Indiana lawmakers are trying to ensure low-income families whose children get a paid internship aren’t penalized when it comes to government benefits.
Jasmine Burditt works for RISE Indy, an education advocacy group. She says Indiana has been emphasizing work-based learning for a few years – things like internships and apprenticeships. But she says government benefit programs haven’t adapted to that model.
“The current set of rules may force children to choose between a workforce or apprentice opportunity or possibly jeopardize welfare options for their family,” Burditt says.
A measure unanimously working its way through the legislature would ensure that income a child gets from an internship or apprenticeship won’t count against a family’s eligibility for welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Family, TANF) or food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP).
An addition in the House also ensures that income from temporary work for the census isn’t counted either.
An Indiana family of four is eligible for TANF if they earn about $8,500 per year and eligible for SNAP at about $33,000 per year.