ISIC: a one-stop welfare model.

Here’s a model for single welfare system (one application at one state agency handles all benefits) I call ISIC, for Identification, Support, Independence, and Community.  The first three are the program and the fourth is voluntary.

Identification:  This step fully identifies the applicants and their eligibility.  It’s purpose is to ensure that applicants aren’t using a false ID or misrepresenting their financial status in any way.  Their life style should reflect their means.  If someone claims to have earned $9000 in one year and paid $8000 for rent they need to explain how they and their dependents ate for that year.

Support:  This second step identifies what levels of support applicants need while they’re on the path to independence, i.e., food, medical care, child care, rent subsidies, etc..  Their needs may change with time but everything will be handled through the one program.  A work requirement will be part of the program.  Note 1: food does not include alcohol, tobacco, or recreational pot.  Note 2: anyone caught selling their benefits will lose them.

Independence:  This step addresses what the applicants need to be able to earn a living without social services support.  Completion of high school is one of the key factors in employability, so any applicant who dropped out will be required to earn an HS equivalency.  After that job training and educational opportunities will be based on the applicants’ interests, abilities, and job availability.

Community:  This last step is voluntary as involuntary servitude is unconstitutional.  Once independent, applicants will be asked to volunteer with some charity or service organization for some reasonable period of time.  They can choose whatever they want to do (e.g., help in a food pantry, animal shelter, or building houses) and no one will monitor them.  It’s simply based on the idea that if someone accepts help from society they should be willing to help society, and it could help build responsible communities.

To re-establish a work ethic the value of work must exceed the value of not working.