Senate Bill No. 228
(By Senators Manchin, Whitlow, Bowman, Blatnik, Kimble,
Jackson, Helmick, Buckalew, Miller, Craigo, Sharpe, Oliverio,
Dugan, Wiedebusch, Bailey, Tomblin, Walker, Dittmar, White,
Anderson, Wagner, Plymale, Ross, Love, Schoonover, Minear, Deem,
Wooton, Boley, Chafin and Yoder)
[Introduced February 1, 1995; referred to the Committee
on Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee
A BILL to amend chapter nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article three-a, relating
to public welfare; establishing workfare program for persons
receiving welfare assistance benefits; stating purpose;
requiring department of health and human resources to issue
forms; requiring counties to place persons on public works projects; requiring work to equal benefits in order to
receive benefits; providing for rules; and providing that
persons not able to work will continue to receive benefits.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto
a new article, designated article three-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3A. WORKFARE.
§9-3A-1. Workfare program established.
There is hereby established the West Virginia workfare
§9-3A-2. Legislative purpose.
The Legislature, in enacting this program, recognizes that
it is necessary for the general well-being of the state that
persons who are receiving public assistance maintain active job
skills until they are able to return to work.
§9-3A-3. Certification of ability to work; forms to be provided
by department of health and human resources and
returned to department.
Any person who is receiving any form of welfare assistance
as defined by section two, article one of this chapter, shall
within sixty days from the effective date of this article obtain a certificate from a physician or other licensed health care
practitioner stating whether or not that person is physically
able to engage in work requiring physical exertion or, if not,
whether able to engage in work requiring a lesser degree of
physical exertion and to what extent. Certifications shall be
made on forms to be provided by the department of health and
human resources and returned to the department within ten days
after the physician or other practitioner has made the
§9-3A-4. County commissions to place persons able to work on
public works projects.
The department of health and human resources shall forward
to each county commission a list of those persons who have been
certified under this article as able to work with a statement of
the type of job they have been certified to do.
Each person certified as able to work shall be placed by the
county commissions on any public works project within the county
according to the type of work the person has been certified to
§9-3A-5. Work must equal welfare benefits; absences.
In order to receive welfare assistance benefits under this chapter, each person placed in a job under the workfare program
must work the number of hours per week it would take to equal
that person's welfare assistance benefits as if the person were
being paid at a rate not less than four dollars and twenty-five
cents an hour.
Any person who has three unexcused absences in any one
workweek shall receive welfare assistance benefits equal to the
number of hours worked in that week at the applicable rate.
The department of health and human resources is empowered,
in accordance with law, to issue any rules necessary for the
implementation of this program.
§9-3A-7. Persons not certified as able to work.
Any person who has been found, by a physician or other
licensed health care practitioner, to be unable to work and who
is receiving welfare assistance benefits shall continue to
receive the benefits to which that person is entitled
notwithstanding the provisions of this article.
NOTE: This bill would establish the West Virginia Workfare
Program in which welfare assistance recipients would be required
to be certified as able to work and placed by counties on public
projects in order to receive benefits.
Article three-a, chapter nine is new; therefore,
strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.