are no longer eligible for welfare. You may be concerned about whether five years is enough. Well, most individuals stay on welfare less than two years and leave before the five-year limit is up. You can do it too!
If benefits are received for only dependent children and/or teen parents, the months of receipt are not counted toward the five-year limit. The five-year limit begins once a teen parent reaches the age of 18.