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MASON CITY, Iowa - President Trump signed an executive order this week that will strengthen work requirements for those receiving government assistance.
The goal is to move people from welfore to work in an effort to boost the economy. While the requirements the President is pushing for are already required by law, Trump is now encouraging agencies not currently implementing them to add them.
Jeanette Haugen recently moved back to Mason City from Colorado. Because of her health conditions that prevent her from holding a full-time job, she receives assistance, and has done so since she was a child.
"I've been legally blind my whole life, and started having grand mal seizures when I was 16 years old because of a medication given to me as a kid," Haugen says.
Ashley Eckhoff currently utilizes Medicaid and food stamps, and was formerly on WIC and SSI. She compares work requirements for assistance to insurance...you're required to work for them.
"If somebody gets into an accident or whatever, you need to have insurance. If they're working, because you have to have insurance when you're working and everything," Eckhoff says.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 137,000 households in Iowa have a median income that utilize food stamps. In Minnesota, more than 173,000 households use them.
Haugen says before casting judgement on those who receive benefits, it's important to look at their situation.
"It's not as easy being on assistance as what everybody thinks it is. It's more of a hassle. But the problem is that people have to live. And people just have it in them to survive. It's a basic human instinct," Haugen adds.