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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2002): Social Security - Overseas

BENEFITS AND RESEARCH IN THE LABOUR MARKET

A. Sinfield

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 3, 2001, p. 209-235

Paper attempts to recognise some of the positive aspects of benefits and the labour market. The tendency to treat benefits as "passive" narrows the potential range of their positive and negative effects, and acts to close off many policy options available for reforming them.

DETERMINANTS OF FOOD STAMP PROGRAM EXITS

B. Mills et al

Social Service Review, vol. 75, 2001, p. 539-558

Impressive declines in TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) caseloads appear to have contributed to concurrent declines in Food Stamp Program participation. After controlling for earnings shocks, area economic conditions and other factors, a departure from TANF increases the likelihood of leaving the Food Stamp Program by 47%. Findings support suspicions that TANF reform measures may have indirectly fostered Food Stamp Program exits among poor families who are still eligible for assistance.

GENDER EQUITY WITHIN FAMILIES VERSUS BETTER TARGETING: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE FAMILY INCOME SUPPLEMENT TO EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

S. Phipps, M. MacDonald and F. MacPhail

Canadian Public Policy, vol. 27, 2001, p. 423-446

Under both the earlier Unemployment Insurance (UI) and its replacement Employment Insurance (EI), Canada has offered extra benefits to some claimants with dependent children. Paper assesses the effect of the replacement of the Dependency Rate (DR) under UI with Family Income Supplement (FS) under EI. Eligibility for the DR was based on individual earnings, while eligibility for the FS is based on family income. Concludes that while the FS has improved the targeting of benefits, many married women have lost entitlement or received lower benefits, thereby increasing the potential for inequity within families.

"HEALTH CARDS" WILL PAY FOR CARE ACROSS THE EU

A. Grice

Independent, Feb. 14th 2002, p. 12

Reports on proposals developed by the European Commission to increase the mobility of labour throughout the EU. Suggested measures include:

  • introduction of electronic "health cards" to enable people to obtain free medical treatment in any EU country;
  • full transferability of social security and pension rights;
  • a common immigration policy to facilitate entry for workers with valuable skills.

(See also Financial Times, Feb. 14th 2002, p. 8; Guardian, Feb. 14th 2002, p. 11)

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATION 1408/71 IN THE MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Y. Jorens and B. Schulte

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 3, 2001, p. 237-255

This article sets out the main results of the 2000 project set up to observe the implementation and application of regulation 1408/71 in the 15 Member States of the European Community. These reports present new information on how the regulations work and on implementation problems that were encountered. In general there is no strong call for a radical reform of the Regulations, however, the initiative to simplify the present Regulation 1408/71 is welcomed. At the same time, the member states feel that the legal instruments designed to co-ordinate the social security systems of the 15 member states will always be complex.

SELF-SUFFICIENCY, ECOLOGY OF WORK, AND WELFARE REFORM

R. H. Daugherty and G. M. Barber

Social Service Review, vol. 75, 2001, p. 662-675

The 1996 US Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act specifies self-sufficiency as the goal of Welfare Reform. Article traces the historical and philosophical roots of the concept of self-sufficiency, and looks at ways in which it can be clarified through the perspective of the ecology of work.

SOCIAL WORK VALUES, WELFARE REFORM, AND IMMIGRANT CITIZENSHIP CONFLICTS

R. M. Pinto

Families in Society, vol. 83, 2002, p. 85-101

Welfare reform in the US has threatened legal immigrants with loss of eligibility for federally funded benefits unless they become naturalised American citizens. This can cause family strife and psychosocial distress. Article explores the ethical dilemmas facing social workers confronted with such situations.

TAX POLICY AS SOCIAL POLICY; CANADIAN TAX ASSISTANCE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

M. J. Prince

Canadian Public Policy, vol. 27, 2001, p. 487-501

The Canadian federal tax system has several disability-related programmes dealing with income support and tax relief, and with promoting independent community living, education, employment, family support and care giving. The personal income tax system has become a frequently-used instrument for supporting disabled people and their families because of court decisions, sustained lobbying efforts by disability groups, the role of the Finance Department, and the active support of Parliamentary Committees. Despite advances, concerns remain over the coverage, adequacy and complexity of this assortment of provisions.

WELFARE OR WORK: WHICH IS BETTER FOR CANADIAN CHILDREN?

R. Kornberger, J. E. Fast and D. L. Williamson

Canadian Public Policy, vol. 27, 2001, p. 407-421

Study examined whether the employment status of parents in poor families is a predictor of child development by comparing the verbal development of children in working poor and welfare-dependent families. Findings showed that the verbal development scores of both groups of children were below the norm, regardless of parents' source of income. Findings also indicated that children from working poor families had slightly higher levels of verbal development that children from welfare-dependent families and that these developmental differences were only partially attributable to differences in home and family characteristics of the two groups.

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