Q:

What is the race percentage for welfare recipients?

A:

Quick Answer

As of July 8, 2014, the demographic breakdown of welfare recipients was 38.8 percent Caucasian, 39.8 percent African American, 15.7 percent Hispanic, 2.5 percent Asian and 3.3 percent Other. There are 12.8 million Americans on welfare, which is equivalent to 4.1 percent of the U.S. population.

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Full Answer

Welfare began during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the number of families that were in need of food, clothing and housing became so great that the existing resources of local governments and private charities could not adequately help. At the start of the Great Depression in October 1929, there were already 18 million Americans struggling to survive. By 1933, an additional 13 million Americans had lost employment, and the head of the federal Children's Bureau reported that 20 percent of the nation's school children showed signs of poor nutrition, housing, and medical care.

On Aug. 18, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which, in addition to establishing a federal retirement program for Americans over the age of 65, created a national welfare system. This new welfare system provided assistance to dependent children under the age of 16, the unemployed, the needy and the disabled. Significant changes were made to welfare in 1996 when President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which provided some federal funding to states to assist the poor. States are expected to take steps to ensure welfare recipients are being encouraged to take steps to return to employment.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you qualify for welfare in Ohio?

    A:

    Eligibility for welfare in Ohio varies and is determined by many factors such as region, employment status, size of household and the applicant's ability to work. A key factor in welfare eligibility is whether or not the person can still work or is prevented from working due to a disability.

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  • Q:

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of welfare?

    A:

    Some of the most obvious advantages of public welfare include a greater level of equality amongst citizens, happier people and less crime. Some of the greatest disadvantages of welfare include high tax rates and large government deficits to support the programs. Welfare programs are also thought to create a system that favors high unemployment and low productivity amongst those receiving benefits.

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  • Q:

    When did welfare start?

    A:

    Welfare, like many social programs, began during the Great Depression. While the programs of the New Deal helped increase employment, single mothers and widows with children to care for still needed protection. Aid to Dependent Children was established in 1935 to provide financial assistance to those women and children.

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  • Q:

    What are welfare qualifications?

    A:

    Whether or not families and individuals qualify for welfare depends on several factors, including income, size of family and emergency situations like homelessness, hospital visits and teenage pregnancy. Welfare requirements vary among states and from case to case. When considered for welfare, individuals and families receive a documented case, which undergoes evaluation by a case worker to determine eligibility for welfare designation.

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