Sanctions and Welfare Reform

Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher: Brookings Institution

Author(s): Dan Bloom; Don Winstead

Research Area: Economic Inequality

Keywords: Welfare Reform

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


Sanctions will be an important discussion topic in 2002 when Congress debates reauthorization of the 1996 welfare reform law. There is little hard evidence to inform this debate. We believe states should continue to have flexibility in setting sanction policies. To reduce inappropriate sanctions, Congress could expand the types of work activities for disadvantaged recipients, and require states to describe both how they will inform recipients about exemptions from work requirements and what is required to remove a sanction.