Welfare States

How the Southwest Transformed Welfare

Welfare reform allowed states to choose how they provide assistance to the poor — or hardly provide it at all. In the rapidly changing Southwest, that has sometimes led to bizarre or impossible requirements for getting help.

The Cruel Failure of Welfare Reform in the Southwest

A ProPublica series has found that in Nevada and neighboring states, boom times hastened the demise of cash assistance for the poor — but not poverty.

States Are Hoarding $5.2 Billion in Welfare Funds Even as the Need for Aid Grows

Bonnie Bridgforth supported five children with an $8.50-an-hour job when she was told she no longer qualified for welfare in Maine. But the state — like so many others — was sitting on a huge stockpile of funds.

A Mother Needed Welfare. Instead, the State Used Welfare Funds to Take Her Son.

Arizona spends a majority of its welfare budget on the Department of Child Safety. The agency then investigates many poor parents, sometimes removing their children for reasons stemming from their poverty.

Head of New Mexico Child Support Agency Asks State to Stop Intercepting Payments to Poor Families

Following a ProPublica investigation, the New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division is calling on the state Legislature to stop funding the agency with millions in child support confiscated from single mothers who previously received welfare.

Utah Makes Welfare So Hard to Get, Some Feel They Must Join the LDS Church to Get Aid

Utah’s safety net for the poor is so intertwined with the LDS Church that individual bishops often decide who receives assistance. Some deny help unless a person goes to services or gets baptized.

Para obtener asistencia social, estas madres solteras se ven obligadas a compartir casi todo lo que saben sobre los padres de sus hijos

Las mujeres que solicitan asistencia social tienen que identificar al padre de sus hijos, y cuándo quedaron embarazadas, entre otros detalles personales. El gobierno utiliza esos datos para reclamarle la manutención al padre y se embolsa el dinero.

These Single Moms Are Forced to Choose: Reveal Their Sexual Histories or Forfeit Welfare

Women who apply for welfare often have to identify who fathered their children and when they got pregnant, among other deeply personal details. State governments use that information to pursue child support from the dads — and then pocket the money.

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