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Welfare Reform: Three States' Approaches Show Promise of Increasing Work Participation
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Recent welfare reform legislation puts time limits on welfare benefits and requires welfare recipients to participate in work and work-related activities. Moreover, the new law requires states to have a minimum percentage of their caseload participating in such activities to avoid a financial penalty. Even before passage of the law, many states were exploring ways to boost participation in work by reforming their welfare programs through waivers of welfare program rules, which allowed them to try innovative approaches. GAO reviewed welfare experiments in three states--Massachusetts, Michigan, and Utah--to get a sense of (1) the policies and programs the states initiated under waivers to increase participation in work and work-related activities and (2) whether states with statewide waivers achieved participation rates comparable to those specified by the new federal law. (U.S. Government Accountability Office)
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