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Welfare Reform Essay

1346 words - 6 pages

Welfare Reform
A number of countries across the globe do have welfare programs, essentially these are government systems aimed at helping families and individuals in need. For instance, America has elaborate systems that aim to offer fairly complete systems, which aid Americans not only in monetarily terms but also through other forms of assistance such as medical care services, and work training programs (Rushefsky, 2013). Consequently, this paper seeks to understand how did the PRWORA Act of 1996 change America's welfare system? Moreover, we shall seek to know how a mandated vocational training or job skills program will help the current system.
The success of such welfare systems has ...view middle of the document...

For instance, over a period of 10 years, the number of Americans joining welfare increased from a partly 12.5 million in 1996 to over 4.2 million in the year 2009.
The reform Act made huge and notable changes in the manner which welfare services were provided to the citizens. For instance, AFDC has offered cash rewards to families with kids where the parents are unemployed, deceased, were absent, or incapacitated. The program draws funding from a number of sources, which include a combination of state and federal funds (Tanner, and DeHaven, 2010). However, the percentage of contribution varied from 50% to 80%, where the state is mandated with the task of allocating benefit levels, whereas, the federal government is tasked with the responsibility of determining eligibility prerequisites.
States hold the incentive to increase benefit levels since that would help draw supplementary federal payments. Thus, this would be imperative since it would guarantee a prolonged stay of recipients on the program. Welfare reform signed in the year 1996, eliminated most of federal payment and eligibility rules, providing states much greater elasticity to tailor their own systems. Moreover, the reforms abolished welfare’s “entitlement” condition such that no individual would get an automatic qualification to the benefits (Rushefsky, 2013). Thus, states are privileged to pick families of their choice, which they wish to help.
However, it was necessary for the states to continue spending over 80% of their earlier levels under their “maintenance of effort” proviso. The welfare reform compelled extensive work requirements to all of its recipients. For instance, the states are needed to provide over 50% of eligible welfare beneficiaries from single parent families partaking in various work activities (Weil, and Finegold, 2011). A two parent families, the contribution requirement is 90%. Nevertheless, states were awarded numerous credits and exemptions, which significantly decreased the number of beneficiaries needed to work. For instance, states obtain a credit according to their caseload reductions.
Due to the fact that welfare rolls have tumbled, the average effectual minimum work contribution requirement as in the year 2006 was barely 5% for all families and close to 18% for two parent families. In essence, for seventeen states and two regions, the results has shown impressive outcome for instance, the results shows that credit has reduced significantly the effectual work requirement to zero levels, and only twenty-one states have an effectual minimum bigger than 10% (Rushefsky, 2013). Consequently, nearly all states have carved-out bigger exemptions from such work requirement policies.
After all the exemptions, credits, and waivers are taken into consideration, only 32% of welfare beneficiaries were working in the year 2009. Whereas, the above figure is very low, it does show a considerable improvement over pre reform welfare. For instance, under the old...

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