"For the next few decades, means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families penalized marriage. A mother generally received far more money from welfare if she was single rather than married. Once she took a husband, her benefits were instantly reduced by roughly 10 to 20%.""FamilyScholars.org adds that 'such a system encourages surreptitious cohabitation,' where 'many low-income parents will cohabit without reporting it to the government so that their benefits won't be cut.' These couples 'avoid marriage because marriage would result in a substantial loss of income for the family'."