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General Relief

December 22, 1987 | MARGARET HOLUB, Margaret Holub is a rabbi who works full time as a welfare advocate for the homeless
In its quest to find more housing for the homeless, the City of Los Angeles has pointed its finger at Los Angeles County, saying--accurately enough, as far as it goes--that the county is required by law to "relieve and support indigent people" and should take over the task of providing shelter to more than 25,000 homeless people.
April 8, 2014
Anthony Wardlaw was fresh out of foster care three years ago when he went on general relief, Los Angeles County's $221-a-month welfare program for the destitute. When he tried to use the money to buy his mother a hamburger, his government debit card didn't work. And he had no idea why. According to a $7.9-million settlement agreement announced Tuesday, Wardlaw was one of thousands of people who were knocked off the welfare rolls without proper notice when applications swelled during the Great Recession.
August 9, 1998
Re "Loss of General Relief Squeezes 'Employable' Poor in Valley," July 28. If there is something more to this story, I apologize for the following opinion: Mr. and Mrs. Nuckolls, many people come to Los Angeles every day to pursue their dreams (actors, actresses, etc.). While they are pursuing their dreams, they are working in our eateries, tending bar. . . . The list goes on. You two look healthy and bright. Mrs. Nuckolls, from what I can see of your art, you look talented (even without the computer)
April 8, 2014 | By Gale Holland
Los Angeles County has agreed to a $7.9-million settlement with thousands of  people who were knocked off the welfare rolls when general relief grants swelled during the Great Recession, county and plaintiffs' spokesmen said Tuesday. Under the settlement, which must be approved by a judge, the county agreed to stop cutting off recipients' $221 general relief checks for early or unintentional violations of welfare-to-work rules, according to court documents.  At an annual cost to the county of $5.3 million, it also will stop reducing grants if people decide to share housing.
February 20, 1996
It's astounding that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors would decimate the only full workfare program that exists ("County to Slash Relief Payments to $212 a Month," Feb. 14). For their meager check, general relief recipients must work for the county at minimum wage--mowing lawns, trimming hedges, cleaning bathrooms. Even if a general relief recipient cannot work for the county because of a disability, when the individual receives federal disability aid the county is reimbursed by the feds for every dollar expended on that recipient.
January 27, 1997
Re "Desperate People, Meaner Streets," Commentary, Jan 21: Wrong! Immoral people, meaner streets. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, you didn't hear of people riddling a bus with gunfire, killing an innocent girl, because they didn't like what a rival gang member on the bus said. You didn't hear of people being killed just because they pulled off the side of the road to change a tire. Crimes are committed by people with no values. I'm glad to see that Diane Williams is back on her feet.
Los Angeles County acted lawfully when it sharply reduced monthly general relief payments for single adults to $212 effective Sept. 1, a judge ruled Tuesday. "I think it's a terrible tragedy that they're asking people to live on $212 a month," said Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne. "I think that's an impossible situation." Nevertheless, Wayne rejected a request by anti-poverty groups for a preliminary injunction on behalf of more than 100,000 general relief recipients.
In a case being watched by financially strapped county governments throughout California, a state appeals court Monday ruled that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors acted illegally when it tried to kick 2,200 people off general relief. The county contended that the recipients were able-bodied and entitled to no more than three months on general relief a year because they were capable of supporting themselves by working.
June 13, 2012
Concerned about the rising number of Los Angeles residents applying for and receiving welfare - and by the skyrocketing amount of money that the county government is shelling out as a result - some county supervisors thought fraud might be responsible. Last year, they asked the county auditor-controller to explore that question and make recommendations about how to curtail any fraud that it uncovered. The upshot is a strong argument against allowing allegations of fraud to be used as a pretext for limiting benefits.
June 11, 2012 | By Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writer
Concerned about growing welfare costs, Los Angeles County officials are considering additional measures to root out fraud and impose tougher sanctions on aid recipients who fail to comply with program rules. The proposed changes are supposed to ensure that scarce taxpayer dollars go only to those who meet residency and work requirements of the county's general relief program, which serves as a final safety net for indigent adults who don't qualify for state and federal aid. But advocates for the poor contend the crackdown would end up denying help to some of the region's most destitute residents who are eligible for assistance.
April 16, 2012 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County officials are counting on a surprising source of revenue to fill their expected $76-million budget shortfall: shrinking welfare rolls. As the economy soured, the number of people receiving general relief from the nation's largest local government had swelled from nearly 63,000 in fiscal year 2007 to an estimated high of almost 108,000 in 2011. But county officials expect that figure to shrink by almost 7,000 people this year, which could lead to an estimated $27.4 million in savings.
May 9, 2011 | By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
As welfare rolls grow, Los Angeles County officials are considering limits on how long some of the area's most destitute residents can receive cash aid. Supervisor Don Knabe is pushing a proposal to replace monthly general-relief grants with housing assistance for recipients who don't try to find jobs or apply for disability benefits within a set time period. The goal, he said, would be to drop from the rolls people who are "just riding the system" so that funds are available to help those genuinely in need.
January 12, 2011 | By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County officials pushed back Tuesday against Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, saying they want to meet with the local delegation to Sacramento to call attention to the pain that the cuts will cause close to home. William T Fujioka, the county's chief executive, said local leaders are concerned about whether state officials "truly understand the impact" of the proposed cuts to welfare, healthcare, prisons and other services. "All I see in this proposed budget are numbers," he said.
February 9, 2010 | By Alexandra Zavis
Facing record levels of unemployment and looming state welfare cuts, Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday finalized a plan to begin shifting responsibility for some of the most destitute residents to the federal government. County officials had set aside $7.2 million -- with the expectation of reaping twice that in savings -- to help general relief recipients apply for federal disability assistance or find work. They decided to use the funds to help recipients get into stable housing, locate medical records and obtain the detailed health assessments they need to apply for supplementary security income or veterans benefits.
September 20, 2009 | Molly Hennessy-Fiske
With the cost of helping Los Angeles county's welfare recipients expected to hit $1 billion by the end of this fiscal year, county officials are pushing a plan to shift the burden of some of the most hard-core unemployed to the federal government. If they succeed, local taxpayers could save tens of millions of dollars, and thousands of disabled welfare recipients would see their aid more than triple. But the hurdles could prove high. County officials propose spending $7.2 million to help applicants through a notoriously difficult process to qualify for federal disability assistance.
November 25, 1999
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors did the right thing when it rejected cutting off general relief benefits that were going to expire during Thanksgiving week. The supervisors extended aid for three months and ordered the county welfare department to do better at providing job training and placement.
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