Welfare reform, welfare applications, learning disabilities, TANF


Since welfare reform of 1996, the use of extended application periods as a condition of welfare participation has become increasingly popular. Extended application periods include mandatory work activities and caseworker meetings for a period of time as a condition of and prerequisite to eligibility for welfare services. While much scholarly work has focused on welfare participants, we know comparatively less about those who apply for services but ultimately do not participate or receive benefits. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a random sample of twenty recent welfare applicants in the state of Wisconsin who did not complete the extended welfare application period. Beliefs about eligibility for a cash benefit, delayed welfare checks, and learningdisabilitiees merged as importantfactors that influence completion of extended welfare application periods.

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