Download e-book for iPad: Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need by Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)

By Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)

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Additional info for Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden

Sample text

As a result, eligibility determination is generally more comprehensive and intricate than for other income programs because the adequacy of all other sources of support must be evaluated. Documentation requirements may also be considerable, reflecting less trust in claimants’ statements as compared to less stigmatized programs. Regulations often also further restrict support to a subset of the income LINKING WELFARE CASEWORKER DECISION MAKING 25 poor based on other “deserving” characteristics, such as having a dependent child.

Insufficient employment office resources often result in preferential assistance for those with unemployment insurance entitlements. Employment office services also tend to be targeted to those with marketable skills and recent employment histories; welfare recipients as a group are generally “further from the labor market,” requiring more substantial forms of intervention, which employment offices do not traditionally offer. As a result, local welfare agencies often face a distinct set of challenges in moving recipients off the rolls and into work.

Granting recipients support for “special needs” and helping recipients access more secure, alternative forms of public support are central activities. The utilization of this discretion, however, is significantly constrained by the demands of their work. They contend with a unique level of regulatory complexity stemming from the continued generation of new guidelines for one-time payments; the unusually broad range of needs over which they have jurisdiction, including complicated areas of disability and institutional care; and the distinctly difficult task of identifying alternative, precedential forms of public support in Germany’s larger social security system.

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