Study Reveals Race Plays Pivotal Role In How States Dole Out Welfare Benefits

Articles | June 9 2017

By Tanasia Kenney

The amount of cash welfare assistance available to families in poverty and the terms under which they can receive it largely depend on where they live, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute.

The report, published Tuesday, June 6, unveiled stark racial and geographic disparities in the way states disburse cash welfare, also known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Researchers found that TANF policy decisions are significantly tied to race, as states with larger African-American populations have less-generous and more-restrictive TANF policies. In addition, these states also often have shorter periods of eligibility for assistance, tougher conditions to maintain benefits and harsher penalties against those who break state welfare rules.  (Read more)