Why America Needs Work Requirements
- BY FGA
Work requirements for major welfare programs are in the news again.
The debt ceiling bill that just passed out of the House includes strengthening work requirements for childless, able-bodied adults on food stamps.
This policy idea is newsy—but it certainly isn’t new. Prior to federal restrictions, work requirements have been successfully introduced at the state level, with life-changing results for men and women on welfare.
In 2013, Kansas introduced work requirements for their food stamp program at a time when only one in five able-bodied adults on food stamps worked. Most were living far below the poverty level. After work requirements were implemented, nearly 60 percent of those leaving the food stamp program found employment within one year and their incomes rose by an average of 127 percent per year, more than offsetting the loss in welfare.
When Missouri implemented food stamp work requirements two years later, they had similar results, with able-bodied enrollment dropping and wages more than doubling upon leaving the program.
In Florida, the men and women who were able to escape dependency went on to work in more than 1,000 different industries.
Currently, millions of able-bodied adults are on welfare with no work requirement, trapping a new generation in the cycle of dependency. Helping these individuals move from welfare to work changes lives. Because work requirements work.