Do welfare benefits vary significantly by state?

How much?

Are any states considered magnets as a result?

Do any have requirements to live in that state for a certain period before qualifying?

Depending on what kind of benefits might be involved (like, for example Social Security Disability?), they might even be administered by counties, with some degree of local decision-making. So possibly benefits may even differ from county to county.

I am not certain that I know my facts here. This is just an impression I have picked up. F’rinstance, I have a friend with AIDS who does not want to move from the county he is in because he claims the benefits he gets there might not be duplicated elsewhere. Take that FWIW I suppose.

The closest thing to Welfare that still exists, Temporary Assistace to Needy Families, is a federal/state partnership, and varies widely. The maximum monthly benefit for a family of three in Mississippi is $170, while in California it’s over $700. I didn’t check any other states. I doubt that there’s a lot of migration due to higher TANF benefits, as those eligible in low-benefit states won’t often have the resources to move, even if they’re willing to leave home, although I’m sure some people do it.

SSDI is a federal program. You may only qualify if you meet the federal requirements. State and local decision-making plays no role.

Not so sure you are completely correct. The paperwork submitted by you and your doctors and others gets sent to a STATE board of some sort for review, and the STATE board decides if your condition is a disability within the federal requirements. This implies to me that one board in one state and another board in another state may make different decisions in similar cases. But at least it’s not done county-by-county. When your case comes up for periodic review, I don’t know what level that gets done at.

My friend with AIDS, mentioned above, gets SSI and Medicare/MediCal and Section 8 (or whatever they’re calling it this week), and some part of that mix is administered by the county.

ETA: Looking at the web site you cited, I don’t see that it mentions anything about your application and medical records being sent to a state review board for the decision. But that’s what I think they do. I’ll poke around and see if I can find a cite.

(Responding to an earlier post by Duckster: )

Here it is. From my personal files, several documents from SSA making multiple references to “the State agency reviewing my claim” or similar wording, e.g.,
“The Social Security Administration and the State agency reviewing my claim do have my permission to contact my employer(s).”

“I understand that I may be requested by the State Disability Determination Services to have a consultative examination . . .”

And a letter stating “Your claim . . . has been sent to us . . .” on letterhead from State of California, Department of Social Services, Disability and Adult Programs Division.

So even for SSDI, it gets sent to a STATE agency to be reviewed and decided.

So the point here is, w/respect to the OP, there IS state involvement for this particular program (SSDI), with the implication that it may be handled differently from one state to another. Note we are discussing here the decision of whether the applicant is disabled or not. I don’t know if the state has any say in how much the applicant will get. (I suspect that the State is NOT involved in that part of it.)

What constitutes “welfare” then or does the TANF cover everything from food aid, to housing aid to childcare aid and everything else?

In the Netherlands welfare can vary per city, not by much. But for homeless people it could be a reason to choose to live a specific city

Heerlenfor instance had a disportinality large homeless population compared to nearby cities like Maastricht, because there benefits were slightly better

Um, you asked the original question. What did you mean by “welfare?”

Um, well…we could start with these three things that I mentioned, Mr D.

If you can’t help with that maybe you could help explain what Nametag meant by “the closest thing to welfare that still exists”

There has never been a program just called “welfare.” The benefits theoretically associated with that term are entitlement payments for the poor. While the poor are eligible for various aid programs, most of them have time limits, do not pay money to the the beneficiary, or have other provisions that prevent them from being relied on as “the dole” was in the UK. The old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was pretty close to it (no time limit, direct payments), but that ended under the Clinton administration and was replaced with TANF, which has a time limit and work-related requirements.

True for SSDI, but not other forms of welfare. Here is a description of welfare programs specific to San Francisco County. See also SF Prop N (2002), which reduced the then-existing $395/mo General Assistance benefit to $59/mo but added new services.

Thanks… my fault for using the term “welfare”.

I was attempting to ask about all forms of government assistance to individuals or on their behalf based on need and whether that varies by state.

Does TANF include payments for housing and daycare?

No program includes payments to individuals for housing, which is subsidized by direct payments to the landlord, funded via HUD’s Section 8 program. Most childcare assistance is managed the same way, though I can’t categorically assert that no agencies pay directly to parents. TANF includes none of this.

To answer your main question, I don’t know of any federal assistance for the poor that isn’t administered by state agencies; they’re block grants, and the states distribute the funds under broad guidelines, and pretty much as they see fit.

There are three main aspects of what can be called “welfare”:

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is food stamps. Now usually issued on an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card and limited to only food items (no alcohol, no paper products (paper towels, etc), no prepared food).

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is cash welfare. Much harder to get, also on EBT. Basically, if you don’t have kids, you’re probably not getting this.

Medicaid is medical assistance. Each recipient in the family has their own Medicaid card. Usually administered by regional insurance contractors through the state DPW (the particular contractors vary from region to region, which may be what Senegoid’s friend was talking about).

There are numerous smaller programs, including ESA (Emergency Shelter Allowance), a program to help pay for a car to get to work in, programs to pay for training and education, programs to pay for work clothing, etc. In our county office, those are handled by a separate Special Allowances unit.

Then there’s LIHEAP, which is seasonal and also handled by a separate unit that only does LIHEAP. (Seriously…they are absolutely running at full tilt from November through about April trying to get the local LIHEAP applications processed)

If you are including Medicaid as welfare, it varies significantly by state. For example, the upper income permitted to participate in CHIP (basically, an expanded version of Medicaid for children) varies from 160% of the federal poverty level to 400% of the federal poverty level, depending on the state you are in.

I recall in the late 90s, I knew of people, who moved to Minnesota as the benefits were better. I think the state changed a lot since then. But the benefits are not uniform from state to state.