Arizona’s decision to withhold welfare checks because of the federal government shutdown appears to make it the only state to cut off funding for the very poor because of the budget crisis, according to policy experts.
The state stopped payments averaging $207 a week to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families after Tuesday’s government shutdown. TANF provides cash assistance and other support to low-income children and their parents.
The Arizona Republic reports the decision came despite assurances from federal officials that states would be reimbursed for any payments they made for the federal program. It also comes as the state sits on a $450 million rainy day fund.