Work Requirements Tracker

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August 21, 2018
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Work Requirements Tracker

August 21, 2018
Explore work requirement policies in public assistance programs across states.

Last updated on October 26, 2020

Some public assistance programs require recipients to work, get job training, or perform other work-related activities to qualify for benefits. What’s required and who’s subject to work requirements vary widely across programs and states, and the rules are changing. 

As the Trump administration seeks to strengthen and expand these mandates, we’ll be laying out the current state of work requirements and tracking policy changes as they occur.





This tool compiles data from the Welfare Rules Databook, published by the Department of Health and Human Services; the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service; Urban Institute’s analysis of state Section 1115 waiver applications submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; and annual reports submitted to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development by Moving to Work demonstration sites.  Data found in this project will continue to be updated from these and other sources.  



This project is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of Urban's experts.

RESEARCHHeather HahnEleanor PrattEva AllenGenevieve M. KenneyDiane K. LevyElaine Waxman, and Nathan Joo

DESIGNChristina Baird


EDITINGSerena Lei, Michael Marazzi, and Archana Pyati

ILLUSTRATIONRoberuto/Getty Images

As an organization, the Urban Institute does not take positions on issues. Experts are independent and empowered to share their evidence-based views and recommendations shaped by research.