facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Welfare rolls up after years of decline

June 22, 2009 at 3:48 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. welfare rolls are on the rise in many states for the first time in more than a decade, an analysis shows.

Welfare caseloads rose in 23 of the 30 largest states, which comprise 88 percent of the nation's population, for the year ending in March, said the analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Early in the recession, welfare cases rose slowly and fell in some states, the Journal said, but now more people are resorting to the government checks as their unemployment benefits run out.

The increase marks the first since then-President Bill Clinton pledged to "end welfare as we know it" through legislation he signed in 1996.

Welfare cases had hit a high of about 5 million in 1995, then declined sharply with the law that limited benefits to five years, with some exceptions, and stressed getting welfare recipients into jobs. The number of families on welfare was at 1.6 million in September, the most recent date for which national tallies are available.

Among individual states, Oregon's total was up 27 percent in May from a year earlier, while South Carolina had a 23 percent increase. California had a 10 percent jump in the year ending in March.

In recent months, New York has had a 1.2 percent increase, Illinois a 3 percent jump and Wisconsin 3.9 percent.

Welfare rolls are falling in Michigan and New Jersey.

The expansion of welfare rolls signals the system is working as it should at a time of increased need, some experts said.

"To me, it's good news," says the Brookings Institution's Ron Haskins, who helped draft the 1996 welfare-overhaul law as a Republican congressional staff member. "This is exactly what should happen."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus
2
Conservative darling Ben Carson considering 2016 bid Conservative darling Ben Carson considering 2016 bid
3
Body of missing realtor Beverly Carter found Body of missing realtor Beverly Carter found
4
$900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station $900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station
5
Imran Khan claims record-breaking rally in Pakistan Imran Khan claims record-breaking rally in Pakistan
Trending News
x
Feedback