Complaining after Claiming: Fair Hearings after Welfare Reform

Lens, Vicki A.; Vorsanger, Susan Elizabeth

Over 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court granted welfare clients the right to an administrative hearing before the termination of their benefits. Fair hearings have since become a mainstay of the welfare bureaucracy, but there has been scant empirical research on them, particularly since welfare reform, which eliminated the entitlement status of welfare while emphasizing clients' obligations. This article reports on an empirical study of the fair hearing systems in New York, Wisconsin, and Texas. The findings indicate that fair hearings are rarely used but frequently successful. This article explores why clients so infrequently rely on fair hearings.

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Social Service Review

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Social Work
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October 16, 2012