Welfare to Works Ride By, Yang

Essay by tommy300000usHigh School, 12th gradeF, August 2002

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Welfare to Work Ride

My paper is Welfare Reform and is called, "Welfare to Work Ride" from the Washington Post dated August 30, 1999. The article states that although welfare caseloads have dramatically decreased and many who left welfare are working, many former welfare families continue to struggle. Welfare reform has not succeeded or failed...

The 1996 reform fundamentally changed welfare. The old welfare program sent out assistance checks. New welfare programs must help recipients prepare for and move into work. Further, the new law limits the time most families can receive benefits to at most five years over their lifetime. In some states the limit is 21 months.

Since reform, many families have moved from welfare to work. In 1997 three-fourths of all families that left welfare had an employed adult. But many of the jobs former recipients hold are low-wage and don't come with benefits, such as health insurance.

The average hourly wage for these working welfare leavers is $6.61. Average monthly earnings for these families total $1149.

Another reason why caseloads have dropped enormously was that many of these families are not receiving benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid that should be received to help low income families. Only a third of former recipient families are receiving food stamps, and only about half of their children have Medicaid. One-third of families that left welfare report having to eat smaller or fewer meals because food is in short supply, while nearly 40 percent report problems paying rent, mortgage or utility bills.

The decline was due to the lower percentage rate of eligible family participating in these programs because of the new welfare program rules, wider variation in eligibility rules across public safety net programs, and new eligibility rules for immigrants. Some states required applicants to search...