How much for the kids?
January 30, 2009 8:04 PM   Subscribe

What is the dollar amount in benefits that, say, a single parent with 14 children would earn per month?

This news story has me scratching my head. I don't know that money is the driver here...but I am curious...
posted by zerobyproxy to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Uh, nothing? The traditional welfare system ended in 1993, and was replaced with temporary assistance for a couple years.

Also, there's no way it would cover the cost of IVF in the first place.
posted by delmoi at 8:07 PM on January 30, 2009

California does have a state program is called CalWORKs and requires that the parent hold down a job to get aid, and they don't list specifically how much they would get.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 PM on January 30, 2009

Best answer: In California, about $2,678, according to this article.
posted by halogen at 8:16 PM on January 30, 2009

14 x $3500/head is also ~$4000/mo in tax exemptions, which is good for another $1000 or so of takehome pay.
posted by troy at 8:32 PM on January 30, 2009

I calculated it by Australian standards:
$4697.70 per fortnight (or $122,140.20 pa) with a Baby Bonus total of $40,000 paid over a 6 month period. I have included the fortnightly multiple birth allowance of $167.44 and the large family allowance of $10.36 for third and each subsequent child and have assumed minimal assets, no income and no child support.
posted by b33j at 8:43 PM on January 30, 2009

The UK provides £20 a week for the first child and £13.20 for each subsequent child. Assuming all fourteen children are under the age of sixteen (or in full time education if they're aged sixteen to eighteen) then you'd net about £766.40 or $1,118.75.

Of course, since the babies are in hospital this might change. If your kid is on an extended stay in hospital, the assumption is that the NHS is providing for their needs (heating, feeding them, etc.) and you'd have to provide evidence that the money was still being spent on the kids or you'd lose the benefit.
posted by the latin mouse at 4:04 AM on January 31, 2009

Using the rates applicable for the UK, I've calculated as follows (these are weekly rates):

Basic rate of Income Support 60.50
Allowance for children x 14 736.26
Assuming 5 of the 14 children have some disabilities
which would require a 'medium' level of care (if we're
talking about the octuplets, this seems possible) 224.25
Child benefit 191.60

Total weekly income £1,212.61

In addition, the family would be entitled to housing benefit to cover their rent, would be exempt from council (local) tax and would receive all the free 'passport' benefits that go with being on income support (free prescriptions, school meals, dental and optical care, etc.)

On current exchange rates, £1,212.61 would be $1,770.10 per week, or $92,045.20 as pure income, not including housing and other benefits, which would probably be worth another $100,000 per annum at the very minimum.
posted by essexjan at 4:06 AM on January 31, 2009

essexjan, if you're going to assume that 5 of the 14 children are disabled, you also need to add in Disability Living Allowance payments, and probably a carers premium on the Income Support. Of course, your assumption is totally arbitrary, I think only about 1 in 50 children in the UK actually qualify. Without your assumption, I reckon £823 per week income is more like it (I'm using Child Tax Credits which are paid for new claims, instead of the old child premiums that you used). This is all assuming no savings, assets or other income of course.
posted by wilko at 5:16 AM on January 31, 2009

(Oops, you did include the DLA payments, I think it was actually the disabled child premiums which you didn't calculate for, 5 x £48.72)
posted by wilko at 5:25 AM on January 31, 2009

An earlier article stated that the woman's husband is a contract worker who will be returning to Iraq soon. So, I don't know that they'd be getting any welfare related support.
posted by onhazier at 9:30 AM on January 31, 2009

A different article seems to indicate that the father is not in the picture (i.e. sperm donor) and that the babies grandfather would be going back to Iraq.
posted by davey_darling at 10:07 AM on January 31, 2009

I think she'll be okay when she gets offered a deal for a reality show. Voyeurism is the new Welfare, at least until the market is saturated with attractive multiple birth families. The the less-telegenic ones are gonna be out in the cold.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:45 PM on January 31, 2009

The McCaughey septuplets got some media attention as well as some gifts for the family. From wikipedia:

The McCaugheys were the recipients of many generous donations, including a 5500ft² (511 m²) house, a van and diapers for the first two years, as well as nanny services, and even the State of Iowa offering full college scholarships to the babies upon their maturity and graduation from high school to any state university in Iowa. U.S. President Bill Clinton personally telephoned Mr. and Mrs. McCaughey to wish them his congratulations.
By the time of the septuplets' tenth birthday in 2007, the family was declining most requests for interviews, other than annual stories with Dateline NBC and Ladies' Home Journal.

No mention of the McCaugheys recieving welfare.
posted by yohko at 2:26 PM on January 31, 2009

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