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2003 September - October

Time Limits, Employment, and State Flexibility in TANF Programming

How States Can Use Time Limits and Earnings Disregards to Support Employment Goals, Preserve Flexibility, and Meet Stricter Federal Participation Requirements

By John Bouman, Margaret Stapleton & Deb McKee

Work participation rates may become stricter after Congress reauthorizes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the welfare program mandated in 1996. States may have to adjust their programs to comply with the federal requirements and create work incentives for recipients. Maintaining state programming flexibility with state cash assistance, work supports, time-limit relief, income disregards, and other methods is critical to working recipients' adequate support.

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When Cash Aid and Food Stamps Become a Gateway to Prison and What You Can Do About This

By Evanne O'Donnell, Laurel Blankinship & Jodea Foster

Consulting with a criminal defense attorney early in and throughout the administration of a welfare fraud case can help the legal aid advocate's client assert rights to public assistance without jeopardizing rights in criminal court. Advocates should understand the nuances of their state's welfare fraud detection programs and how a civil case turns criminal.

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Protecting Low-Income Communities from the New "Urban Renewal"

Antidisplacement Advocacy and Relocation Rights Enforcement

By S. Lynn Martinez

As in the urban renewal programs decades ago, lower-income households face displacement during the current "wave" of revitalization. Residents can protect themselves by weighing in on plans. Protective federal relocation laws are triggered when public funding or a governmental agency is involved. State laws and local ordinances may supplement protection.

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