American RadioWorks |
20160414_1_0024

Rewriting the Sentence

Every year 700,000 inmates leave prison. Strong evidence shows that those who have a college degree are less likely to come back. So after an abrupt reversal 20 years ago, some prisons try to maintain college education for prisoners.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Allow people on government assistance to build assets

File under: personalfinance

5 (2 votes)

From: Jo Ann T., St. Paul, MN

Many who are experiencing poverty are excluded from being able to build assets, such as savings accounts, vehicles, burial plots, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds. Those who rely on government assistance in the form of medical assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), food stamps, Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are not allowed to build any type of nest egg for themselves. If a participant in any of these programs has an asset over the amount allowed, they must first "spend it down," in other words, sell it and live off the money before they can become eligible for the program.

I train low-income community members in becoming leaders in the community, so that they can become change agents in the area of poverty. In a recent class that I was teaching, we discussed building a small nest egg while on Social Security Disability. My students' idea was to allow people to save two times their monthly grant per year. So someone who receives $500 per month could save up to $1000 per year. They could continue to build on this each year, but never exceed more than an additional $1000 per year. My students said the would use these savings to make car repairs or even pay their utility bills after a cold winter.


Comments:

American RadioWorks |
20160414_1_0024

Rewriting the Sentence

Every year 700,000 inmates leave prison. Strong evidence shows that those who have a college degree are less likely to come back. So after an abrupt reversal 20 years ago, some prisons try to maintain college education for prisoners.

Recent Posts

  • 09.01.16

    What It Takes: Chasing Graduation at High-Poverty High Schools

    The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but high-poverty schools face a stubborn challenge. Schools in Miami and Pasadena are trying to do things differently.
  • 08.26.16

    Spare the Rod

    A get-tough attitude prevailed among educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but research shows that zero-tolerance policies don't make schools safer and lead to disproportionate discipline for students of color.
  • 08.18.16

    Stuck at Square One

    A system meant to give college students a better shot at succeeding is actually getting in the way of many, costing them time and money and taking a particular toll on students of color.
  • 08.11.16

    Hungry hungry students

    When was the last time you ate? In one survey, 7 percent of college students said they went an entire day without eating.