Tags: Time-Limited | Welfare | Works

Time-Limited Welfare Works

Tuesday, 21 November 2000 12:00 AM

According to a story in the Tuesday issue of the Washington Times:

Instead of wreaking widespread harm to the poor and increasing poverty, as critics prophesized, Florida's reformed welfare program has done exactly the opposite.

A just-released six-year study conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation found that limiting the length of time welfare recipients may remain on welfare played a positive role by getting families to think of welfare as temporary, not permanent, and to set about seriously seeking employment.

In fact, so successful has been the Florida experiment that long before this survey was completed other states began to adopt similar time-limited welfare programs.

Florida's 1996 state statute set a five-year time limit on federal cash welfare to families.

Now, 42 states and the District of Columbia have set their own time limits, 17 states with limits of fewer than five years.

Archetype of the Florida program – indeed, the first in the nation and now a national model – is the Family Transition Program in Pensacola.

Between 1994 and 1999, FTP allowed most welfare families two years of benefits over five years and hard-to-employ recipients three years of benefits over six years.

All were required to engage in work-related activities at least 30 hours a week.

To help them find and keep jobs, they were also given a variety of services, supports and financial incentives, worth around $8,000 per person, over five years.

As part of the controlled experiment, about 2,800 welfare families were assigned at random to either the new FTP or to the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.

The results, over four years:

• Three-fourths of FTP parents found employment and were able to leave the program before using up all their welfare months.

• Six percent of FTP families stayed on welfare for three out of four years, compared with 17 percent of AFDC families who had extended welfare stays.

• FTP parents did better financially, averaging $1,500 more in earned income than AFDC parents after five years.

• FTP families were less likely to report housing problems and more likely to say they had enough money to make ends meet.

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According to a story in the Tuesday issue of the Washington Times: Instead of wreaking widespread harm to the poor and increasing poverty, as critics prophesized, Florida's reformed welfare program has done exactly the opposite. A just-released six-year study conducted by...
Time-Limited,Welfare,Works
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2000-00-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2000 12:00 AM
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