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Privacy Issues Affecting Welfare Applicants

By Allison I. Brown

Although welfare applicants always have had to surrender some privacy rights to obtain public assistance, the 1996 welfare reform law requires even greater information collection from welfare applicants. Thus advocates need to know the limitations on the government's information collection that the Fourth Amendment and civil rights law impose, and they need to understand the legal restrictions on the use of the information that government agencies collect from welfare applicants.

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