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Activation from Income Support in the US

Chapter

There is good news from the United States. The labour market is at nearly full employment and the number of persons receiving social assistance has reached a historically low level. This favourable economic context supported the political will for enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PRWORA)1 – signifying the “end of welfare as we know it.”

After decades of controversy over federal programmes for social assistance, the US Congress implemented a new activation concept, one containing a welfare-towork or Work-First approach while allowing wide discretion among the states in policy implementation. The aim was to reduce welfare dependency by helping welfare recipients leave welfare for work through supportive services and work requirements. The ultimate ambition of the reform was to convert the system from a presumption of state responsibility to one of individual responsibility. This posture regarding the government role for income security was implicit in other public programmes, and the 1996 welfare reforms replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) brought social assistance into line with this principle.

Keywords

Unemployment Insurance Fiscal Year Wage Subsidy Food Stamp Program Wage Supplement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of abbreviations

ADC

Aid to Dependent Children

ADCUF

Aid to Dependent Children with an Unemployed Father

AFDC

Aid to Families with Dependent Children

ATAA

Alternate Trade Adjustment Assistance

CalWORKs

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids

CCH

Commerce Clearing House

CEA

Council of Economic Advisors

CFR

Code of Federal Regulations

DHHS

US Department of Health and Human Services

DIME

Denver Income Maintenance Experiment

DUA

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

EITC

Earned Income Tax Credit

ETA

Employment and Training Administration

FAP

Family Assistance Program

FLSA

Fair Labor Standards Act

FR

Federal Register

FSEB

Federal-State Extended Benefits Program

FSEBA

Federal-State Extended Benefits Act of 1970

FUTA

Federal Unemployment Tax Act

GAIN

Greater Avenues to Independence

GAO

General Accounting Office (now General Accountability Office)

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GED

High School Graduate Equivalency Diploma

HHS

US Department of Health and Human Services

IDA

Individual Development Accounts

IRC

Internal Revenue Code

JSA

Job Search Assistance

MEED

Minnesota Employment and Economic Development program

MOE

Maintenance of Effort

NAFTA

North American Free Trade Act

NIT

Negative Income Tax

NJTC

New Jobs Tax Credit

NLS

National Longitudinal Survey

OECD

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

OFA

Office of Family Assistance in HHS

OJT

On-the-Job Training

OWS

Office of Workforce Security in the USDOL

PL

Public Law

PRWORA

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996

SC

US Supreme Court

SEA

Self Employment Assistance

SEITC

State Earned Income Tax Credit

SFAG

State Family Assistance Grant under TANF

SIME

Seattle Income Maintenance Experiment

SSA

Social Security Act of 1935

SSP

Separate State Program

TAA

Trade Adjustment Assistance

TANF

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

TEUC

Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation

TJTC

Targeted Jobs Tax Credit

TRA

Trade Readjustment Allowances

UC

Unemployment Compensation

UI

Unemployment Insurance

US

United States

USA

United States of America

USC

United States Code

USD

United States Dollar

USDOL

United States Department of Labor

W2

Wisconsin Works Program

WARN

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988

WDB

Workforce Development Board

WIA

Workforce Investment Act of 1998

WIN

Work Incentive Program

WOTC

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

WPRS

Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services

WtW

Welfare to Work

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law in MunichGermany
  2. 2.W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment ResearchKalamazoo
  3. 3.University of StellenboschSouth Africa
  4. 4.Centre for International and Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (CICLASS)South Africa

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