This paper illustrates an approach for analyzing case law within the framework of social welfare programs and policies. Drawing on a framework first developed by Burns and later expanded by Gilbert and Specht, selected court decisions related to income maintenance are categorized on the basis of four parameters: basis of social allocation, the nature of social provisions, the structure of the delivery system, and the method of financing. Unlike the legal framework typically used to analyze court decisions, an assessment of court decisions along the parameters of social welfare policies and programs highlights the court's role and its importance in social welfare policy.

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