Academic journal article Human Ecology

Welfare Benefits May Not Keep People Healthy. (Policy Analysis and Management)

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Welfare Benefits May Not Keep People Healthy. (Policy Analysis and Management)

Article excerpt

WHILE UNEMPLOYMENT payments can help protect recipients against health deterioration during forced unemployment, welfare benefits don't, finds an international study by Eunice Rodriguez, associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management and Cornell's Sloan Program in Health Services Administration.

Examining data from the United States, Britain, and Germany, Rodriguez says, "In all three countries, unemployed persons who received welfare or similar benefits reported negative health effects since losing their jobs, even when factors such as previous health, education, and household income were controlled for in the analysis. The jobless who received unemployment insurance payments or similar entitlement benefits, however, did not show this negative health effect. Rather, their perceptions of their health were not different from those of full-time working people."

The unemployed who received welfare-type benefits might not only bear a heavier weight of disadvantage than those who don't need them, says Rodriguez, but also might experience additional stress from the stigma of receiving social welfare services.

She analyzed data on almost 31,500 people in the three countries, available in the "Household Panel Comparability Project" database. Rodriguez's findings are published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health. …

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