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an emergency level.

From the Committee on Social Security
ot the Social Science Research Council
comes a plump paper bound volume of
:>ages, Seven Years of Unemploy-
ment Relief in New Jersey, 1930-1936,
by Douglas H. MacNeil. Price $1.25
from the council, 230 Park Avenue, New
York. It is a candid and thoroughgoing
examination of the policies and procedures
in public relief, and of the forces that
shaped them up to the liquidation of the
state ERA. To New Jersey it is an im-
portant historical document. In other
states it should stimulate studies of simi-
lar scope for the purposes of intelligent
planning.

From the Committee on Care of
Transients and Homeless, 1270 Sixth
Avenue, New York, come several mimeo-
graphed publications highly useful and
informative in that specialized field.
Among them:

Statement of Problems Involved in
Adapting Social Security and Relief Pro-
i* to the Needs of Migrant and
Non-Resident Persons and Families; and
Recommendations for Remedial Action.
A statement prepared by the committee
for the special Senate committee to in-
vestigate unemployment and relief.

Current Bibliography on Transiency.
Some eighty items bringing down to May
1938 the committee's two earlier bibliog-
raphies.

A Survey of the Present Status of the



Problem of the Transient and State Set-
tlement Laws, prepared by Edward A.
Macy of the Council of State Govern-
ments for the Continuation Committee
of the Interstate Conference on Tran-
sients and Settlement Laws.

Public Assistance

AS evidence of the innate honesty of
Hoosiers the Indiana State Depart-
ment of Public Welfare offers the tale
of what happened after the death of
"John Doe," a recipient of old age as-
sistance. Under the Indiana law the state
is reimbursed for assistance grants from
the estate if any of the deceased
beneficiary. "John Doe's" estate consisted
of a few chickens, a shotgun, a pistol and
a horse. Promptly after the funeral rela-
tives descended on the county welfare
office with the shotgun and pistol and
$1.20 in cash from the sale of the chickens.
Further reimbursement would be made,
they said, as soon as they succeeded in
selling the horse.

Another "John Doe" story comes from
California where, so they say, an appli-
cant for old age assistance wrote firmly
to his old home town in Arkansas: "To
the county Wallafare Board: I have not
lived in Arkansas since Nov. 1935 and
that is not all I dont want to live back
there. And I can't be a citizen here until
you people will turn me loose back there
Please dont hold me as a citizen there
any longer. P.S. You will probably get
papers asking if we are citizens back
there but I dont want a citizenship there.
Signed, John Doe, formerly of Arkansas
but in California since November 1935."

Oklahoma and the Board Within
strict limitations, the Social Security
Board has resumed public assistance
grants to the State of Oklahoma as of
April 1. [See Survey Graphic, April,
page 203.] After reviewing reports and
resolutions submitted by the Oklahoma
Welfare Commission, the board finds
that, "as a result of changes effected and
agreements as to future action," Okla-
homa's public assistance administration
is now "in substantial compliance with the
social security act." The board therefore
resumes grants "for those cases which
the state has reinvestigated and found
eligible since federal funds were with-
drawn." As of June 7, the state had com-
pleted a review of only a portion of its
assistance rolls, and accurate records of
eligibility "are not yet available for a
majority of cases." Of the first 13,500
cases reviewed since March 2, when fed-
eral funds were withdrawn, 3800 recipi-
ents or over 25 percent, were dropped
over 1000 dead, another 1000 with in-
come or property in excess of state stand-
ards, some 500 who did not meet age
requirements. Federal funds used by the
state for assistance to ineligible persons



must be repaid to the government by
deductions from future grants.

The state expects to complete about
10,000 reinvestigations a month. At this
rate, the review of its entire assistance
rolls should be completed by January 1,
1939. Oklahoma expects to carry, out of
state funds, all cases now on the rolls
while their reinvestigation is pending.
When the review is completed, the board
will determine the total amount of money
for which the state is accountable to the
federal government. This adjustment
must be effected without serious curtail-
ment of assistance to eligible^.

Colorado's Headache Colorado's
old age assistance headache remains acute.
[See Survey Graphic, July 1938, page
376.] In March average payments had
dropped to $26.72, but in the courts,
under appeal, was the decision of a Den-
ver judge requiring back payments on
1937 accounts to some 35,000 recipients,
the sum mounting into millions. Efforts
to secure a repeal of the constitutional
amendment which seems to be at the root
of the state's financial troubles head up in
the Federation for Workable Old Age
Pensions, which claims to have enough
signatures to petitions to get a repeal pro-
vision on the ballot next November. The
powerful National Annuity League chal-
lenges the validity of the signatures and
a legal battle is foreseen.

Meantime the regional office of the
Social Security Board has made a pre-
liminary report on an audit of old age
assistance payments in seven counties
over a period of fifteen months. While
no figures have been given out it is said
that the report contests the use of federal
funds in hundreds of instances. If this is
true the counties will be required to de-
fend their payments, and, if they fail to
make their case, the state must reimburse
the federal government for its share of
funds paid to persons ineligible under
Social Security Board rulings.

Going Up Social Security Board fig-
ures show that about 20 million persons
in approximately 6,400,000 households
received some kind of public aid in April.
Costs of public relief, the board reports,
continued to rise, amounting in Anril to
$242,931,000, an increase of $7,772,000
over the total for March.

State officials are facing cold hard
facts on the cost of public welfare. In
California the state comptroller reports
that the average county now is spending
21 cents of its income dollar for relief,
old aee assistance and correctional insti-
tutions. In 1927 such purposes took 7 cents
out of each dollar. More than half of
the Los Angeles revenue dollar is re-
quired for public assistance and related
services.

Indiana spent $15,447.000 for relief in
1933. the vear the welfare department



JULY 1938



241



began accumulating statistics. In 1937 it
spent $50,072,000. In Ohio the chief of
the state division of aid for the aged
estimates that the program will cost a
million dollars more the second quarter
of 1938 than it did the first. His estimate
is based on 113,800 recipients with an
average monthly grant of $23.

Among the States A complete reor-
ganization of Delaware's public welfare
agencies and institutions is recommended
in the report of a study recently com-
pleted by Fred K. Hoehler of the Ameri-
can Public Welfare Association. The
report proposes the formation of a state
department of public welfare, headed by
a commissioner, with activities grouped
into three divisions public assistance,
child welfare and aid for the mentally
and physically handicapped. Appointment
of all personnel, except the commissioner,
under civil service is strongly urged.

Certain Californians who in the past
year bought real property from benefi-
ciaries of old age assistance are in some-
thing of a dither over a recent ruling of
the state's attorney general. Prior to 1937
the state took a lien on such property
as is the practice in most states and, at
the death of the beneficiary, reimbursed
itself from his estate so far as there was
an estate. In 1937 the legislature acted
and such liens were crossed out, leaving
the beneficiary free to dispose of his real
estate as he chose. A number of them
"sold out." But now the state supreme
court has declared the 1937 law uncon-
stitutional, and the buyers of such prop-
erty are faced with the probability that,
in order to clear their titles, they them-
selves will be required to reimburse the
state for assistance rendered to the seller
of the property.

A ruling of the Georgia State Welfare
Department requires that county welfare
units must make their records on public
assistance recipients available to grand
juries and must offer cooperation in any
investigation of such recipients.

Child Welfare

IN its report to its general advisory
committee on maternal and child wel-
fare services, the child welfare division
of the Children's Bureau undertook to
formulate a statement of the general
philosophy upon which is based the ad-
ministration of Title V, Part 3 of the
social security act which is entrusted to
the bureau. "Believe it or- not," says a
lively commentator on the report, "a lot
of our own people still talk about 'child
welfare' as though it were principally
foster care. Hence the effort to get over
a broader concept."

Child welfare in its broadest sense,
says the report, "is a composite of, first,
the social and economic forces in com-
munity life which make it possible for a

242



child's own family to nurture him
through the years of childhood; and sec-
ond, the instrumentalities, both public and
private, which supplement the capacities
and resources of a child's natural fam-
ily in such measure as may be necessary
to insure wholesome growth and devel-
opment."

Continuing, the report says: "Child
welfare services [under Title V, Part
3] therefore must be concerned with
what constitutes a total child welfare
program. This means that a children's
worker in a rural community does not
limit her activities to treatment after a
child's own home has failed him and pro-
vision for him must be made elsewhere,
but seeks to provide services and to stim-
ulate the development of community re-
sources which will prevent dependency,
neglect and delinquency."

New Start After more than sixty
years of varied services to the children
of Baltimore the Nursery and Child's
Hospital has gotten itself a new modern
suburban home and is about to initiate a
new and modern program of study and
treatment of children of pre-school age.
Following the study and recommenda-
tions of Cheney C. Jones, of Boston, the
institution will accept for study from
cooperating agencies, children who have
failed to make a normal adjustment to
life and who, after psychiatric study and
treatment, may be placed in appropriate
foster homes.

Jobs for Youth An unusual form
of employment help for youth being
carried on in New York is Vocational
Adoption, Inc., I. Warsaw, executive
director. Under this plan, now several
years old, underprivileged boys whose
primary need seems to be employment
are given vocational study and placed
in jobs with business men interested in
the opportunity for service. Heads of
responsible concerns are asked to "adopt
the boys vocationally," of course without
legal ties. This implies chiefly the em-
ployer's personal interest in the boy. The
careers of the boys are followed un-
obtrusively by the agency and if the
placement is unsatisfactory another at-
tempt is made. The organization is at-
tempting within the next year to place
a thousand boys vocationally.

Various and Sundry Something
like 2000 New York school children, too
sick to attend regular classes, have been
given regular instruction the past school
year by visiting teachers, thus enabling
them to keep up with their studies.
Eighty-eight of them were graduated with
their classes this spring, though all but
twenty-eight were too ill to attend com-
mencement exercises and had to receive
their diplomas in absentia.

Massachusetts points proudly to the



fact, "true for many years," that only
a very small proportion of children under
care either by public or private agencies
are in institutions. April reports showed
that of 2142 children under care by eight
private agencies, only 42 were in institu-
tions, and that of 9528 under care by
two public agencies only 134 were in-
stitutionalized.

Special nurseries for the children of
the 1622 families in Ten Eyck Houses,
the huge public housing development in
Brooklyn, N. Y., are maintained by the
Brooklyn Free Kindergarten Society. In
addition the society conducts special
classes in child care and cooking for the
mothers of its young charges.

At the request of a group of New
York City children's agencies which use
case work service in adoptions, the Child
Welfare League of America is making a
study of adoption procedures followed
in the care of the city's Protestant or
non-sectarian children. Mary Frances
Smith of the Philadelphia Children's
Bureau is making the study.

In Print A recent League of Nations
publication is a summary of the series
of legislative and administrative docu-
ments of the league's child welfare in-
formation center. Number IV, 3, Social,
1938. Price 25 cents from the Columbia
University Press, 2960 Broadway, New
York. ... A summary report of a study
of summer camps conducted by Boston
social agencies and other organizations
may be secured from the Boston Council
of Social Agencies, 80 Federal Street,
Boston. Summary, 15 cents; full report
60 cents including postage. . . . The
Public Child Welfare Program in the
District of Columbia, by Emma O.
Lundburg. U. S. Children's Bureau Pub-
lication, No. 240. From the Government
Printing Office, Washington, D. C.

Compensation

THIRTY-SIX states have joined in
a plan under which a worker who
goes from one state to work in another
state, or in several states, may draw any
out-of-work benefits he has accumulated
in any state by filing his claim in the
state where he loses his job. The states
which are thus cooperating in protecting
the worker who moves over state lines
are proceeding at once to set up the
machinery to put the plan into effect.
The agreement was worked out by the
Interstate Conference of Unemployment
Compensation Agencies, established to
consider the interstate problems that arise
under unemployment compensation laws.
Workers to whom the agreement applies
are those classed by the compensation
agencies as "multi-state workers." It
does not apply to commuters who live in
one state and work in another. Nor does
the plan cover the worker who may not

SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



have wage credits in one state sufficient
to make him eligible for compensation,
but who would have credits enough from
all the st.itrs in which he has worked in
thr i ourse of the year, were he permitted
.Id up" his credit>.

Delinquents The Wisconsin Indus-
trial Commission has adopted legal tac-
tic* in dealing with employers delinquent
in unemployment compensation taxes
which, according to the Milwaukee Sen-
tinel, "have extracted long past due in
.MM..- taxes from hundreds of reluctant
or financially disabled citizens." Employers
arr questioned regarding their assets, and
tentative agreements are made for the
payment of overdue contributions. Failure
to make a settlement results in the ap-
pointment of a receiver. Delinquents
amount to only .3 percent of all Wiscon-
sin employers. ... In Illinois, 4000 em-
ployers were totally delinquent in paying
their unemployment compensation con-
tribution for the first quarter of 1938,
according to Martin P. Durkin, director
of labor. Delinquent employers are in-
curring interest penalties of one thirtieth
of one percent a day. All the 4000 de-
linquents have received notices and are
being visited by field advisers who at-
tempt to determine causes of delinquency
.ind expedite payment.

Labor Disputes Following the suc-
cessful completion of negotiations be-
tween the management of six Ore-
igon sawmills and their workers,
which were involved in a labor union
jurisdictional dispute for nearly nine
months, the State Unemployment Com-
pensation Commission ordered payment
'of benefit checks totaling more than
1*250,000 to 2000 millworkers. The bene-
fits were allowed after attorneys for
employers and the unions entered into a
stipulation that no labor dispute existed
in the six mills subsequent to dates
(ranging from early April to mid-May.
. . In two test cases involving approxi-
mately 2200 employes of the Bigelow-
Sanford Carpet Co., Inc. of Amsterdam,
EN. Y., Henry Shemin, acting chief referee
jf the division of placement and unem-
sloyment insurance, New York State
Labor Department, held that those per-
;ons who worked up to the date their
i jnion called a strike, and then quit work,
ire subject to a ten-week waiting period
I after they apply for benefits under the
i <tate unemployment insurance law. The
mployes involved worked on May 10,
iut did not work thereafter because a
htrike was called, effective May 11, when
:he company refused to rescind a wage
ut. The workers claimed that the wage
ut actually separated them from employ-
| -nent prior to the inception of the strike;
ind that the strike is not a strike within
the meaning of the law because it is
iased on an alleged breach of contract



by the employer. The referee held that
the first contention "is negatived by the
fact that the claimant worked and re-
ceived wages through May 10." As to the
second contention, he pointed out that
"our statute does not exclude from the
extended waiting period workers who be-
come unemployed as a result of strikes
which are called because of an employer's
violation of a labor agreement."

For Railroad Workers Against the
opposition of the Social Security Board
and treasury officials, both houses of
Congress passed the bill providing a sys-
tem of unemployment compensation for
railroad workers to be administered by
the Railroad Retirement Board. The
measure had the active support of the
railroad labor unions. At this writing, it
has not been signed by President
Roosevelt.

Seasonal Workers Officials of the
New York State Department of Labor
are seeking to safeguard the unemploy-
ment compensation fund from "raids" by
seasonal workers in periods when their
industries are not operating and the
workers do not expect to be employed.
Studies are underway as to procedures
for putting into effect the law's provision
that "a seasonal employe shall be entitled
to benefits only if he suffers unemploy-
ment within the longest seasonal period
or periods during which, by the best
practice of the occupation or industry in
which he is engaged, operations are con-
ducted." In defining seasonal industries
and charting their periods of activity, the
study committee will take into account
the necessity for reducing the amount a
seasonal worker must earn to qualify for
benefits. Trade union officials are ex-
pected to oppose any effort to put the
stamp of seasonality on the industries
they represent.

Massachusetts Hearings The spe-
cial legislative commission investigating
the Massachusetts Unemployment Com-
pensation Commission has been directed
to continue its inquiries. A number of
striking facts as to the political affiliations
of employes of the compensation commis-
sion and the methods of their appointment
have been brought out in the hearings.
For example, a roll call of Governor
Hurley's delegates to the 1936 Demo-
cratic pre-primary convention disclosed
that seventy-two of them were put on
the commission's payroll "without bene-
fit of civil service," while close rela-
tives of other delegates were also given
jobs. A score of these employes, appear-
ing at the hearings, held that their ap-
pointment and election as delegates were
merely "coincidental." Another employe
admitted that he had conducted funerals
during working time, had falsified his
time records and had permitted those
working under him the same latitude.



Other staff members, as a former bar-
tender and pari-mutuel employe, have
testified that they had no particular ex-
perience or training for their positions,
though denying that political influence
secured the appointment.

Deficiency Appropriation The Sen-
ate and House concurred in a joint reso-
lution appropriating an additional $3,500,-
000 for unemployment compensation
administration grants to states. The
measure represented a compromise be-
tween the $4 million appropriated by a
Senate resolution and the $2,500,000 ap-
propriation originally proposed by a
House resolution.

Old Age Insurance

THE Social Security Board an-
nounces that since January 1937 it has
approved 134,297 lump sum claims, total-
ing $4,249,428. During April 1938, claim
approvals amounted to 750 each work-
ing day, a total of 19,370, amounting to
$834,234. The average claim during the
thirty-day period was $42.55. Such claims
are brought under the provision of the
social security act for lump sum payments
equal to T>Yi percent of the total annual
wages up to $3000 received from one
employer by a worker who has reached
the age of sixty-five, or to the estate of
one who has died.

New Considerations The Advisory
Council, organized a year ago as a result
of criticism of the reserve plan, led by
Senator Vandenberg, in a preliminary re-
port upheld present policies and tax rates.
It will report later on alternative meth-
ods of financing the old age insurance
scheme. The council has asked the Social
Security Board to provide data by Sep-
tember 15 on possible plans for extend-
ing the coverage to domestic servants,
farm laborers and self-employed workers.
It also recommended that the 570,000
employes of non-profit religious, charita-
ble and educational institutions, now
excluded, be brought under the plan.
About 38 million workers in business and
industry are now under federal old age
insurance. The suggested extension of
coverage would add about 15 million
more.

Bookkeeping In the largest book-
keeping operation in the world, wages of
millions of men and women are being
posted in their old age security account?
at the rate of 650,000 entries a day.
Approximately 75 million wage items re-
ported by employers for 1937 have been
received by the Social Security Board
from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Under revised regulations which went
into effect January I, 1938, employers
now file a tax return every three months,
when they pay their taxes and their em-
ployes' taxes. Approximately 2,100,000



JULY W8



243



wage items were reported by employers
for the first three months. Although there
is a lag between a workers' payday and
the day his wages are recorded in his old
age insurance account, John J. Corson,
acting director of the Bureau of Old Age
Insurance, holds that this will not cause
delay in settling a claim for benefits.

Wages and Hours

THE new wages and hours act re-
writes on the statute books the prin-
ciple of "fair labor standards" embodied
in NRA. In the current business depres-
sion, labor experts estimate that not more
than 200,000 workers will have their
pay increased by the 25-cent minimum set
by the law chiefly in garment factories,
textile mills, the fertilizer industry in
the South and southern sawmills. Even
at 1937 production levels only about 260,-
000 workers, according to these estimates,
would benefit by the minimum wage of
25 cents, and about one million by the
44-hour week limit.

Wages Beginning 120 days after enact-
ment (in late October) all covered em-
ployes must be paid at least 25 cents an
hour the first year; 30 cents for the next
six years; 40 cents thereafter.

Hours The maximum work-week for
employes subject to the act is not to
exceed 44 hours the first year the law is
in effect; 42 the second; 40 a week there-
after. Employes may work longer hours
provided they receive compensation for
overtime at a rate of at least one and a
half times their usual wage.

Child Labor No person under sixteen
years of age may be employed in manu-
facturing or mining; nor any person be-
tween the ages of sixteen and eighteen in
occupations held by the chief of the Chil-
dren's Bureau to be "particularly hazard-
ous" or "detrimental to the health or well
being" of young persons.

Coverage The law applies to concerns
engaged in interstate commerce and to
concerns producing goods for interstate
commerce. A number of fields are ex-
empted including retail, service and pro-
fessional occupations, agriculture, can-
ning and food processing. The child labor
provisions do not apply to the employment
of children in agricultural, mercantile



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 65 of 109)