First Advisor

Norman L. Wyers

Term of Graduation

Spring 1978

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Poverty, Income maintenance programs -- Oregon -- Employees -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 92 pages)


It has been of some interest to the profession of social work that eligible persons underutilize or fail to use social services and benefits to which they are legally entitled. A number of different reasons have been cited in the social work literature and otherwise generally accepted within the ranks of the social work profession as possible or probable causes of underutilization or lack of use. The variety of reasons includes client lack of knowledge about programs, lack of motivation on the part of eligible clients to apply for benefits and services, client unawareness about legal recourse in securing services, and the like. Other reasons are related to the stigmatizing nature of services, including the effects of means testing, particularly in programs such as the food stamp program and public welfare. We have assumed for some time that the means test has an inherently stigmatizing quality--indeed, the means test has long taken the blame for being the main source of stigma in the social services. Bentrup (1964), Titmuss (1968), and others have called for the complete elimination of means testing in relief programs, to be replaced by negative income tax programs, needs tests, and various other methods of determining eligibility and providing services and benefits to poor people in a non-stigmatizing manner.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier