Work Requirements are Working in Arkansas: How Commonsense Welfare Reform is Improving Arkansans’ Lives


In 2015, Arkansas—like most states—waived these commonsense work requirements for all able-bodied adults. But in one of his first major policy moves as chief executive, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson let the state’s waiver expire and directed the Arkansas Department of Human Services to implement work requirements for childless adults beginning January 2016.

This reform was truly unprecedented for Arkansas: in the two decades after these requirements were first created by Congress, Arkansas had never enforced the work requirement statewide. Arkansas has since become a national leader on welfare reform and thousands of able-bodied adults have moved from welfare to work.