Social Protection / Welfare

This section includes general literature on measures to protect and assist those in need. Specific topics such as housing and food security are included in the relevant sections eg: Property Law & Housing; Food, Agriculture and Animals.

Beard, Virginia, 'COVID-19: Poverty, Housing, Homelessness - A Broad View and a Picture from West Michigan' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3613030, 28 May 2020)
Abstract: Housing...shelter...is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. The current COVID-19 public health crisis is causing economic hardship on families and individuals, hurting disproportionately people already living in tenuous economic situations. Sectors most severely impacted by the economic shutdown employ notable numbers of such families and individuals, who now are without jobs, receiving temporary unemployment assistance, without certainty that their jobs will again be made available. In order to mitigate the additional negative outcomes of these unprecedented twin global health and economic crises, policy makers across levels of government must work together to prevent an extreme loss of housing and the related negative consequences outlined in this paper. Given Michigan has experienced one of the worst sets of recessions over the last 20 years, it is an important case study in understanding the economic impact, particularly on housing, of these crises. This paper presents an overview of the concerns in the ability to pay for housing springing from the economic impact of the public health shutdowns using west Michigan as an illustrative example. It further recommends policy actions to mitigate the most negative impacts on housing access applicable both in Michigan and nationwide.

Benfer, Emily A et al, 'Health Justice Strategies to Combat the Pandemic: Eliminating Discrimination, Poverty, and Health Inequity During and After COVID-19' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3636975, 1 June 2020)
Abstract: Past infectious disease epidemics in the United States and governmental responses to them made it highly predictable that people living in poverty, people of color, and people with disabilities would bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic due to discrimination that limits equal access to resources, such as health care, housing, and employment. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified and accelerated the impact of longstanding discrimination and health inequity among historically marginalized groups and low-income populations. Black and Latinx populations have a higher COVID-19 contraction and mortality rate, higher rates of unemployment, less access to health care, and are at higher risk of eviction during the pandemic, among other significant inequities. Without robust and swift government interventions, the impacts of the pandemic will be wide and deep. This article analyzes mechanisms of discrimination and barriers to health in the pandemic setting using the health justice framework to address discrimination and poverty. The health justice framework offers four overarching principles to prevent and eliminate health disparities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. First, legal and policy responses must address the impacts of discrimination and poverty on the social determinants of health, which in turn threaten to exacerbate the health, financial, and social impacts of a public health emergency on low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized communities. Second, interventions mandating healthy behaviors--such as staying at home from work when sick, mask wearing, and minimizing close contacts outside the home--must be accompanied by legal protections, accommodations, and social supports to enable those behaviors while minimizing economic, social, and cultural harms. Third, because emergencies typically exacerbate long-standing and interconnected crises in low-income communities and communities of color, legal and policy responses must address root problems in addition to immediate needs. Fourth, historically marginalized communities must be engaged as leaders in the development of any interventions and the attainment of health justice. To demonstrate the application of the health justice framework and principles, this article focuses upon three pillars that support resilience and equip marginalized communities to withstand the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic: health care, housing, and employment. This article explains how health care discrimination is a social determinant of health, how lack of access to health care operated as a barrier to health justice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and applies the health justice framework to address health inequity. Then this article explains how housing and eviction are social determinants of health, how housing discrimination is a barrier to health justice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests way to achieve health justice in housing. Finally, this article discusses how poverty and employment inequity are social determinants of health, how structural discrimination is an accelerator of employment inequity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests how health justice principles can help achieve equity in employment. Ultimately, the framework can be adopted across numerous social determinants of health and structures to ensure the elimination of discrimination, poverty, and poor health among marginalized people during and after the pandemic.

Benfer, Emily A et al, 'Public Health Amici Curiae Brief in Support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eviction Moratorium' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3708504, 9 October 2020)
Abstract: Eviction moratoriums help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Millions of Americans entered the COVID-19 pandemic vulnerable to eviction due to a preexisting affordable housing crisis. The economic recession and widespread job loss resulting from the pandemic increased hardship among renters, who often lack savings to cover expenses during an emergency. COVID-19-related job and wage loss left millions unable to afford rent. This has created an unprecedented eviction crisis that disproportionately affects low-income populations and communities of color and increases COVID-19 infection and mortality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ('CDC') issued an agency order ('CDC Order') to pre-vent evictions from spreading COVID-19 and worsening public health.Evidence suggests that eviction moratoriums effectively slow the spread of COVID-19. Without these moratoriums, evictions will likely increase to unseen heights, facilitating the transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Preliminary research and modeling demonstrate that eviction is associated with in-creased COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. The consequences of eviction (such as overcrowding, homelessness, and housing instability) increase contact with others and hinder compliance with the key strategies to contain COVID-19, including social distancing, self-quarantining, and hand hygiene. The people most at risk of eviction are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Low-income populations are often exposed to social determinants of poor health and have chronic illness or disability and, as such, are at risk of serious complications or death when they contract COVID-19. People of color are more likely to have lost jobs, face eviction, contract COVID-19, lack access to healthcare, and fall severely ill with the virus. Protecting public health during this pandemic re-quires protecting those most likely to contract, spread, and die from COVID-19. These deleterious health impacts and the spread of COVID-19 are tied to the act of eviction itself and are likely quite preventable if eviction is halted under the CDC's moratorium. The brief was prepared by Emily A. Benfer, the Yale Law School Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and the Southern Poverty Law Center in consultation with Yale School of Public Health faculty and with the aid of legal interns at the Wake Forest University School of Law and Yale Law School.

Beylin, Ilya, 'The Ignominious Life of the Paycheck Protection Program' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3661005, 6 July 2020)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic gravely endangers the health of millions of Americans. Private and public safety measures adopted to reduce infection, however, are also a source of existential risk. As U.S. infection rates increased in early March, 2020, unemployment and business dislocation surged. The bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) represents the first and largest federal attempt to manage economic fallout from the pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a lynchpin of the CARES Act. The PPP seeks to mitigate unemployment and closures in several vulnerable sectors of the economy including among tens of millions of small businesses, not-for-profits, and self-employed individuals. The PPP has disbursed over $500 billion to these sectors, providing a lifeline to millions of employees. Nevertheless, media, lawmakers and economists have criticized the PPP for inefficiently or inequitably distributing funds. This Article is the first work of legal scholarship that explains and examines the PPP. As a case study, this Article also provides insight into the design of economic interventions and their limitations as well as how the lawmaking process generates a narrative allocating responsibility for social trauma.

Borsio, Marcelo Fernando, Dariel Oliveira Santana Filho and Jefferson Carlos Carus Guedes, 'On the Urgency of an Emancipatory Hermeneutics of Social Security Law in the Post-Pandemic Era' (2021) 22(128) Revista Juridica da Presidencia 476-495
Jurisdiction: Brazil
Abstract: The present study aims to critically analyze the current hermeneutics of Social Security Law and its perspective in relation to the post-COVID-19 era, in view of the possible procedural pandemic - which will arise from the world emergency now faced - in all branches of law. The interpretation of Social Security Law cannot be limited, etymologically, to the radical hermeneutike as being the art of interpreting, linked only to the grammatical and merely rhetorical scope. Thus, understanding the dimension and scope of social security hermeneutics goes far beyond comparing it to the semiological meaning of a trivial interpretation of signs or to the legal perception of the interpretive framework of norms and principles. The pandemic caused by the coronavirus is breaking paradigms in several areas and, within the scope of Social Security Law.

Chaturvedi, Vibha, 'Informal Workforce in India: Challenges to Social Security in the Wake of Covid-19: A Comparative Analysis with SE Asia on Steps Taken' (2021) 10(2) International Journal of Modern Agriculture 1465-1471
Abstract: This paper explores the challenges of social security faced by the large unorganised workforce of India amidst this unprecedented situation of exigency. It also analyses the measures taken in India vis a vis South East Asia to counter the adverse impact of the contagion and what additional steps can the government of India take to safeguard the interests of this vulnerable section of the economy.

Dubash, Sabrina, 'UC, SEISS Payments and Automatic Reclaims' (2020) 277 Welfare Rights Bulletin 7-8
Abstract: Discusses the Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Self-employed Claimants and Reclaims) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 on how money paid under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) should be treated for the purposes of universal credit (UC) assessment and how UC can be reclaimed.

Eichhorst, Werner, Anton Hemerijck and Gemma Scalise, 'Welfare States, Labor Markets, Social Investment and the Digital Transformation' (IZA Discussion Paper No 13391, 22 June 2020)
Abstract: Barely having had the time to digest the economic and social aftershocks of the Great Recession, European welfare states are confronted with the even more disruptive coronavirus pandemic as probably, threatening the life of the more vulnerable, while incurring job losses for many as the consequence of the temporal 'freezing of the economy' by lockdown measures. Befor the Covid-19 virus struck, the new face of the digital transformation and the rise of the 'platform' economy already raised existential questions for future welfare provision. The Great Lockdown - if anything - is bound to accelerate these trends. Greater automation will reinforce working from home to reduce Covid-19 virus transmission risks. At the same time, the Great Lockdown will reinforce inequality, as the poor find it more difficult to work from home, while low-paid workers in essential service in health care, supermarket retail, postal services, security and waste disposal, continue to face contagion risks. And although popular conjectures of 'jobless growth' and 'routine-biased' job polarization, driven by digitization and artificial intelligence, may still be overblown, intrusive change in the nature of work and employment relations require fundamental rethinking of extant labour market regulation and social protection. Inspired more by adverse family demography than technological change, social investment reform has been the fil rouge of welfare recalibration since the turn of the century. Is social investment reform still valid in the new era of 'disruptive' technological transformation in aftermath of Coronavirus pandemic that is likely to turn into the worst recession since the second world war? Empirically, this chapter explores how Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, in terms of the strengths and vulnerabilities of their labour market to digitization, together with their respective social investment aptitude, are currently preparing their welfare states for the intensification of technological change in the decade ahead.

Estupinan, Xavier and Mohit Sharma, 'Job and Wage Losses in Informal Sector Due to the COVID-19 Lockdown Measures in India' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3680379, 25 August 2020)
Abstract: This paper estimates the job and wage losses of workers, using the lens of informality, due to lockdown measures undertaken by the Government of India to tackle the spread of COVID-19. It focuses on the first two lockdowns when containment measures in India were most stringent in the world. We estimate that 104 million and 69.4 million informally employed workers were at risk of job loss in Lockdown 1.0 and Lockdown 2.0 respectively. Informal workers lost more wages, 22.6 percent, than formal workers, 3.6 percent. Workers informally employed in unorganised sector suffered a wage loss, amounting to Rs. 635.53 billion, which is almost equivalent to annual union budget allotted for employment guarantee scheme MGNERGA in 2020-2021. The prevalence of informal labour markets calls for a larger change in the social protection framework to deal with the uncertain economic situation like the one we are facing today.

Falcettoni, Elena and Vegard M Nygaard, 'Acts of Congress and COVID-19: A Literature Review on the Impact of Increased Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Stimulus Checks' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3752834, 21 December 2020)
Abstract: This Note is meant to present an overview of what economists have analyzed regarding the implications of two main components of the CARES Act that impact individuals: the increased UI benefits and the stimulus checks. We present the findings from the literature on these two policies with an eye on potential future governmental interventions.

Foohey, Pamela, Dalie Jimenez and Christopher K Odinet, 'The Folly of Credit As Pandemic Relief' (2020) 68 UCLA Law Review Discourse 126
Abstract: Within weeks of the coronavirus pandemic appearing in the United States, the American economy came to a grinding halt. The unprecedented modern health crisis and the collapsing economy forced Congress to make a critical choice about how to help American families survive financially. Congress had two basic options. It could enact policies that provided direct and meaningful financial support to people, without the necessity of later repayment. Or it could pursue policies that temporarily relieved people from their financial obligations, but required that they eventually pay amounts subject to payment moratoria later. In passing the CARES Act, Congress primarily chose the second option. This option reflects a belief that offering people credit can bring them meaningful relief because it assumes that people will have the ability to pay back the loan as it becomes due. The assumption that people will be able to repay credit masquerading as "relief" in the wake of the pandemic is a serious error that will have enduring negative consequences.
In short, Congress got the balance between providing true money versus what amount to credit products to Americans fundamentally backwards. But given that, unfortunately, the effects of the pandemic likely will continue for months, if not years, it is not too late for Congress to adopt a family financial well-being approach to relief that provides meaningful, widespread, and expanded direct payments to households in distress.

Foohey, Pamela, Dalie Jimenez and Christopher K Odinet, 'CARES Act Gimmicks: How Not To Give People Money During a Pandemic And What To Do Instead' (2020) University of Illinois Law Review Online 81
Introduction: The coronavirus pandemic upturned Americans' lives. The profound financial effects caused by even a few weeks of the coronavirus' upheaval spurred Congress to pass the CARES Act, which purported to provide economic relief to individuals and businesses. For individuals, the CARES Act includes five provisions that were effectively designed to provide people money. Chief among those provisions are a direct payment in the form of a tax rebate and enhanced employment benefits. Ultimately, this financial support will prove to be shockingly minimal. The direct payments represent a fraction of the average American households' monthly budget. The unemployment benefits, while providing people with more money over several months, require that people be laid off and similarly are unlikely to reach people quickly enough to be effective. These corner pieces of the CARES Act are best understood as gimmicks. Through them, the federal government told people that it would take care of them in ways that were immediately salient to them as the coronavirus crisis began. It also became quickly apparent to at least some lawmakers that Congress would need to pass at least one additional stimulus package. Indeed, Congress may have several more opportunities to craft legislation that actually will help American families survive the pandemic. This legislation must provide people with true funding to stay current with their minimum necessary expenses as these expenses are incurred. In this Essay, we discuss the gimmicks of the CARES Act's individual provisions and what Congress should do for people in future bills to address this pandemic. If done right, helping individuals will cost the government more than $2 trillion next time, and the time after that, and possibly the time after that. And, if done right, it will be worth every penny.

Foster, David, 'Coronavirus: Local Authorities' Adult Social Care Duties (the Care Act Easements)' (House of Commons Library Briefing Paper No 8889, 10 July 2020)
Abstract: This Commons Library Briefing paper provides an overview of changes to local authority duties around the provision of adult social care during the coronavirus outbreak.

Frawley, Martin, 'Social Insurance Fund Facing Tough Challenges New Minister Advised' (2020) 30 Industrial Relations News 22-23
Abstract: Reports that, according to a brief prepared for the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Social Insurance Fund is set to record an operating deficit of almost EUR 2 billion, assuming that the impact of COVID-19 extends into 2021. Notes that there are already twice the number of collective redundancies in 2020 by comparison to the whole of 2019.

Gutierrez-Romero, Roxana, 'Conflict in Africa during COVID-19: Social Distancing, Food Vulnerability and Welfare Response' (SSRN Scholarly Paper No ID 3616421, 28 May 2020)
Abstract: We study the effect of social distancing, food vulnerability, welfare and labour COVID-19 policy responses on riots, violence against civilians and food-related conflicts. Our analysis uses georeferenced data for 24 African countries with monthly local prices and real-time conflict data reported in the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) from January 2015 until early May 2020. Lockdowns and recent welfare policies have been implemented in light of COVID-19, but in some contexts also likely in response to ongoing conflicts. To mitigate the potential risk of endogeneity, we use instrumental variables. We exploit the exogeneity of global commodity prices, and three variables that increase the risk of COVID-19 and efficiency in response such as countries colonial heritage, male mortality rate attributed to air pollution and prevalence of diabetes in adults. We find that the probability of experiencing riots, violence against civilians, food-related conflicts and food looting has increased since lockdowns. Food vulnerability has been a contributing factor. A 10% increase in the local price index is associated with an increase of 0.7 percentage points in violence against civilians. Nonetheless, for every additional anti-poverty measure implemented in response to COVID-19 the probability of experiencing violence against civilians, riots and food-related conflicts declines by approximately 0.2 percentage points. These anti-poverty measures also reduce the number of fatalities associated with these conflicts. Overall, our findings reveal that food vulnerability has increased conflict risks, but also offer an optimistic view of the importance of the state in providing an extensive welfare safety net.

Haber, Michael, 'Legal Issues in Mutual Aid Operations: A Preliminary Guide' (Hofstra University Legal Studies Research Paper No 2020-06, 5 June 2020)
Abstract: This is a preliminary guide to legal issues that impact groups engaged in mutual aid. It is targeted to groups that have been responding to the COVID-19 crisis in New York, but has information that may be relevant for groups engaged in mutual aid in other contexts and other places. It gives legal information on topics including: risk of liability; questions around governance and incorporation; safety policies, liability waivers, and insurance; banking and mutual aid; funding mutual aid and taxation of mutual aid; crowdfunding regulations; and food storage and safety rules.

Hallaert, Jean-Jacques, 'Inequality, Poverty, and Social Protection in Bulgaria' (IMF Working Paper No 20/147, 31 July 2020)
Abstract: Absolute poverty has dropped markedly in Bulgaria but income inequality has increased substantially in the aftermath of the GFC. This increase is due to a rise in market income inequality that was compounded by a reduction in fiscal redistribution. The redistributive role of direct taxation has declined with the introduction of a flat tax and social spending is relatively low and decreasing (as a share of GDP), is concentrated on a few social risks, and experienced a decline in its redistributive efficiency. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to deepen income inequality, increasing the room for redistributive policies.

Hammond, Andrew, Ariel Jurow Kleiman and Gabriel Scheffler, 'How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has and Should Reshape the American Safety Net' (San Diego Legal Studies Paper No 20-455, 12 June 2020)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered an unprecedented shock to the United States and the world. It is unclear precisely how long the twin crises, epidemiological and economic, will last. And it is difficult to gauge the extent and direction of the changes in American life these crises will cause. Nonetheless, it is beyond dispute that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting significant strain on both the ability of Americans to meet basic needs and our government's capacity to assist them. Federal, state, and local government have responded in various ways to deploy existing safety net programs like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), tax credits, and unemployment insurance to meet the surge in need. At this early stage of the crisis, it is worth a) identifying the ways in which the pandemic feeds on and exacerbates both racial and economic inequality in America, b) analyzing the government response in detail, c) considering which changes should outlast the current crisis, and d) how government, in the future, should build social welfare programs that are better suited to meet the needs of all Americans in the coming years. This Essay tries to do these four things in a way that is cogent and useful to legal and lay audiences alike.

Harris, Neville et al, 'Coronavirus and Social Security Entitlement in the UK' (2020) 27(2) Journal of Social Security Law 55-84
Abstract: Examines reforms made to UK social security administration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Discusses the rise in benefit claims, and changes to universal credit, housing benefit, jobseeker's allowance, the appeals procedure, statutory sick pay, and the position in Scotland. Considers the implications of the reforms, including issues of benefit access for the disabled and digital exclusion.

James, Sue, 'We Have Another Government U-Turn but It Must Do So Much More to Protect Renters' [2020] (September) Legal Action 5
Abstract: Discusses the importance of face-to-face advice in possession cases, the probable method of listing possession claims after the stay imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the use of review hearings, and the Government's extension of the stay on possession cases until 20 September 2020. Suggests why better welfare benefit advice would help reduce rent arrears issues and reduce unnecessary court hearings.

Jamaluddin, Siti Zaharah, Foo Yuen Wah and Mohammad Abu Taher, 'Covid-19: A Preliminary Assessment on the Social Security Framework for an Aged Malaysia' (2021) 47(1) Commonwealth Law Bulletin 55-71
Abstract: Covid-19 had created not only a health crisis but also a social and economic crisis. The need to control the pandemic forced the Malaysian Government to impose partial lockdown, disrupting the economic sector, resulting in hardship on the vulnerable groups. This pandemic allows the country's social security framework to provide assistance. To ensure the vulnerable groups are continued to be protected, the government had rolled out various assistance. This article examined the existing social security framework in responding to the pandemic. It also attempted to assess the said response in order to understand the effectiveness of the social security framework.

Kemboi, Leo Kipkogei, 'Kenya's COVID-19 Policy Responses Furthering Inequality' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3750751, 17 December 2020)
Abstract: The government response in appropriating more resources, public health responses, social protection measures and virtual learning in Education have excluded persons at different levels. Failure of government to respond appropriately have led to additional costs which cannot be recovered hence furthering economic inequality.

Layser, Michelle D et al, 'Mitigating Housing Instability During a Pandemic' (University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No 20-15, 29 May 2020)
Abstract: Housing instability threatens to impair the United States' policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic by undermining public health strategies such as social distancing. Yet, mitigation of housing instability has not been the focus of early emergency legislation, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which has focused on providing cash support to individuals and businesses. Although many of these laws have the potential to reduce housing instability, this Working Paper argues that they face barriers to effective implementation and take-up akin to those that hindered similar interventions during the Great Recession. These barriers--which include administrative hurdles, reliance on voluntary participation, resource constraints, and political pushback--may prevent these interventions from realizing their full potential. As a result, despite the unprecedented amount of aid that the CARES Act directs to individuals, the implementation of these aid programs may fail to effectively mitigate housing instability. For this reason, additional rental assistance and mortgage payment assistance may be necessary to prevent loss of housing that ultimately exacerbates the public health crisis. We also recommend a new civil right to counsel in eviction cases and targeted place-based interventions to promote affordable housing development where it is needed most.

Lind, Yvette, 'Allocating COVID-19 State Aid Equitably: The Case of Denmark' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3670653, 10 August 2020)
Abstract: Recently, individual states have decided to restrict COVID-19 financial aid measures to those who have paid taxes to said state thus generally excluding those who are working cash-in-hand/unreported employment, unemployed, students, or retired. This contribution assesses COVID-19 financial support packages with an emphasis on common state aid features targeting individuals with the intention to critically evaluate if, when, and how these measures discriminate against the socio-economic status of the recipient. The impact that COVID-19 has had on income-generating activities is especially harsh for unprotected workers and the most vulnerable groups in the informal economy. The preliminary results of this study indicate that impoverished and vulnerable groups such as immigrants, cash-in hand workers/unreported workers, unemployed, students, and pensioners are not only at risk of losing their sources of income due to the pandemic's economic effects, but they are also excluded from receiving crucial financial aid. This illustrates that there is great need for a revision of national COVID-19 policies and budget allocations to ensure a more equitable protection of individuals.

Lu, Lynn, 'Restorative Relationships and "Radical Help": Reimagining Welfare-to-Work Beyond the Market-Family Divide' University of Baltimore Law Review (forthcoming, 2021)
Abstract: The unprecedented global lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the extreme vulnerability of 'essential' yet underpaid workers, the vast inequality between the wealthy and the less fortunate, and the bottomless pit facing those without a social safety net. While the crisis has laid bare the near-universality of human susceptibility to disease and unemployment in a world in which few can safely work, it has also highlighted the disproportionate precarity experienced by low-wage and contingent workers, people of color, and non-citizens. Well before the pandemic, rampant socioeconomic and racial inequality, high underemployment and concentration of wealth, and technological advances threatened to render many human workers obsolete, powerless, and in need of social support and care. At the same time, in the United States, the Trump administration targeted an already shrunken social safety net for elimination through the extension of punitive workfare ideology originally reserved for poor, single mothers to all forms of government-funded support, including health care, nutrition, and housing assistance available those just above the poverty line regardless of parental status. Such ideology effectively conditions public support to needy individuals (some already employed at low wages) on their willingness and ability to engage in (more) work, regardless of pay, employment conditions, or caregiving obligations. Left to our own devices, whether in times of crisis or calm, advocates have sought to strengthen interpersonal relationships and community bonds for the provision of basic social support for the poor, as a way for ordinary people to help those whom the government will not. This Article examines two experimental models--restorative justice and 'radical help'--that seek to reform welfare administration explicitly to weave people back into the fabric of the social safety net. These social welfare innovations foreground human relationships as an underutilized resource to highlight the power of meaningful social connections to help those experiencing everything from disability and discrimination to bad luck not just avoid disaster, but thrive and flourish in strong communities. Each model emphasizes human relationships to help poor people benefit voluntarily from social supports and community engagement instead of punishing them for noncompliance with paternalistic and exploitative government program work mandates. Such relationships can center poor people's lived experiences and combine collaborative, localized, and responsive community support with technology to facilitate social networking and, ideally, increased economic security and empowerment. At the same time, without appropriate safeguards or oversight, overreliance on private relationships for social welfare provision risks replicating existing forms of disempowerment. In practice, both models risk reinscribing a private, marginalized sphere, neither restorative nor radical, in which those who perform the work of nurturing relationships remain subject to the will of those with power to offer or withhold assistance. Cautious optimism must be combined with meaningful protections in order to preserve the most promising aspects of new models while preventing the worst harms of what could be in effect a return to private, discretionary provision--or deprivation--of social support. Informed by feminist and antiracist theories critical of both market relations mediated by the state and private family relations entirely insulated from oversight, this Article concludes that we must continue to explore and adapt new models of welfare provision that truly protect and promote all human potential.

Lynch, Julia, 'Health Equity, Social Policy, and Promoting Recovery from COVID-19' (2020) 45(6) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 983-995
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed starkly and publicly the close interconnections between social and economic inequality, health equity, and population health. To better understand what social policies would best promote population health, economic recovery, and preparedness for future pandemics, we must look both upstream and abroad for inspiration. In this essay, I argue for a suite of near-term and longer-term interventions, including universal health insurance and paid sick leave, upgraded wage insurance policies, tax reform, investments in parental leave, child care, and education, and upgraded government record systems. Policies that equalize the distribution of the social determinants of health and promote social solidarity will also improve population health and economic performance and allow us to confront future pandemics more successfully.

Marques, Sergio Maia Tavares, 'Social Protection of Self-Employed Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Portugal and the Role of EU Law' [2020] (3) IgualdadES 437-454
Abstract: In recent years, the increasingly dominant economic structure in the EU has been ignited by digital platforms and e-tools that depend upon independent and precarious workers, in special after the financial crisis. Such background hampers the social protection rights of workers and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic they find themselves further exposed. This deprotection is even more evident concerning the self-employed, as independent workers, due to their precarious job relations, are less covered by social assistance than contracted ones. In Portugal, the national government approved an emergency aid to face this context. The present paper seeks to ascertain if such benefit, albeit possibly lawful in light of EU law, might be insufficient for the purpose of combating social exclusion. It lastly reflects how the EU could live up to its role of complementing national action in social matters.

Meers, Jed, 'Social Security Response to the Covid-19 Crisis' (2020) 27(2) Journal of Social Security Law 42-44
Abstract: Reviews key reforms made to the social security benefits regime in response to the coronavirus pandemic by the Coronavirus Act 2020 and secondary legislation. Summarises the main amendments concerning universal credit, carer's allowance, tax credits, housing benefit, statutory sick pay and the social fund.

Misic, Luka and Grega Strban, 'Functional and Systemic Impacts of COVID-19 on European Social Law and Social Policy' in Ewoud et al Hondius (ed), Coronavirus and the Law in Europe (Intersentia, 2020)
Abstract: In the contribution, the authors address functional or short-term and systemic or long-term effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on European social law and social policy. They focus on the legal and factual status of mobile workers and self-employed persons, the coordination of sickness benefits in kind and cross-border provision of healthcare services in times of a health crisis, and, most notably, on the potential resurrection of the national welfare state that is going up against the further development of the European social model and European Union's deeper social integration. Since the epidemic appears to still be in full swing and since Member States' anti-corona measures seem to be complemented on a day-to-day basis, the authors' deliberations are based on general assumptions regarding free movement of workers and self-employed persons, social security coordination, and the nature of the European social model, coupled with what they perceive to be key challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic in the field of European social law and social policy, also affecting, at least indirectly, national rules and policies.

Pollack, Harold A, 'Disaster Preparedness and Social Justice in a Public Health Emergency' (2020) 45(6) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 907-920
Abstract: The United States is now experiencing public health catastrophe on a scale not seen for more than a century. COVID-19 puts into stark relief the mutual obligations that reflect interdependence among participants in a common society. Drawing on the work of Amartya Sen concerning famine and related challenges, the author discusses the accompanying implications for social justice. Social justice in catastrophe requires strong social insurance structures and legal protections for the most vulnerable people, who would otherwise lack economic resources and political influence to protect their essential interests. Social justice also requires greater and more sustained attention to disaster preparedness and public health infrastructure--both of which are characteristically neglected, in part because the public health enterprise is identified with politically weak and often stigmatized populations.

Raifman, Julia, Jacob Bor and Atheendar Venkataramani, 'Unemployment Insurance and Food Insecurity among People Who Lost Employment in the Wake of COVID-19' [2020] medRxiv (pre-print)
Introduction: The impacts of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) extend well beyond morbidity and mortality. In the United States, COVID-19-related business closures and reductions in economic activity have led to a sharp rise in unemployment rates, from 3.5% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April 2020. As of June 2020, the unemployment rate stands at 11.1%. Job losses over this period have been concentrated among people living in low-income households, and resulting drops in income have made many individuals and families vulnerable to food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as 'household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.' Food insecurity is associated with worse general health and well-being, physical hunger pangs and fatigue, psychological depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and interpersonal stress and challenges, as well as chronic disease, and worse developmental outcomes for children. Initial evidence suggests that food insecurity has more than doubled among all households and tripled among households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic relative to February 2020.

Simon, David A, 'A Legal Stimulus' [2020] Northwest University Law Review NULR of Note, 2020 < https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=3586648 >
Abstract: This short essay argues that any further congressional stimulus should allocate additional funds specifically for legal services to individuals who, as a result of COVID-19, face eviction, foreclosure, loan defaults, debt collection, bankruptcy, domestic violence, or denied insurance claims or coverage.

Tepepa, Martha, 'Public Charge in the Time of Coronavirus' (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3571721, 8 April 2020)
Abstract: The United States government recently passed legislation and stabilization packages to respond to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak by providing paid sick leave, tax credits, and free virus testing; expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increasing Medicaid funding. However, the response to the global pandemic might be hindered by the lassitude of the state and the administration's conception of social policy that leaves the most vulnerable unprotected. The administration's 'zero tolerance' immigration campaign poses public health challenges, especially in the prevention of communicable diseases. In addition to the systemic obstacles noncitizens face in their access to healthcare, recent changes to immigration law that penalize recipients of some social services on grounds that they are a public charge will further restrict their access to treatment and hinder the fight against the pandemic.

Vicary, Sarah et al, '"It's about How Much We Can Do, and Not How Little We Can Get Away with": Coronavirus-Related Legislative Changes for Social Care in the United Kingdom' (2020) 72(September-October 2020) International Journal of Law and Psychiatry Article 101601
Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic, referred to here as Covid-19, has brought into sharp focus the increasing divergence of devolved legislation and its implementation in the United Kingdom. One such instance is the emergency health and social care legislation and guidance introduced by the United Kingdom Central Government and the devolved Governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in response to this pandemic. We provide a summary, comparison and discussion of these proposed and actual changes with a particular focus on the impact on adult social care and safeguarding of the rights of citizens. To begin, a summary and comparison of the relevant changes, or potential changes, to mental health, mental capacity and adult social care law across the four jurisdictions is provided. Next, we critique the suggested and actual changes and in so doing consider the immediate and longer term implications for adult social care, including mental health and mental capacity, at the time of publication.several core themes emerged: concerns around process and scrutiny; concerns about possible changes to the workforce and last, the possible threat on the ability to safeguard human rights. It has been shown that, ordinarily, legislative provisions across the jurisdictions of the UK are different, save for Wales (which shares most of its mental health law provisions with England). Such divergence is also mirrored in the way in which the suggested emergency changes could be implemented. Aside from this, there is also a wider concern about a lack of parity of esteem between social care and health care, a concern which is common to all. What is interesting is that the introduction of CVA 2020 forced a comparison to be made between the four UK nations which also shines a spotlight on how citizens can anticipate receipt of services.

Wilson, Shaun, 'Rising Pressures, New Scaffolding, Uncertain Futures: Australia's Social Policy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2020) 85 Journal of Australian Political Economy 183-192
Abstract: This article speculates about the future of Australia's welfare model given the severe disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, it offers a brief description of the major features of Australia's political handling of the welfare state over the past decade or so, with a focus on the Newstart benefit and the tight policing of the benefit system.

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