OLYMPIA, WA - The number of people using state welfare is at one of its lowest points ever.
A new report shows that about 43,000 families received welfare in October. That's the fewest since at least 1990.
One reason for the drop in usage is the 2011 policy changes that lowered eligibility and made it harder to get extensions.
Fewer caseloads are saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars. However, at the same time, other signs of poverty are on the rise. Since 2011, more people are now using Medicaid and food stamps and homeless shelters report more people are using their services.