Following the financial crisis, work requirements for welfare went out the door. The Department of Agriculture allowed states to suspend work requirements for food stamps, an opportunity which many states quickly seized upon.
While it was perhaps appropriate during the depths of the recession, we are no longer in that economic environment yet many states still haven’t re-strengthened their welfare systems by requiring work.
Kansas became one of the first states to re-institute work requirements for welfare. As for what happened next:
“These reforms immediately freed nearly 13,000 Kansans from welfare,” the report detailed. “Nearly 60 percent of those leaving food stamps found employment within 12 months and their incomes rose by an average of 127 percent per year. That higher income more than offset the food stamps they lost, increasing economic activity and bringing in new resources for other state priorities.”
Other states were slow to follow Kansas, nevertheless they have begun reinstating food stamp work requirements, too. In 2015, 40 states still had the requirements waived, but 23 of those states started 2016 by reinstating them. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warned Jan. 21 the policy shift was damaging because it meant 500,000 people will lose benefits.
“Long-term welfare caused severe damage,” the reported continued. “The data shows that the less time these able-bodied adults spend on welfare, the quicker they can get back into the workforce once they are freed from welfare and the more money they will make.”
H/T The Daily Caller