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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the welfare policy in New York State. In a new period of tight public resources, New York confronted the fact that making work pay is costly and does not address the entire problem of poverty. The Welfare Reform Act of 1997 authorized two major cash assistance programs—Family Assistance and Safety Net Assistance. Despite the growing economic needs since the early 2000s, state cash assistance programs are not serving a large number of the individuals hit by recession. Food stamps are an important resource for poor and low-income families and a central element of a “make work pay” strategy. New York's experience in recent years shows limits to what even a wealthy, historically liberal, and highly urbanized state can do to support and reward work among low-income families.

Keywords: welfare policy, New York State, work pay, poverty, Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, food stamps

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