Claims of Excessive Welfare Payments in Wisconsin

HRD-77-125: Published: Aug 3, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 1977.

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Federal regulations require Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) state plans to specify in dollars the statewide standards to be used for determining the needs of applicants and recipients and the amount of the assistance payment. In comparison with other states and the District of Columbia in July 1976, Wisconsin's monthly need standard of $466 for an AFDC family of four ranked fourth, and its payment standard and maximum payments to AFDC families of four of $424 ranked third. Wisconsin ranked third in average payments per family and per recipient for July 1976.

In 1973 Wisconsin established a consolidated need standard to replace its administratively complex standard which was based on family need for individual consumption items. In computing the monthly allowance, Wisconsin averaged the autumn 1971 Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) lower level budget figures for the cities of Green Bay and Milwaukee. Since 1973, Wisconsin has periodically adjusted its need standard by using updated BLS lower-level budget figures. Wisconsin increased its payment standard from 81 percent of the need standard, excluding shelter costs, to 91 percent of the standard, including shelter costs, in July 1976. Review of the amounts allowed for work-related expenses in the six states in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Region V showed that Wisconsin ranked second.

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