From July 1997 to June 1999, the state closed 102,425 welfare cases involving white aid recipients. Of those, 41,099–more than 40 percent–left the rolls because they earned enough income to no longer need benefits. By comparison, of the 238,535 minority cases closed, just 65,242 recipients–about 27 percent– left because they had jobs. Nearly half of the minority cases were closed because recipients failed to comply with department rules; 96 percent of those cases were later reinstated. At the same time, 38 percent of whites had their cases closed for non-compliance, and less than 1 percent of these cases were reopened.

Notes: The state defined those who enter and leave the rolls as “whites” or “non-whites.” Recipients no longer qualify for welfare when their incomes are at least 300 percent of public aid benefits. Income from sources other than work includes social security benefits and child support. Failure to comply with state rules includes missing appointments or failing to submit paperwork. Other reasons include recipients who are incarcerated or can not be located.

Source: Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Research and Analysis; analyzed by The Chicago Reporter