Governor signs bill easing ‘benefits cliff’

The legislation lets families retain more assets while qualifying for certain public benefits. “We know that savings is an important strategy out of poverty,” the governor said.

Advocates push against Reach Up deduction

One recipient said the $600 benefit the family gets through Reach Up each month “is just not enough between our rent, child care, the bills you have to survive on, plus the food.”

Budget hearing: Involuntary medication, Reach Up deduction top topics

Lawmakers began taking public testimony on the budget Thursday.

Advocates: Other savings justify restoring Reach Up benefits

The state cut cash assistance last year for adult recipients with disabilities, but a renewed push to reverse that policy points to savings in the program resulting from lower enrollment.

Federal court upholds cuts to Reach Up benefit

“What we learned is that the new law is not unconstitutional; it is merely unconscionable,” Legal Aid attorney Chris Curtis said of the decision.

Cut to Reach Up benefits delayed another 60 days

A $125 cut to hundreds of families that receive Reach Up benefits has been postponed until later this fall, and the state expects the program’s budget will need to be adjusted.

Reach Up cuts to disabled recipients held off for two months

State agrees to continue benefits while lawyers prepare arguments in the case. Vermont Legal Aid claims the reduction is unconstitutional and that it discriminates against households with family members with a disability.

State notifies Reach Up recipients of $125 a month reduction in benefits

Some 860 families will take a $125 cut. Advocates say the new policy is a “tax” on Vermont’s poorest households.

Vermont Legal Aid statement opposing ‘disability tax’ for Reach Up families

Advocates turned out at a budget hearing today to oppose a $1.65 million budget cut targeting families on Reach Up who have household member with a disability.

Budget proposal cuts Reach Up funds to households receiving disability benefits

Gov. Shumlin says the proposal could save the state more than $1.6 million. But, it would impact more than 1,100 households, according to the Department for Children and Families.

New report on DCF again calls for more staff, better training

A third report on the Department for Children and Families came to similar conclusions as the other two: DCF needs more front-line staff, better training, and a stronger focus on opiate addiction’s impact on families.

Lawmakers OK $600,000 to hire staff to implement IT overhaul

Despite news Thursday that budget cuts will be required to cope with a downgrade in the state’s revenue forecast, officials say the project must move forward.

Cost of new DCF social workers won’t hurt other programs, officials say

Savings from Reach Up program to pay for 18 new social workers and more in response to the deaths of two children who had contact with DCF system.

Reach Up recipients can keep a little more pay under new law

Lawmakers allow families a little more latitude in accepting a raise at work by easing the “benefits cliff.” They also extended child care subsidies.