White House Report: 20% of Adults on Government Assistance Aren’t Working or Disabled

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has put out out a new report detailing its rationale for bumping up the requirement that those who receive some form of government assistance also be working, looking for work, or enrolled in some form of education or training.

The report highlights especially those adults who are of working age and are not disabled who receive benefits of some kind. How many? At this point in time, almost 20%. And this group has grown substantially in the past few decades:

“In 1979, 9.5 percent of non-disabled working-age adults received assistance from at least one of these four programs at some point during the year. By 2016, the share more than doubled, reaching 19.4 percent. Medicaid and SNAP receipt among nondisabled working-age adults has grown the most, especially since the year 2000, while AFDC/TANF receipt has declined since welfare reform in the 1990s (Figure 6b).22 In other words, almost one in five non-disabled working-age adults now receives welfare benefits from one of these four programs over the course of a year, with the vast majority coming in the form of noncash benefits.”

The major goal of CEA’s report, of course, is to show that expanding work requirements will discourage these able-bodied adults from relying on government benefits and instead promote greater self-sufficiency and a boost out of unnecessary dependence.

The Council’s full report can be read here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Expanding-Work-Requirements-in-Non-Cash-Welfare-Programs.pdf