Welfare Reform Doesn't Necessarily Help Poor

CLEVELAND (AP) - A new study finds that Ohio's new three-year limit for staying on welfare moved people off the public dole, but not necessarily out of poverty.

The Case Western Reserve University study found that 82 percent of the Cuyahoga County families kicked off the system when the new rules took effect in October 2000 were living in poverty six months later. Their median monthly income was $790.

The poverty rate was 63 percent for those who left welfare before they ran out of time.

But Ohio's welfare reform policy administrator, Joel Potts, says that welfare reform has been a success.

He says that approximately 97 percent of the Ohio families on welfare in October 1997 left the system before reaching their time limits in October 2000.

The study report says that interviews with former recipients six months after leaving welfare found that 78 percent had worked at least part of the time, but only a third had steady employment.

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