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Missouri looking to change welfare rules

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Officials in Missouri state government are preparing to toughen the rules guiding how people get welfare benefits. The idea is to try and meet stricter federal requirements on how many recipients must be working, or trying to.

Currently, people sign up for cash assistance and can start getting paid before completing a plan for finding a job. Proposed changes in state rules would require people to meet with work officials up front, before their application for benefits is approved.

The state faces federal penalties if more welfare recipients don't start working, and officials say people do better finding jobs if they start early in the process.

But advocates for the poor say the change will delay help to those who really need it.

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