In 1968, in its first important welfare law decision, the United States Supreme Court used the phrase "cooperative federalism" to describe Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), that part of our public income transfer system generally known as "welfare." The same label can also be applied to the other major income transfer programs in which the federal government participates-social security, food stamps, unemployment compensation, and supplemental security income (commonly called "SSI"). However, the terms of cooperation are different in each of these programs with national and state governments sharing power and responsibility for funding, benefit levels, conditions of eligibility, administration, and the like in quite distinct ways.

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