This course surveys government programs that provide direct assistance to economically vulnerable people in the United States. These include means-tested programs targeted at low-income households (sometimes known as “welfare”), such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Food Stamps, and Supplemental Security Income; social insurance programs focused on loss of employment income to workers and their families, such as Unemployment Insurance and Social Security; and programs designed to enable and sustain access to employment, such as the Workforce Investment Act and the Child Care and Development Fund. Consideration will be given to the relationship between these programs and tax policies (such as the Earned Income Tax Credit), labor market regulation (such as the minimum wage), and family law mechanisms (such as child support) with similar goals. Intersections with race, gender, and disability civil rights issues will receive attention throughout. The materials and approach will provide a technical and theoretical foundation for students interested in approaching the field through direct legal services, policy advocacy and administration, or labor and employment law.