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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Wishner, Jane B.; Spencer, Anna C.; Wengle, Erik
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This paper analyzes two pairs of states—North Carolina and South Carolina, and Wisconsin and Ohio—that achieved very different enrollment rates in the federally facilitated Marketplace (FFM) during the 2014 open enrollment period; North Carolina and Wisconsin exceeded enrollment projections, while South Carolina and Ohio fell short of FFM averages. Demographics, uninsurance rates and FFM premium rates did not appear to explain the significant enrollment differences. Intense anti-Affordable Care Act environments in the two states that did less well, however, and a coordinated coalition of diverse stakeholders in the states that performed better did appear to improve FFM enrollment outcomes. (author abstract)

    This paper analyzes two pairs of states—North Carolina and South Carolina, and Wisconsin and Ohio—that achieved very different enrollment rates in the federally facilitated Marketplace (FFM) during the 2014 open enrollment period; North Carolina and Wisconsin exceeded enrollment projections, while South Carolina and Ohio fell short of FFM averages. Demographics, uninsurance rates and FFM premium rates did not appear to explain the significant enrollment differences. Intense anti-Affordable Care Act environments in the two states that did less well, however, and a coordinated coalition of diverse stakeholders in the states that performed better did appear to improve FFM enrollment outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Heflin, Colleen; London, Andrew S.; Scott, Ellen K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Despite decades of research, little is known about the contours of material hardship and how the social processes underlying specific domains of hardship are similar and different. We use qualitative interview data to examine five different domains of material hardship: housing, bill-paying, food, medical, and clothing hardships. While mothers use social program participation, reliance on social networks, and individual strategies to mitigate hardships, the dominance of these strategies and their specific applications differ across hardship domains. These results complement recent research that identifies each domain of hardship as unique and suggest that domain-specific hardship mitigation approaches are necessary. (Author abstract)

    Despite decades of research, little is known about the contours of material hardship and how the social processes underlying specific domains of hardship are similar and different. We use qualitative interview data to examine five different domains of material hardship: housing, bill-paying, food, medical, and clothing hardships. While mothers use social program participation, reliance on social networks, and individual strategies to mitigate hardships, the dominance of these strategies and their specific applications differ across hardship domains. These results complement recent research that identifies each domain of hardship as unique and suggest that domain-specific hardship mitigation approaches are necessary. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pavetti, LaDonna; Maloy, Kathleen; Schott, Liz
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. and its subcontractors, American Management Systems, Inc. and the George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy, was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify strategies states and local welfare offices are using to promote participation in food stamps, Medicaid and SCHIP and the ongoing challenges they face in providing support to working families. (author abstract)

    This study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. and its subcontractors, American Management Systems, Inc. and the George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy, was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify strategies states and local welfare offices are using to promote participation in food stamps, Medicaid and SCHIP and the ongoing challenges they face in providing support to working families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Widom, Rebecca; Moore, Lindsay
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Medicaid and food stamps are important potential sources of support for low-wage workers, including those who have recently received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare. Yet many former welfare recipients are not getting these benefits, despite the fact that the vast majority of TANF recipients who find employment are eligible for transitional Medicaid and that, depending on their income, they may be eligible for food stamps as well. While many explanations for declines in the Medicaid and food stamp rolls have been offered, this report focuses on what happens in welfare offices as eligibility workers put policies into practice and interact with agency clients. This report is part of the Project on Devolution and Urban Change (“Urban Change” for short), which is being undertaken by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). The report is based on research conducted in early 2000 in welfare offices located in the four large urban counties participating in the project: Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio); Los Angeles County (California); Miami-Dade...

    Medicaid and food stamps are important potential sources of support for low-wage workers, including those who have recently received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare. Yet many former welfare recipients are not getting these benefits, despite the fact that the vast majority of TANF recipients who find employment are eligible for transitional Medicaid and that, depending on their income, they may be eligible for food stamps as well. While many explanations for declines in the Medicaid and food stamp rolls have been offered, this report focuses on what happens in welfare offices as eligibility workers put policies into practice and interact with agency clients. This report is part of the Project on Devolution and Urban Change (“Urban Change” for short), which is being undertaken by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). The report is based on research conducted in early 2000 in welfare offices located in the four large urban counties participating in the project: Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio); Los Angeles County (California); Miami-Dade County (Florida); and Philadelphia County (Pennsylvania). The findings are based primarily on 67 interviews with line staff members (referred to here as “workers”) and their supervisors, and on 28 observations of worker-client meetings. The authors drew also on quantitative data from surveys administered to 615 line staff members at all sites except Los Angeles (where the surveys were fielded too late for the data to be included here). Finally, they analyzed the contents of in-depth interviews with 50 welfare recipients in Cuyahoga and Los Angeles Counties that were conducted as part of the Urban Change project’s ethnographic study. This report contains the findings of that research and, based on those findings, recommendations to state and local welfare agencies and to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS, the agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the Food Stamp Program). The authors shared a draft of the report with FNS as well. On November 18, 2000, as the report was made into its final form, President Clinton announced new rules governing the administration of food stamps that could substantially address some of the problems observed. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Maloy, Kathleen A.; Pavetti, LaDonna A.; Darnell, Julie; Shin, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) ended the individual entitlement to welfare benefits and gave states new flexibility to emphasize work instead welfare. PRWORA also severed the traditional eligibility link between Medicaid and welfare. This research examined the emergence of diversion programs as a particular aspect of state welfare reform efforts and the potential for diversion programs to reduce access to Medicaid. In this second of two reports, we present the results of case studies in five states.

    Major findings from this research are:

    • Formal strategies to divert families from welfare are an increasingly common aspect of states' efforts to shift to a work-oriented assistance system. These efforts to emphasize work instead of welfare on the “front end” can also result in informal diversion.
    • Design and implementation of diversion programs reflect state and/or local goals and philosophies; these five states represent a range of diversion strategies that illustrate the importance of understanding key...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) ended the individual entitlement to welfare benefits and gave states new flexibility to emphasize work instead welfare. PRWORA also severed the traditional eligibility link between Medicaid and welfare. This research examined the emergence of diversion programs as a particular aspect of state welfare reform efforts and the potential for diversion programs to reduce access to Medicaid. In this second of two reports, we present the results of case studies in five states.

    Major findings from this research are:

    • Formal strategies to divert families from welfare are an increasingly common aspect of states' efforts to shift to a work-oriented assistance system. These efforts to emphasize work instead of welfare on the “front end” can also result in informal diversion.
    • Design and implementation of diversion programs reflect state and/or local goals and philosophies; these five states represent a range of diversion strategies that illustrate the importance of understanding key design and implementation choices in each state and, in some cases, each local office within a state.
    • Of the three types of formal diversion, mandatory applicant job search represents the fastest growing program with the greatest potential to divert large numbers of families.
    • Diversion, both formal and informal, has substantial potential to reduce initial access to Medicaid, particularly as families increasingly bypass welfare or go to work quickly thereby becoming ineligible for Medicaid under most states’ current eligibility criteria.
    • State officials can ameliorate this effect on Medicaid by improving implementation efforts and taking advantage of policy options under Section 1931 to focus attention on Medicaid as a stand-alone health insurance program for low-income families.
    • The compelling Medicaid and welfare reform policy challenge posed by diversion is how to use Medicaid effectively to support the welfare reform goal to promote work. Because PRWORA fundamentally changed the nature of the welfare system, states can and should consider whether it is a desirable consequence of their Medicaid and welfare policies that access to Medicaid for diverted families is limited or unavailable.
    • Little information is available on the number and circumstances of families who have been diverted from the welfare rolls. Without such information, reports on the success or failure of state welfare reform efforts will be incomplete.

    (author abstract)

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