The number of people on welfare in the United States is rising in some states, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. For the past six years, welfare rolls have experienced a steady decline, but that trend appears to have stagnated in most states, and reversed in about a dozen. Officials fear the situation will worsen if the economy weakens.
The majority of people receiving welfare are single women and their children, and 1990s welfare “reform” laws seem not to have improved the quality of life for these women. In addition to the recent increase in welfare cases, other studies have shown that many people forced off welfare rolls by restrictive time limitations and other so-called reform policies continued to live in severe poverty and hunger, sometimes without health insurance.