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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: Cerf, Benjamin; Leach, Mark A.; Mitchell, Josh; Shattuck, Rachel M.
    Year: 2017

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes how the great recession of 2007-2010 has exacerbated the economic instability of many U.S. families, and how it has renewed Congressional interest in evaluating programs like SNAP, WIC, and TANF.

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes how the great recession of 2007-2010 has exacerbated the economic instability of many U.S. families, and how it has renewed Congressional interest in evaluating programs like SNAP, WIC, and TANF.

  • Individual Author: Cheng, Tyrone C.; Tang, Ning
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    The secondary data analysis examined low-income families’ use of Food Stamps and how it related to receipt of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits and other financial help. It employed a nationally representative sample of 54,703 nonelderly adults extracted from a longitudinal data set. Results showed Food Stamps utilization to be associated positively with TANF receipt; in-kind assistance; child-support receipt; number of dependent children; and being African American, female, and disabled and associated negatively with financial support from relatives/friends, family earnings, metropolitan areas, education and occupational skill, age, and being married. The findings’ implications for policy and practice are discussed. (Author abstract)

    The secondary data analysis examined low-income families’ use of Food Stamps and how it related to receipt of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits and other financial help. It employed a nationally representative sample of 54,703 nonelderly adults extracted from a longitudinal data set. Results showed Food Stamps utilization to be associated positively with TANF receipt; in-kind assistance; child-support receipt; number of dependent children; and being African American, female, and disabled and associated negatively with financial support from relatives/friends, family earnings, metropolitan areas, education and occupational skill, age, and being married. The findings’ implications for policy and practice are discussed. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hodges, Leslie; Men, Fei
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    In February of 2018, 6.7 million American workers were unemployed. Of these workers, one in four had been unemployed for more than half a year (BLS, 2018). Unemployment has been linked to numerous negative outcomes, including increased risk of poverty and of material hardships. A major goal of the Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program (UI) is to protect individuals and their households against the economic risks associated with unemployment. By providing weekly cash benefits to displaced workers while they search for new jobs, we expect that UI would help households to meet basic needs and act as a buffer against economic hardships. However, with a few exceptions, the prior literature has not paid a great deal of attention to the effects of UI on poverty and material well-being.

    One reason for this lack of attention is that studies interested in identifying optimal benefit levels and optimal program size have primarily focused on how UI affects the behaviors of workers and firms. Another possible reason is that UI is not targeted towards the poor, and helping...

    In February of 2018, 6.7 million American workers were unemployed. Of these workers, one in four had been unemployed for more than half a year (BLS, 2018). Unemployment has been linked to numerous negative outcomes, including increased risk of poverty and of material hardships. A major goal of the Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program (UI) is to protect individuals and their households against the economic risks associated with unemployment. By providing weekly cash benefits to displaced workers while they search for new jobs, we expect that UI would help households to meet basic needs and act as a buffer against economic hardships. However, with a few exceptions, the prior literature has not paid a great deal of attention to the effects of UI on poverty and material well-being.

    One reason for this lack of attention is that studies interested in identifying optimal benefit levels and optimal program size have primarily focused on how UI affects the behaviors of workers and firms. Another possible reason is that UI is not targeted towards the poor, and helping workers and their households reach or maintain a certain level of economic well-being is not an explicit goal. As a result, there may be less scrutiny of whether the UI program makes participants better off compared to means-tested programs such as SNAP and TANF.

    Nevertheless, from our perspective, poverty and material hardship measures are particularly appealing for examining the effects of UI participation. First, determining optimal benefit levels requires identifying behavioral distortions and identifying what prior studies call the “beneficial insurance effect," such as knowing how UI receipt affects household income and household consumption of goods and services. Second, UI participation among individuals in or near poverty has received greater attention following welfare reform in the mid-90s and following historical rates of unemployment during the Great Recession. However, by focusing only on the poverty effects of UI, we would be ignoring the effects that the program might have on the economic well-being of households who are not in poverty, and we would be assuming that having a certain income level is synonymous with being able to meet basic needs.

    In order to examine whether receipt of UI benefits reduces poverty and material hardships, we use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and bivariate probit regression analysis to model jointly the probability of UI benefit receipt and the probability of experiencing poverty and of experiencing housing, utility, food, and medical hardships. In order to account for unobserved differences between individuals who receive UI benefits while unemployed and those who do not, our models include state UI policies as instrumental variables. Similar to prior studies, our preliminary results suggest that UI receipt has a substantial negative effect on poverty, and that UI receipt reduces food insecurity, but not other hardships. By examining UI's effects on economic well-being this study contributes to current understanding of how the program is meeting the needs of workers in the modern economy. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Crouse, Gilbert; Waters, Annette
    Year: 2014

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. The twelfth Indicators of Welfare Dependence report provides welfare dependence indicators through 2009 for most indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which families depend on welfare might also be...

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. The twelfth Indicators of Welfare Dependence report provides welfare dependence indicators through 2009 for most indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which families depend on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependence. Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, a bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed that: A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from TANF (formerly AFDC), SNAP (formerly food stamps) and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities. Given data limitations, we are not able to identify which program benefits may be associated with recipient work activities. Thus, the definition of welfare dependence used in this report may characterize more individuals as welfare dependent than the Board had intended. We follow the Board’s proposal as closely as possible by adopting the following definition of welfare dependence among individuals in families: Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in families that receive more than half of their total family income in one year from TANF, SNAP and/or SSI. for use in this report:

    This report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data for the TANF (formerly AFDC), SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and SSI programs to provide updated measures through 2009 for several dependence indicators. Other measures are based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and other data sources. Based on these data, this report provides a number of key indicators of welfare recipiency, dependence and labor force attachment...

    Since the causes of welfare receipt and dependence are not clearly known, the report also includes a larger set of traditional risk factors associated with welfare receipt. The risk factors are organized into three categories: economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment, and measures of nonmarital childbearing...

    The economic security risk factors include measures of poverty and well-being that are important not only as potential predictors of dependence, but also as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation. As such, the report includes data on the official poverty rate, one of the most common measures of economic well-being...

    The measures related to employment and barriers to employment are important because families must generally receive an adequate income from employment in order to avoid dependence without severe deprivation...

    Data on nonmarital births is important since historically a high proportion of AFDC/TANF recipients first became parents outside of marriage...

    Finally, the report has four appendices that provide additional data on major welfare programs, alternative measures of dependence and nonmarital births, as well as background information on several data and technical issues. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Crouse, Gil; Hauan, Susan; Isaacs, Julia; Swenson, Kendall; Trivits, Lisa
    Year: 2005

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. The 2005 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the eighth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2002, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which families depend on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependence....

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. The 2005 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the eighth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2002, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which families depend on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependence. Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, a bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition, as one measure to examine in concert with other key indicators of dependence and well-being:

    • A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, food stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities. Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are dependent on welfare.

    This 2005 report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data to provide updated measures through 2002 for several dependence indicators. Other measures are based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), and other data sources. Drawing on these various data sources, this report provides a number of key indicators of welfare recipiency, dependence, and labor force attachment....

    Since the causes of welfare receipt and dependence are not clearly known, the report also includes a larger set of risk factors associated with welfare receipt. The risk factors are loosely organized into three categories: economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment, and measures of nonmarital childbearing. The economic security risk factors include measures of poverty and well-being that are important not only as potential predictors of dependence, but also as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation. As such, the report includes data on the official poverty rate, one of the most common measures of economic well-being...

    Finally, the report has four appendices that provide additional data on major welfare programs, alternative measures of dependence and nonmarital births, as well as background information on several data and technical issues. (author abstract)

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