Category Archives: Welfare

New Article: “Excluding Non-Citizens from the Social Safety Net”

New Article: Wendy E. Parmet, Excluding Non-Citizens from the Social Safety Net, 49 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 525 (2021).

[Older book I missed]: Obama’s Welfare Legacy: An Assessment of US Anti-Poverty Policies

OWLBook: Anne Daguerre, Obama’s Welfare Legacy: An Assessment of US Anti-Poverty Policies (2017). Available on Cambridge Core as well. I missed this one when it came out which is why it is going up now.

New Book: Social Security Disability Law and the American Labor Market

DubinNew Book: Jon C. Dubin, Social Security Disability Law and the American Labor Market (2021). Overview below:

How social security disability law is out of touch with the contemporary American labor market

Passing down nearly a million decisions each year, more judges handle disability cases for the Social Security Administration than federal civil and criminal cases combined.

In Social Security Disability Law and the American Labor Market, Jon C. Dubin challenges the contemporary policies for determining disability benefits and work assessment. He posits the fundamental questions: where are the jobs for persons with significant medical and vocational challenges? And how does the administration misfire in its standards and processes for answering that question? Deploying his profound understanding of the Social Security Administration and Disability law and policy, he demystifies the system, showing us its complex inner mechanisms and flaws, its history and evolution, and how changes in the labor market have rendered some agency processes obsolete. Dubin lays out how those who advocate eviscerating program coverage and needed life support benefits in the guise of modernizing these procedures would reduce the capacity for the Social Security Administration to function properly and serve its intended beneficiaries, and argues that the disability system should instead be “mended, not ended.”

Dubin argues that while it may seem counterintuitive, the transformation from an industrial economy to a twenty-first-century service economy in the information age, with increased automation, and resulting diminished demand for arduous physical labor, has not meaningfully reduced the relevance of, or need for, the disability benefits programs. Indeed, they have created new and different obstacles to work adjustments based on the need for other skills and capacities in the new economy—especially for the significant portion of persons with cognitive, psychiatric, neuro-psychological, or other mental impairments. Therefore, while the disability program is in dire need of empirically supported updating and measures to remedy identified deficiencies, obsolescence, inconsistencies in application, and racial, economic and other inequities, the program’s framework is sufficiently broad and enduring to remain relevant and faithful to the Act’s congressional beneficent purposes and aspirations.

News Coverage: Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds

News Coverage: Jason DeParle, Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds, N.Y. Times, Jan. 24, 2022.

News Coverage: Can science solve the poverty problem?

News Coverage: M. Mitchell Waldrop, Can science solve the poverty problem?, Knowable Mag., Dec. 10, 2021.

New Article: “Participation in welfare legislation—A poverty-aware paradigm”

New Article: Yael Cohen-Rimer, Participation in welfare legislation—A poverty-aware paradigm, Regulation and Governance (2022). Overview below: 

“come live my life for a day” – why is this notion so important when it appears in people in poverty’s discourse? What is specifically problematic in welfare law legislators legislating for “the Other”? This article discusses the participation (or lack thereof) of people-in-poverty in legislation process of welfare law. The article juxtapose legislators “cookie-cutter” imagined poor, as exposed through archival research, and the real-life experience of people living in poverty, as exposed through in-depth interviews. The result is a more accurate picture of the problems of welfare legislation when it is done with no meaningful participation, both factual and rhetorical-conceptual. the empirical findings contribute to our understanding of the structural mechanisms perpetuating the exclusion of socially and economically marginalized populations from key stages of regulatory processes. Furthermore, these insights can be interpreted as paradigmatic of wider patterns of systemic exclusion.

New Article: The American Rescue Plan and the Future of the Safety Net

New Article: Brian Galle, The American Rescue Plan and the Future of the Safety Net, 131 Yale L.J. Forum 561 (2021). Abstract below:

In the year preceding the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), the unemployment insurance system in many states collapsed, leaving many workers to wait weeks and months to receive benefits. Millions more were ineligible despite losing significant sources of earned income.
This Essay examines the pressures that made the unemployment insurance (UI) system crumble and aims to sketch a way forward. UI cannot survive without much more extensive federal funding, and this Essay explores several design options.
I also propose tentative answers to the data issues and moral hazard worries that have been major obstacles to supporting the millions who work in part-time and gig jobs.
Finally, I examine the constitutional and budgetary obstacles to safety-net reform. For example, current federal budget rules perversely penalize efforts to enact “automatic stabilizers” built to respond immediately to future crises. In effect, these rules damage our economic future in the name of preserving it.

News Coverage: “How Tech Is Helping Poor People Get Government Aid”

News Coverage: Jason DeParle, How Tech Is Helping Poor People Get Government Aid, N.Y. Times, Dec. 8, 2021.

-Thanks to Susan Bennett for the heads up!

New Article: Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan

New Article: Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan, 131 Yale L.J. Forum 535 (2021). Abstract below:

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dramatically alters the federal government’s approach to redistribution in 2021. Among its boldest reforms are its temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the first time, ARPA authorizes meaningful cash support for nonworking families and childless workers, two groups that have been historically disadvantaged by social safety-net programs. This Essay considers ARPA’s effects on low-income American taxpayers, spotlighting in particular how the reforms will protect millions of households from being pushed into poverty or further into poverty as a result of paying taxes—a phenomenon called “fiscal impoverishment.” Policy makers must make ARPA’s reforms permanent in order to ensure that low-income taxpayers remain protected past 2021. As they work to do so, policy makers should be mindful of gaps in the tax credits that will undermine the reforms’ positive effects. This Essay identifies several such gaps and argues that Congress should legislate more dramatic inclusion for households with and without children.

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

News Coverage: Eli Hager, Utah Makes Welfare So Hard to Get, Some Feel They Must Join the LDS Church to Get Aid, ProPublica, Dec. 2, 2021.