Needy families will get benefits early _ just in case : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

By BRAD CAIN The Associated Press 07/29/99

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's human resources agency is planning to issue January's welfare payments and food stamps in December -- just in case Y2K glitches cause computer crashes at the end of the year.

"The Red Cross is encouraging everyone to have a small supply of food on hand during the first weekend in January," said agency chief Gary Weeks. "So we want our clients to have the opportunity to shop in advance."

The Department of Human Resources and other state agencies have been working for months to try to prepare for problems that could arise if computers fail to recognize the year 2000.

Weeks said he's confident his agency's computer system will be ready for the changeover by Aug. 30.

Still, he said, as a precaution Oregon's recipients of welfare and food stamps will be able to draw on January's allotment beginning Dec. 28.

Oregon's more than 100,000 welfare and food stamp households will receive a notice later this year informing them of the change.

The state's 355,000 Medicaid recipients also will receive January's identification card earlier than normal.

Those are key elements of the department's contingency plan to keep aid flowing to some of Oregon's neediest citizens in the event of a millennium meltdown.

"Top priorities of the plan include delivering medical and cash assistance, distributing food stamps and provider payments, offering child and protective services and foster care, and caring for and tracking hospital patients," Weeks said.

Similar efforts are under way elsewhere in government to make sure there's no interruption in other services such as unemployment benefits, student loans and motor vehicle licensing and registration.

"We feel really good about our readiness," said Christy Leonhardt, spokeswoman for the Statewide Year 2000 Project Office.

Of the programs or services that have been identified as being critical to the state, 90 percent are on track to be Y2K ready by Sept. 1, she said, and the others should be up to speed by year's end.

"People will be thrilled to know that the Department of Revenue is on target to collect their taxes," Leonhardt joked.

-- Mild Mannered Reporter (clark@super.duper), July 30, 1999


Great!! More money to buy drugs and booze for the new years celebration. Who needs food? Can turn those foodstamps in at the local grocer for 50 cents on the dollar and get even more.

On a more serious note, it would seem to me that the logistics of this early disbursement would be difficult at best. I like the words "So we want our clients to have the opportunity to shop in advance". This will effectively add 100,000 people to the last minute rush on December 28, 1999. Smart planning on the state level? NOT. The closer this event gets--the more concerned I become. Get ready for government controls and shortages.

On a related note. On another thread Koskinen mentioned that People stockpiling for y2k would be disruptive to the economy. My assumption is that being that most of my preps were completed some time ago that I would not be considered an economic hinderance. If, at a future date, anti-hoarding laws are implemented, would it not be wise to have all reciepts to prove when the food and supplies were purchased? I would appreciate any comments with regard to this thought.

I'm more concerned every day. It could be a bad scene in not to many months.

-- incredulous (, July 30, 1999.

I think it is a GREAT idea. Seriously--not everyone buys drugs and booze. Many people are just a few paychecks away from entitlement. Anything to lessen the possible human suffering will also help to lessen chaos.

-- T.E. (, July 30, 1999.

That's right folks, after Christmas, starting December 28, you can buy a few extra cans of food and bottles of water, maybe a candle or two. Two days of shopping should just about wrap up any prep needs and get the USA ready for the 3-day storm.


-- told you so (XMas@comes.first), July 30, 1999.

Not to sound cruel, but from what I understand, most of the people on the public assistance rolls are there because of their own problems.

What good is it to give people who can't responsibily budget their money, and save for future hardships? They'd rather party on, with their junk food, beer, death weeds (cigs), etc. Be frugal now, for the future later on? Most can't even comprehend the concept.

Great, so they got two weeks worth of money. Time to party for the millenium!! Come the next week, they'll be hungry and bitching.

And when does "feeling really good" about supposed compliance matter a damn!? Facts are much better than feelings.

-- Bill (, July 30, 1999.

Not to sound cruel Bill.......Duh!!

Typical bullshit arrogant attitude you have.......the fact is most people on welfare are there because of things OUT of their control such as sickness or unemployment or their husband runs away and leaves them with 3 small children............the facts also show that the vast majority do NOT spend their money on booze and drugs. They don't have anything left after buying the basics, or at least the basics they can afford.....

Is this the new slogan you go by.....Bring us your poor and unfortunate so we can criticize and shit on them........

Here's a word for you: C O M P A S S I O N

Look it up in a's also talked about in great detail in the Holy Books if you're interested.......

-- Craig (, July 30, 1999.

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