Welfare recipients warned they may be off the rolls in January

More than 260 Nevada families who have received welfare aid during the past two years will be cut off Jan. 1.

In addition, about100 families a month will be moved off the program, whichh is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

"Every effort is being made to talk one on one with the families," state Welfare Administrator Myla Florence said. "The staff will provide outreach and services, but we can only do our part. The client must take action too."

Under the federal welfare reform act which created temporary assistance, there is a lifetime limit on the time someone can be on welfare. Nevada law requires that they not receive the cash benefits any longer than 24 months at a time. Then they have to be off welfare at least 12 months before going back onto assistance for another 24 months.

"The reason for the 24-month limit was to underscore the importance of getting a job and concurrently protecting Nevada citizens from mistakenly using up their lifetime limit all at once, given the reality bad things can happen twice in one's lifetime," said Florence.

Since the program requirement became law two years ago, the deadline for those families is Jan. 1.

But Florence said that about 263 families will be hit by the requirement in January. After that, she said up to 100 families a month will hit the deadline.

Florence said overall the program has been successful in reducing the number of people on welfare. The assistance program caseload has dropped 60 percent since March 1995 - similar to what has happened nationwide since federal laws imposing welfare reform on the states were passed.

She said there are a number of services available to help families find employment. Those facing the loss of their benefits will be helped immediately.

Families receiving assistance are urged to contact their caseworker with questions about benefits.


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