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Most of the others were cashed by cob-
blers, bakers, coal companies and depart-
ment stores.

Relief and Benefits A special com-
mittee on relations between unemploy-
ment insurance and relief agencies has
been appointed by the New York State
Advisory Council on Unemployment In-
surance. The Division of Placement and
Unemployment Insurance has been fur-
nishing the state Department of Social
Welfare with the names of persons apply-
ing for benefits. Welfare officials find
that they need further information to
prevent "relief chiseling" on the part of
some recipients of benefits. The purpose
of the new committee is to determine
what further information can be supplied
and to work out procedures between the
two agencies.

Emergency Measures To clear up
delinquent claims, the Massachusetts Un-
employment Compensation Commission
plans to suspend the present procedures
and allow applicants for benefits to sub-
mit affidavits from their former employ-
ers as proof of past earnings. ... In
New York, affidavits from trade union
officials and fellow workers are being
accepted to expedite proof of claim in
certain cases.

Movie Censorship Officials of the
American Federation of Hosiery Work-
ers, meeting in national convention in
Charlotte, N. C, refused to permit a
showing of "Today's Frontiers," a motion
picture sponsored by the Social Security
Board, according to a United Press re-
port. The union officials held that the film
failed to present "a true picture." Law-
rence Rogin, the union's educational di-
rector, was quoted as saying: "Many dele-
gates have been waiting for two months
and more for compensation checks and
they would not sit quietly through a pic-
ture showing two out of three unem-
ployed workers .getting jobs within two
weeks of being fired, and the third get-
ting his check exactly on time."

Rulings In South Carolina, the unem-
ployment compensation administrator an-
nounces that persons working in chain
stores or other chain establishments in
which the combined personnel of the
various units totals eight or more are
engaged in "covered" employment under
the state law. . . . The Unemployment
Insurance Appeal Board in New York
has ruled that persons who perform fac-
tory work in their own homes for out-
side employers are insured employes as
defined by the state law. Under this
ruling, homework employers are required
to contribute to the unemployment in-
surance fund on the same basis as for



other employes. The decision will affect
some 43,000 homeworkers engaged chiefly
in the glove, children's wear, women's
apparel and household supply industries.
. . . The Division of Placement and Un-
employment Insurance in New York will
now pay benefits to workers who acquired
benefit rights in New York but are no
longer living in the state. Applicants are
required to report at public employment
offices in the districts in which they now
live and to submit a statement of "con-
tinued unemployment."

Administration Many states report
that lack of funds for administrative
purposes is handicapping them in paying
unemployment insurance benefits and in
record keeping. The congressional appro-
priation for administration of state un-
employment compensation laws for the
present fiscal year was $38 million, based
on estimates drawn up in August 1936.
The administrative load proved to be
much heavier than was anticipated. As
a result, there remained available for
grants to the states for the final quarter
of this year $8 million against estimated
expenditures by the states of some $15
million. The President has recommended
to Congress a supplemental appropriation
for grants to the states for the final
quarter.

In presenting its request for funds for
the fiscal year 1938-39 to the Bureau of
the Budget, the Social Security Board re-
quested an appropriation of $54,039,000
for state unemployment compensation ad-
ministration. After several hearings, the
board was notified that the Budget Bu-
reau would recommend an appropriation
of $40 million. The board has submitted
to the Bureau of the Budget a proposal
for an amendment to the social security
act which will increase the amount
authorized to be appropriated for unem-
ployment compensation administration.

Railroad Bill A separate system of
unemployment insurance covering about
one million railroad employes is proposed
in a bill introduced in Congress by Sen-
ators Wagner of New York and Wheeler
of Montana and Congressman Grosser
of Ohio. The proposed plan would be
administered by the Railroad Retirement
Board. Unlike the present state systems,
the railroad measure would set up flat
benefits based on six wage classes. Bene-
fits would range from $1.75 a day for
those who had earned up to $200 in the
base year, to $3 a day for those with
earnings of $1300 and over. Benefits are
limited to eighty days in any twelve-
month period, and are to be payable for
each day of total unemployment over
seven in any half month. Employers con-
tributions, payable after July 1, 1939,
would be set at 3 percent of wages on the
first $300 a month paid to an employe.
Workers would not contribute. Taxes
would be placed in a pooled fund, 90

SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



percent to be maintained, like the state
unemployment insurance accounts, in the
Treasury in a benefits' account, and 10
percent in an administrative fund.

Bulletin A monthly magazine covering
current operations under the various
titles of the Social Security Board is the
latest project of the bureau of research
and statistics of the Social Security Board.
The first number 94 pages of text,
charts and statistical tables deals with
administrative developments and research
in the field of social security. The Social
Security Bulletin is primarily intended
as a link between the board and the fed-
eral, state, and local agencies concerned
in its program, but in plan and content
it also offers much of interest to the
general public. The new publication is
under the general direction of Euan
Clague, head of the bureau of research
and statistics. Its editor is Mary Ross,
formerly associate editor of Survey Mid-
monthly and Survey Graphic.

Old Age Assistance

COME facts for the consideration of
those who hold that old age assist-
tnce and insurance are endangering per-
onal initiative and family responsibility
are presented in the first issue of the
Social Security Bulletin, new fact maga-
zine of the Social Security Board. [See
preceding paragraph.] Findings of a sur-
vey by Marjorie Shearon of the board's
research bureau indicate that only about
a third of the nation's 7,816,000 persons
sixty-five years old and over are able to
maintain themselves through current
earnings, pensions, savings or other re-
sources. Among the third listed as "self-
dependent" (some2,746,000persons), Mrs.
Shearon estimates that about half actually
; rely in some degree, upon assistance from
1 relatives and friends. Among the de-
< pendent two thirds (5,070,000 persons)
about 70 percent are supported primarily
by relatives and friends and a total of
1,590,000 through government and private
aid programs. Thus, with old age as-
sistance programs under way all over
the country about six million persons, or
77.5 percent of the country's aged are
shown to be deriving part or all of their
support from the family circle, and only
about a sixth really achieving self-support
after sixty-five.

Fiscal Procedure When, in the sum-
mer of 1937, Illinois was dropped from
the list of states qualified to receive fed-
eral grants for old age assistance under
the social security act, a major cause was
the state's failure to meet Social Security
Board standards in accounting, record
keeping and business management. John
. Weigel of the State Department of
Public Welfare was Governor Horner's
choice as efficiency engineer to set the
fiscal machinery in order. He was made



acting director of the division of old age
assistance and given a free hand. Mr.
Weigel gave the title "acting director"
more than its customary meaning. He
acted with such promptness and thor-
oughness that by November 18 an entire
new plan of fiscal control was running
smoothly, reinstating Illinois in the graces
of the Social Security Board and restor-
ing to 121,897 aged citizens a security
which had been sadly shaken by the July
crisis. A brief compact outline of the pres-
ent procedure has just been published by the
department under the title, The Illinois
Plan of Fiscal Control in the Division of
Old Age Assistance. Mr. Weigel and his
assistant supervisor, Fletcher C. Kettle,
are co-authors.

The new plan fixes responsibility for
every payment of public money, wipes out
duplication by the use of a state-wide
index, saves time and errors by the use
of automatic, self-checking machinery,
makes possible a daily or monthly inven-
tory in each county, streamlines opera-
tions from application to acceptance by a
"straight line flow" of procedures, gears
each step into each other step and relates
business management to social service in
a reasonable and possible way. Mr. Wei-
gel gives the credit for his swift and com-
petent housecleaning to a dedicated staff
who "gave up Saturdays, holidays and
vacations, working overtime beyond all
reasonable hours" to put the new plan
into effect in record time.

Kin Folk The Colorado State Wel-
fare Department is reported as ruling
that any person meeting the eligibility
requirements for old age assistance is
entitled to it regardless of the financial
condition of his children. The ruling fol-
lowed a much publicized "revelation"
that the mother of a state supreme court
justice was receiving an old age allow-
ance of $40 a month.

Governor Lehman of New York
vetoed a bill passed by the legislature
amending the public welfare law to
relieve grandchildren of the responsi-
bility of caring for grandparents. In
his veto he said: "1 believe this meas-
ure would effectuate a bad social prin-
ciple and policy. A grandchild is an
integral part of the family group and has
a definite responsibility as a member of
the family. He should not be legally di-
vorced from that responsibility. A re-
moval of this responsibility by law would
be another step in weakening the integrity
of the family as a unit and of lessening a
sense of family responsibility, which, un-
fortunately, has already become greatly
weakened in recent years."

Oklahoma Funds Oklahoma at this
writing is still cut off from federal social
security funds. [See Survey Graphic,
April 1938, page 203.] Governor Mar-
land's suggestion that he would accept the
resignations of the members of the State



Public Welfare Commission if they were
submitted met with no response on the
part of the commission. Mrs. B. E. Chaney
and C. H. Hyde, members specificially
cited in the hearings before the Social
Security Board as interfering with state
and county personnel, declared they
would not resign, even if their resigna-
tions were requested. Under the social
security amendment to the Oklahoma
constitution members of the commission
are appointed for nine-year terms and
are not removable. At this writing the
state body has made a second appeal for
the resumption of federal funds. The
more militant members of the commis-
sion are reported to hold that this will
be a final appeal, and that if it fails, an
effort will be made to secure presidential
action or possibly legal procedure to
"force" the Social Security Board to
resume grants for public assistance.

States Report The Social Security
Board's policy of collecting uniform sta-
tistical reports from states operating old
age assistance programs has resulted in
valuable social data in the current crop
of annual reports from state departments
of welfare and social security.

Tabulations of Michigan's 1937 old
age assistance data showed assistance pay-
ments ranging from $5 to $30, more than
half of them in the $16 to $20 range. Less
than 2 percent received under $10; 17
percent received more than $20. Nearly
three quarters of all this group of Michi-
gan aged live with relatives, fewer than
16 percent alone. This tends to lower the
average of monthly payments. For exam-
ple grants under $16 were given to 30.1
percent of those living with relatives in
family groups, but to only 19.7 percent
of those living alone and to only 16.4
percent of those living in households of
non-relatives. Even more significant to
the average amount of assistance grant
is outside income. Nearly 85 percent of
all those aided through Michigan's old
age assistance program had no outside
income. About 5 percent received income
also from real property and these re-
ceived markedly lower assistance grants.
Another 10 percent of cases drew private
income from veteran's or employer's pen-
sions, trust or insurance annuities, in-
come from investments or wages. Less
than half were married persons and about
a sixth had spouses also receiving
assistance.

From Wisconsin's analysis of old age
assistance cases during the last fiscal
year, the Public Welfare Department's
quarterly Review draws a picture of the
average recipient: "About seventy years
old, native born, without other income.
Not a recipient of other public aid in
month previous to acceptance for old
age assistance. Living with relatives,
none of whom was receiving public aid.
Receiving a grant of $19 a month. Physi-
cal condition, fairly good; married or



JUNE 1938



211



widowed. This person will receive old
age assistance for the rest of his life."
Wisconsin's highest monthly grant was
$30, its lowest $3; 75 percent of all
grants were over $26, less than 25 per-
cent below $16. Almost 52 percent of
Wisconsin's 6360 persons accepted for old
age assistance during 1937 were under
seventy years old; nearly 25 percent
more were less than seventy-five. Only
128 were bedridden.

The New York State Department of
Social Welfare has kept monthly statis-
tics since 1931, when its old age security
law became effective. A recent study cov-
ered 30,952 cases accepted for old age
assistance and 6588 whose cases were
closed during the first six months of 1937.
The percent of native-born recipients,
statewide, was 63.9; in New York City
only 50.7; in the state exclusive of New
York City, 81.2 percent. Russians pre-
dominated among the foreign born, fol-
lowed by Italians, Germans and Irish.
Of the entire group, 88.7 percent were
sixty-five to seventy-four years old. Only
6.4 percent were Negro, with a very
small number from other races, pre-
dominantly Indian. In this New York
"sample" of old folks accepted for as-
sistance, 38.1 percent were married and
living with their spouses; 39.7 percent
widowed; 5.9 percent separated; 1.4 per-
cent divorced or legally separated; 15
percent single. More than half of the
recipients had received some form of
public or private relief within thirty days
of application for old age assistance.

Cooperation for Health The Sus-
sex County, N. J. Welfare Board and
the County Tuberculosis League have
agreed to a cooperative plan for X-ray
examinations of the more than 300 old
age assistance clients in the county. The
league will undertake to bring as many
as possible of the old folks to the diag-
nostic clinics and they will be examined
along with the "positive reactors" from
the highschools of the county.

Insurance

TN line with the recent suggestion by
President Roosevelt, the Social Secur-
ity Board is reported to be studying a
benefit system for widows and minor
children. While no definite plan has been
drawn, one program under consideration
would provide monthly payments between
$10 and $20 to minor children, while a
widow would be given monthly benefits
for life on reaching the age of sixty, re-
ceiving between $20 and $40 a month.
An alternative plan would grant a wid-
ow benefits for a specified number of
years immediately after her husband's
death, instead of old age benefits. Such
payments would be distinct from the pres-
ent provision of public assistance for de-
pendent children.



Reports on Accounts Beginning
July 1, the Bureau of Old Age Insurance
of the Social Security Board expects to
be able to furnish up-to-date statements
of the wages recorded to the account of
any of the 38 million "policyholders"
who desire such an accounting. Considera-
tion has been given to the possibility of
issuing routine periodic statements to all
persons on the old age insurance lists,
but no feasible method of doing this
has been developed, because of frequent
changes of address. To the middle of
March, records covering the earnings of
25 million workers had been sent to the
board. Since that time, wage record cards
have been processed at the rate of 850,-
000 a day.

Employer Reports A marked reduc-
tion in the number of employer reports
required by the Treasury Department
in connection with the administration of
federal old age insurance has been effect-
ed through a new form which combines
tax returns and wage reports. The form,
known as SS-la, not only simplifies the
reporting required of employers, but is a
decided help to the government in record
keeping. It is quarterly, with space for
both purposes on the same sheet, and was
first returnable April 30, for the period
January 1 to March 31. It takes the
place of the monthly tax return and the
semi-annual information return previous-
ly required. The new form was worked
out by the Bureau of Internal Revenue
and the Social Security Board, and is
proving a special boon to operators of
small establishments, who usually do
their own bookkeeping. Returns for 1937
from over 1,700,000 employers, showed
that 95 percent had twenty or fewer em-
ployes, many only one or two.

Child Welfare



years ago the Child Study As-
sociation of America had its begin-
nings as the Society for the Study of
Child Nature. Now, as a part of anniver-
sary activities in coming months of 1938,
the association has announced a many-
sided plan to educate the public on
improved methods of rearing children.

An anniversary platform which shows
the association still true to its original
christening includes: "focusing public
attention upon gains made during the last
fifty years toward a deeper understanding
of childhood and parent-child relation-
ships; examining and appraising contri-
butions made by the various arts and
sciences . . . stimulating creative thinking
as to how such knowledge may be made
available to a larger number of parents."

The association is holding some pre-
liminary meetings during the summer,
and planning a varied program of activi-
ties for the coming fall and winter. The
plans include a two-day conference; an



anniversary dinner; an institute; an ex-
hibit contrasting methods and ideas in
education and child training fifty years
ago and today; and a special anniversary
number of the association's magazine,
Child Study.

A Thousand Foster Homes The
Jewish Home Finding Committee for
Jewish Children in New York City has
launched a campaign to locate a thousand
foster homes for children, in many cases
dislodged from their own homes by de-
pression conditions and with an experi-
ence of life only "on relief." The
committee reports that not only is the
need of these stranded children impera-
tive but filling it probably will be difficult.
Foster parents "with a special talent for
parenthood" are sought and the commit-
tee has emphasized that income is not the
test of suitability. The three Jewish foster
home placement agencies which are par-
ticipating in the committee's plan will
provide board, clothing, medical and den-
tal care. But the foster mothers and
fathers are expected to provide the all-
important atmosphere of home care and
protection.

News Briefs The lion's share of the
work done last year by the Henry Street
visiting nurses, says Katharine Faville,
general director, was made up of ma-
ternity cases and visits to very young
children. Altogether 180,277 visits were
made to 33,419 maternity cases and
61,488 visits to 14,288 new babies.

An important new feature of the work
at Bonnie Brae Farm for Boys, Milling-
ton, N. J. is a guidance program de-
veloped under the direction of Edgar A.
Doll, consultant on child training of the
Vineland, N. J. Training School. The
work, carried on by George W. Fraser,
resident child guidance supervisor, is
planned as preparation for the increased
demands for skill and emotional balance
which the boys will meet in the modern
business and industrial world.

The National Federation of Day Nur-
series and the Association of Day Nur-
series in New York have been merged
under the name, National Association of
Day Nurseries, with headquarters at 122
East 22 Street, New York. Since the
aim is to raise the standards of care in
day nurseries, now often short on mod-
ern knowledge of child training, member
organizations will have to meet certain
definite qualifications for admission.

Hard of Hearing The American
Society for the Hard of Hearing has
completed a nation-wide survey of the
hearing of thirty million American school
children, which revealed through school
tests that three million of them have de-
fective hearing. The situation is the more
serious because the majority of the chil-
dren and their parents are not aware of
the defect or of its importance as a



212



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



cause of anti-social tendencies, inferiority
complexes, school and social difficulties.

The society has formed a national com-
mittee including representatives from its
member leagues in 108 cities to conduct a
public education campaign not only for
case-finding but for prevention, correction
and improvement of defective hearing
:,: children. Cooperating with the
\>HH in the project are the American
. al Association, National Education
lation and federal agencies includ-
he Children's Bureau, Bureau of
Standards, Employment Office and Office
: Jucation.

Estelle E. Samuelson, director of New
York City's WPA project for teaching
lip reading and secretary of the New
York League for the Hard of Hearing,
reports that of more than a million chil-
dren in the city's public grade and high-
'1s and parochial schools who had
hearing tests, about 7 percent were found
to suffer from loss of hearing. One and
a half percent were in need of otological
treatment and at least 10,000 required
special educational help. The WPA proj-
ect aims not only to find cases but to
institute the proper corrective measures
and to teach lip reading to children whose
hearing impairments cannot be corrected
or are likely to become worse.

The North Carolina State Board of
Health recently purchased an audiometer
to measure the hearing of children and
plans an extensive survey of the school
children of the state. Recently, laws mak-
ing hearing tests in schools compulsory
were passed by New York (1937) and
subsequently by California, Maine,
Texas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Against Crime

^ ^^^^ ^^^^^_^^^^^__^_^^^^^^_

A BROAD review of today's crime
problems in America, some of their
causes and attempted cures came out of
a recent planning meeting of the board
of directors of the American Prison As-
sociation, in preliminary session for the
association's congress at St. Paul, Minn,
next October. Most of all, these penolo-
I Bt> from twenty states emphasized that
increased public interest and action are
necessary; that hysteria must be replaced
by a sound, well-balanced and persistent
approach toward crime reduction.

As for parole, the association has found

only six or seven states and the federal

mment to have what could be called

rific and suitable parole methods. By

enlisting public interest it is hoped that

more uniform parole laws, measures to

assure adequate and qualified personnel

and provision for supervision, may be

achieved.

The prison labor situation and the cur-
rent overcrowded condition of prisons
were brought out. A recent calculation
disclosed that sixteen prisons located in



thirteen states now hold 42,500 prisoners
in quarters designed to accommodate
27,000.

The association's committee on jails
reported a survey which found 3700
county and city jails and 10,000 local
lockups in use today, nearly all of them
independent units. Through these in 1937
passed over a million individuals. Basing
the opinion upon individual inspections,
the Federal Bureau of Prisons estimates
that almost 50 percent of these do not
meet minimum standards. The board



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 57 of 109)