Years Pass, But Question Remains: Is NYC Denying Welfare? (City Limits)

The culture clash over New York’s falling welfare rolls — are they a sign of policy success or failure? — rears its head at a city council hearing:

On one thing there is no argument: Since 1995, when it reached a peak of 1.1 million, the number of New Yorkers receiving cash assistance has dropped dramatically, falling to a low of 334,000 in late 2008 before rising slightly and then falling again during the recession.

But despite the passage of years since the Giuliani administration launched welfare reform, and substantial policy changes under Mayor Bloomberg, a fundamental issue still divides city welfare officials on the one hand, and some New Yorkers receiving welfare and the social-service workers who advocate for them on the other: Is the city blocking people from receiving benefits to which they are entitled?… [read more]