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Center for Comparative Family Welfare and Poverty Research

Comparative Studies that Examine How Industrialized Nations Respond to the Needs of Working Families

Income maintenance programs are at the very core of our social welfare system, providing financial support for those in need. Over the last decade, increasing fiscal constraints along with growing public dissatisfaction have created pressures for the reform of income maintenance programs. It is important that proposals to revise programs such as AFDC, General Assistance, Social Security Pensions, and Disability Insurance are informed by systematic analysis of data and that their implications are carefully examined.

This group's research agenda under the direction of faculty leader, Neil Gilbert, has been developed around the problems and issues of income maintenance programs in California. The programmatic focus includes: AFDC, General Assistance, SSI, and Social Security. Policy oriented-questions are being addressed such as: What are the implications of changes in the demographics of poverty in California? What are the costs and benefits of proposed cuts in General Assistance grants? What are the effects of various measures proposed to reform AFDC? How will proposals to extend the retirement age of Social Security affect the elderly in California? To what extent do recipients of General Assistance in California qualify for federal aid under SSI? This area fits closely with recent research conducted at the School of Social Welfare on the impact of GAIN in California, gender equality and social security, and the increasing use of incentives in income maintenance policy.