Waivers Gone Wild

Key Findings

  • Waivers were intended to provide a temporary pause of work requirements during economic crisis, but federal loopholes have allowed states to game the system, keeping millions of able-bodied adults trapped in dependency.
  • The U.S. economy is booming, yet more than a third of the country still lives in an area where able-bodied adults are exempt food stamp work requirements.
  • States have abused the waiver process by gerrymandering areas and using old data, allowing them to waive work requirements despite near record-low unemployment and millions of available jobs.

BOTTOM LINE:
Work requirement waivers are being abused. Congress and the Trump administration should take steps to close this massive loophole and rein in waiver abuse to protect resources for the truly needy and move able-bodied adults from welfare to work.