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.

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Entry from October 07, 2013
“Getting on the check”

"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 draw” and “getting on the check.”

“Get on the check” was cited on Twitter on November 6, 2012.


(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.

Twitter
jordan taylor
‏@jordan_taylor33
Guess we all needa go get on the check and be like the rest of the nation, hard days work walkin to the mail box twice a month
#checkdrawers
9:31 PM - 6 Nov 12

Twitter
Forrest Yates
‏@forrest_yates
“yay now i can get on the check get a free phone watch other people pay for my mistake and watch obama slowly tax the working man to the
5:54 PM - 7 Nov 12

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
Phil Moffett
‏@philmoffett
@phillipmbailey @60Minutes to characterize “getting on the check” as some sort of secret movement is laughable #commonknowledge
6:05 PM - 6 Oct 13

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