Welfare Limits

Why does the Department of Social Services prohibit a single mother from making any attempt to get off welfare? As the mother of a 9-month-old baby, I lose all benefits (financial assistance, medical insurance, and food stamps) if I try to complete my education and prepare myself for a well-paying job; if I learn any income whatsoever, even by baby sitting or cleaning other people’s homes; if my family helps me in any way financially, or with monetary gifts, even for holidays; if I inherit any real property, a car or other valuables.

I would like to raise my child in better circumstances than the department is able to provide: $535 monthly for all living expenses rent, utilities, clothing, and personal necessities such as toothpaste, laundry detergent and diapers; $61 in food stamps monthly for food items only.

I am very grateful for this help. However, as a high school graduate with 2 years of college I think I could do much better for myself and my child if I were permitted to obtain my degree. But if my family tries to help me by baby sitting while I go to school, I immediately forfeit all my benefits.

Needless to say, I cannot live on the benefits I receive. Therefore, I work at menial jobs with no future where I’m paid under the table, and exploited by my employers because they knew I can’t complain to anybody.


I’m living a lie, but how else can my child and I survive? Now I understand how an illegal alien feels.


Los Angeles