Tell Us Your Story

  • The Raising RI coalition is a campaign to:
  • Lift children receiving RI Works benefits out of deep poverty (50% of the federal poverty level). This would increase the benefit for a family of 2 from $584 to $822/month and for a family of 3 from $721 to $1,036/month.
  • Eliminate full family sanctions which fall disproportionately on parents who have significant barriers, including physical and mental health challenges, limited education, and domestic violence and does not improve program compliance.
  • Provide benefits to first time pregnant people at an earlier stage of their pregnancy, so pregnant people can meet their basic needs and have healthy births.
  • Eliminate the five-year waiting period for Legal Permanent Residents to qualify for the program, a waiting period that was only introduced in 2008 and rejoin 13 other states in supporting the well-being of LPRs.
  • Share Your Story (about full family sanctions)
    • What was your experience being under full family sanctions? How did losing benefits impact your family? How would eliminating full family sanctions impact you and your family?
    • Under current rules, a family receiving RI Works will be stripped of benefits after three violations.
  • Share Your Story (about providing benefits during early pregnancy)
    • Under current rules, a pregnant person will receive RI Works at their third trimester.
    • What challenges did you face during the first few months of pregnancy? How would having RI Works earlier on during your pregnancy have helped you?
  • Share Your Story (about receiving RI Works as an LPR)
    • Under current rules, Legal Permanent Residents can only receive RI Works after 5 years of receiving their green card. However, this was not the rule prior to 2008.
    • How does the five-year waiting period for eligibility for RI Works impact you and your family? Did you apply and get rejected from RI Works only because of the waiting period?

By telling your story, you help put a face to how everyday people will be impacted by these improvements to the RI Works program. Your story can help influence local lawmakers, inspire your neighbor to become an advocate, or help someone understand the importance of our fight against poverty. Choose one or more of the following topics and respond in the 'share your story box'.

Share Your Story (about increasing the monthly benefit amount)

Here are some suggestions for information you could include:

Are you currently receiving RI Works benefits? If not, when and for how long did you participate in the program? How does/did the program help you? – Did you receive help with training or other skills to get a job?

How would an increase in the monthly benefit help you and your children – what could you afford that you can’t now? How would you feel if you had more money in your budget? Are you working now – or do you plan to work? What type of job? Why is it important to increase the benefit amount?

Share Your Story (about being able to go to CCRI for 2 years)

Under current rules, a parent receiving RI Works can go to CCRI for one year, but in the second year must be working at least 20 hours/week in addition to going to school.

Have you considered going to CCRI? If yes, why do you want to go? What are challenges to going to school, working and raising your kids? How would it help you if you could go to CCRI for 2 years and just focus on your studies?

Share your Story (about increasing the lifetime limit to 60 months)

Under current rules, families can receive RI Works benefits for 48 months in their lifetime. If they need additional assistance, they can apply for “hardship benefits” for an additional 12 months. Most states have a lifetime limit of 60 months. Most families apply for and receive hardship – so its just a hoop families need to jump through to keep the benefits they need.

How would being able to receive RI works benefits for up to 60 months help you? Did you ever apply for hardship benefits? Was it easy or hard to do that? Did you have a break in your benefits because of hardship?

The Raising RI Coalition is a group of community, healthcare, social service and advocacy organizations that serve low-income families and the families who receive or have received benefits.

Permissions: I authorize the RAISING RI Campaign to record and edit into their Raising RI Story Bank any related materials such as my name, likeness, image, voice, written testimony, and interview, according to the box I selected. Raising RI may use and authorize others to use all or parts of my story. Raising RI and The Economic Progress Institute shall own all right, title and interest, including copyright, in and to the Story Bank, including my story, to be used without limitation as Raising RI shall in its sole discretion determine. The story I am submitting is true.

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