A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Ninety percent of politics is deciding whom to blame” (4/30)
“Once you lick frosting off a cupcake, it becomes a muffin” (4/30)
“I need a six month vacation, twice a year” (4/29)
“Friday is my second favorite F word” (4/29)
“Work is for those who don’t know what fishing is!” (4/29)
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Entry from October 07, 2013
“Getting on the draw”

"Getting on the dole” is an old term for being on public assistance. People who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from Social Security because of a disability are called “check drawers.” A CBS News 60 Minutes story “Disability, USA,” broadcast on October 6, 2013, explained the terms “getting on the check” and “getting on the draw.”

“Get on the draw” has been cited in print since at least February 2009.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
dole, n.
That which is distributed or doled out; esp. a gift of food or money made in charity; hence, a portion sparingly doled out; spec. (usu. the dole); the popular name for the various kinds of weekly payments made from national and local funds to the unemployed since the war of 1914–18. Phr. (to be or go) on the dole : (to be or start being) in receipt of such unemployment relief; also transf. and fig.
1362 Langland Piers Plowman A. iii. 63 Whon ȝe ȝiuen doles.
(..)
1919 Daily Mail 11 June 8/4 You won’t draw your out-of-work dole of 29s. this week.
1923 L. A. Harker Master & Maid (new ed.) xx. 265 If only I’d danced an Irish jig I believe I could have got the whole of them to increase the dole.
1925 Westm. Gaz.26 Mar., 3,000 Aliens on the Dole.
1928 Britain’s Industrial Future (Liberal Industr. Inq.) 277 To speak of Unemployment Benefit as ‘the dole’ is to misrepresent the facts.

Daily Yonder
20 February 2009 - 9:09pm — AppalMtnMan
20/20 Program on Appalachia
(...)
What transpired from that point was a further deterioration of the “work ethic” and the desire to “get on the draw” ( a phrase commonly used for those developing a condition which qualified them for public assistance and thereby receive a monthly check - or - draw)

topix (Whitley City, KY)
help me get on the draw
bluearrow
Jul 13, 2009
you people need to find jesus in your life an then you’ll wont need a check the church will pay youur way free food utilities ahh heck do both

topix (Pennington Gap VA)
How do I get on the draw
envyyou
Aug 1, 2013
Could you please tell me what the requirements are? Or ‘what’ I should tell the place to get a good sized check and medicaid. How much can I get?thanks..

CBS News—60 Minutes
October 6, 2013 7:52 PM
Disability, USA
Sen. Coburn says disability payments are now propping up the economy in some of the poorest regions in the country. Which is why he sent his investigators to the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia.

More than a quarter of a million people in this area are on disability—10 to 15 percent of the population—about three times the national average. Jennifer Griffith and Sarah Carver processed disability claims at the Social Security regional office in Huntington, West Virginia.
(...)
Steve Kroft: Are they disabled?
Sarah Carver: Not always, no.
Jennifer Griffith: More often than not, no.
Around here, people call it “getting on the draw” or “getting on the check,” but they have other names for it.

Twitter
ChrisJ
‏@sfty1intx
Great story on 60 minutes about getting on the draw fraud about disability and how we just pay it wow!
4:57 PM - 6 Oct 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Monday, October 07, 2013 • Permalink