Households will no longer be denied needed benefits as a stepping stone to self-sufficiency because they have a small amount of money in the bank after the governor signed a law raising asset limits in the state of Washington.
Prior to the new standards, a household could have only $1,000 in resources and a car worth no more than $5,000 to qualify for public assistance programs. Those limits have now been raised to $6,000 in resources and a car worth $10,000.
It doesn’t make sense to force families to spend down the little that they have in order to qualify for help meant to lift them out of poverty, said Ann LoGerfo, an attorney with Columbia Legal Services.
“Allowing families to keep essential assets while receiving help actually furthers the purpose of public benefits programs, which is for families to reach a point where help is no longer needed,” LoGerfo said in a press release.
The bill goes into effect Feb. 1, 2019.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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