New York Warns of Worsening Welfare Caseloads

By Wetzstein, Cheryl | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

New York Warns of Worsening Welfare Caseloads


Wetzstein, Cheryl, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein

NEW YORK - Welfare caseloads here may rise by the spring because of the economic slowdown and the September 11 terror attacks, federal officials were told yesterday at one of their "listening tour" visits.

"With the attack on New York and large numbers of jobs dislocated," many workers in food service, hospitality and travel industries are being laid off, New York State Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick said at a gathering of about 80 state officials, caseworkers, trade group representatives and former welfare recipients in Manhattan's Marriott Marquis Hotel.

These employees, which include former welfare recipients, should be able to get unemployment checks or disaster relief temporarily, she said.

But "unless we are very vigorous in putting programs in place," the city could see an increase in the welfare caseload between six and nine months from now.

"We're certainly quite concerned about caseloads increasing . . . and it's something we're trying to monitor quite closely," said Wade F. Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who led yesterday's session.

He cautioned that national caseload changes "are mixed thus far," with some states reporting rising caseloads while others say their rolls are dropping or staying the same.

Mr. Horn said that HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson hasn't been able to attend many of the listening sessions because of his involvement in September 11 issues. However, the secretary - a former governor who led Wisconsin's dramatic welfare reforms - is being carefully briefed on the sessions, Mr. Horn said.

Yesterday's event revealed broad support for the 1996 welfare reform law, which is up for reauthorization next year.

There was unanimous agreement that Congress should keep welfare funding at $16. …

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