close print view
Direction 3 - Eliminating the Work-History Requirement (1992)
Current AFDC policy requires that in a two-parent family, one of the parents must have a recent work history for the family to be eligible for public assistance. Parents without this work history sometimes separate to make the family eligible. To encourage families to remain together, eligibility will be based on financial need only, eliminating the need for
a recent work history.
Federal policy requires that eligibility for two-parent families for Aid to Families with Dependent Children be based on a recent work history. One of the parents must have earned at least $50 from employment in six of the 13 calendar quarters prior to applying for public assistance. Many young couples with a child do not meet that criteria.
Currently, if neither of the parents meets that qualification, they may separate in order for the children and at least one parent to qualify for AFDC and medical benefits.
Children function better in two-parent families and are also less likely to grow up in poverty. This proposal will encourage young, low-income parents to marry and share responsibility for their children.
Families that stay together and participate in education and training programs to prepare for employment will be stronger, and their dependency on AFDC will be for a shorter period then those families which separate to remain eligible.