State responds to controversial welfare study

The Hawaii Dept. of Human Services admits Hawaii tops the nation when it comes to welfare benefits.

This is in response to a study by the Cato Institute that said a Hawaii mother of two children received $60,590 in benefits, more than any other state.

However, the state argues that the high cost of living grossly inflates that number.

“I think this kind of analysis may appeal to people who demand simplicity, but it is misleading and inaccurate when the subjects are as complex as public welfare,” said Pankaj Bhanot, division administrator for the department’s benefit, employment and support services division.

DHS says it’s also working hard to get families off welfare and that the average stay for welfare families is 14 months.

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