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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: Larin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) programs served about 0.5 percent of the approximately 43.5 million SNAP recipients in an average month of fiscal year 2016, according to the most recent USDA data available. These programs are generally designed to help SNAP recipients increase their ability to obtain regular employment through services such as job search and training. Some recipients may be required to participate. According to USDA, about 14 percent of SNAP recipients were subject to work requirements in an average month of fiscal year 2016, while others, such as children and the elderly, were generally exempt from these requirements. States have flexibility in how they design their E&T programs. Over the last several years, states have 1) increasingly moved away from programs that mandate participation, 2) focused on serving able-bodied adults without dependents whose benefits are generally time-limited unless they comply with work...

    Overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) programs served about 0.5 percent of the approximately 43.5 million SNAP recipients in an average month of fiscal year 2016, according to the most recent USDA data available. These programs are generally designed to help SNAP recipients increase their ability to obtain regular employment through services such as job search and training. Some recipients may be required to participate. According to USDA, about 14 percent of SNAP recipients were subject to work requirements in an average month of fiscal year 2016, while others, such as children and the elderly, were generally exempt from these requirements. States have flexibility in how they design their E&T programs. Over the last several years, states have 1) increasingly moved away from programs that mandate participation, 2) focused on serving able-bodied adults without dependents whose benefits are generally time-limited unless they comply with work requirements, and 3) partnered with state and local organizations to deliver services. USDA has taken steps to increase support and oversight of SNAP E&T since 2014, including collecting new data on participant outcomes from states. GAO has ongoing work reviewing SNAP E&T programs, including USDA oversight. USDA and the states partner to address issues that affect program integrity, including improper payments and fraud, and USDA has taken some steps to address challenges in these areas, but issues remain. 

    • Improper Payments. In 2016, GAO reviewed SNAP improper payment rates and found that states’ adoption of program flexibilities and changes in federal SNAP policy in the previous decade, as well as improper payment rate calculation methods, likely affected these rates. Although USDA reported improper payment estimates for SNAP in previous years, USDA did not report an estimate for benefits paid in fiscal years 2015 or 2016 due to data quality issues in some states. USDA has since been working with the states to improve improper payment estimates for the fiscal year 2017 review.
    • Recipient Fraud. In 2014, GAO made recommendations to USDA to address challenges states faced in combatting recipient fraud. For example, GAO found that USDA’s guidance on the use of transaction data to uncover potential trafficking lacked specificity and recommended USDA develop additional guidance. Since then, USDA has provided technical assistance to some states, including on the use of data analytics. GAO has ongoing work reviewing states’ use of data analytics to identify SNAP recipient fraud.
    • Retailer Trafficking. In 2006, GAO identified several ways in which SNAP was vulnerable to retailer trafficking—a practice involving the exchange of benefits for cash or non-food items. For example, USDA had not conducted analyses to identify high-risk retailers and target its resources. Since then, USDA has established risk levels for retailers based on various factors. GAO has ongoing work assessing how USDA prevents, detects, and responds to retailer trafficking and reviewing the usefulness of USDA’s estimates of the extent of SNAP retailer trafficking. (Author introduction)
  • Individual Author: DeRenzis, Brooke; Kaz, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T), a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), supports employment and training activities to increase self-sufficiency for SNAP participants. SNAP E&T can expand opportunities for low-income people to enhance their skills, credentials, careers, and ultimately, their families'; financial well-being. Yet few states have fully realized SNAP E&T's potential to provide skill-building opportunities. In fact, many states are leaving federal SNAP E&T dollars on the table, which could instead be used to provide education, training, and support services.

    In 2015, National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) partnered to help four states expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs. This policy brief shares recommendations for states based on lessons learned from our work with Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon. Specifically, this brief makes the following recommendations for those looking to expand skills-...

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T), a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), supports employment and training activities to increase self-sufficiency for SNAP participants. SNAP E&T can expand opportunities for low-income people to enhance their skills, credentials, careers, and ultimately, their families'; financial well-being. Yet few states have fully realized SNAP E&T's potential to provide skill-building opportunities. In fact, many states are leaving federal SNAP E&T dollars on the table, which could instead be used to provide education, training, and support services.

    In 2015, National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) partnered to help four states expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs. This policy brief shares recommendations for states based on lessons learned from our work with Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon. Specifically, this brief makes the following recommendations for those looking to expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs at the state level:

    • Staff and stakeholders should work with SNAP E&T agency leadership to develop a vision for a skills-focused program and implement a strategy to achieve that vision.

    • States should use pilot programs to test and refine strategies for expanding SNAP E&T programs.

    • SNAP E&T programs should build on the strengths and experience of existing workforce development efforts, and should align SNAP E&T with other programs, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

    • SNAP E&T programs should use federal funding and administrative tools to partner with community colleges and community-based organizations as service providers.

    The brief also identifies a set of common challenges in developing skills-based SNAP E&T programs and makes recommendations for how state SNAP E&T agencies can address them. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2016

    As State ABAWD waivers expire, the clock is now ticking on a 3-month time limit—many people will soon lose their benefits unless they meet special work requirements which had been waived in many parts of the country in recent years. Today, few States have a waiver in place because they either do not qualify for one due to an improving economy or have decided not to pursue a waiver. Policymakers, program administrators, and advocates are looking to the SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program as a way to connect ABAWDs to activities that will help them meet work requirements and continue to receive the nutrition assistance they need. This brief summarizes the ABAWD time limit, clarifies the relationship between ABAWD policy and the SNAP E&T program, and highlights the potential—and limits—of SNAP E&T in responding to the needs of ABAWDs. It clarifies that States are not required to run mandatory E&T programs to serve ABAWDs and that the program is one tool among many for ABAWDs at risk of losing benefits. The most promising role for SNAP E&T may be to offer...

    As State ABAWD waivers expire, the clock is now ticking on a 3-month time limit—many people will soon lose their benefits unless they meet special work requirements which had been waived in many parts of the country in recent years. Today, few States have a waiver in place because they either do not qualify for one due to an improving economy or have decided not to pursue a waiver. Policymakers, program administrators, and advocates are looking to the SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program as a way to connect ABAWDs to activities that will help them meet work requirements and continue to receive the nutrition assistance they need. This brief summarizes the ABAWD time limit, clarifies the relationship between ABAWD policy and the SNAP E&T program, and highlights the potential—and limits—of SNAP E&T in responding to the needs of ABAWDs. It clarifies that States are not required to run mandatory E&T programs to serve ABAWDs and that the program is one tool among many for ABAWDs at risk of losing benefits. The most promising role for SNAP E&T may be to offer job-driven education and training services, opening a path for ABAWDs to transition from the program the right way: by becoming self-sufficient through better paying jobs. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Kaz, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    A growing number of States are realizing the potential of the SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) program to help meet the urgent need of their SNAP participants for higher skills and better jobs. While States can turn to proven strategies to jumpstart their programs, some may be understandably hesitant to do so without knowing more about the staffing and infrastructure required. States may be especially uncertain about what it takes to develop and support a more robust SNAP E&T program that expands the use of 50 percent reimbursement (50-50) funds through third-party partnerships.

    This brief seeks to reduce this uncertainty for States in two ways. First, it provides them with a detailed picture of what staffing functions and infrastructure may be required both to plan for and administer an expanded SNAP E&T program utilizing primarily 50-50 funds. What are the key tasks and roles and who will perform these? What systems need to be in place? Second, the brief will offer States some recommendations for identifying and accessing the resources they may need...

    A growing number of States are realizing the potential of the SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) program to help meet the urgent need of their SNAP participants for higher skills and better jobs. While States can turn to proven strategies to jumpstart their programs, some may be understandably hesitant to do so without knowing more about the staffing and infrastructure required. States may be especially uncertain about what it takes to develop and support a more robust SNAP E&T program that expands the use of 50 percent reimbursement (50-50) funds through third-party partnerships.

    This brief seeks to reduce this uncertainty for States in two ways. First, it provides them with a detailed picture of what staffing functions and infrastructure may be required both to plan for and administer an expanded SNAP E&T program utilizing primarily 50-50 funds. What are the key tasks and roles and who will perform these? What systems need to be in place? Second, the brief will offer States some recommendations for identifying and accessing the resources they may need to support this added capacity. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bolen, Ed; Foster, Marcie ; O'Callaghan, Susan; Zhang, Ting; Heiman, Patrick
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2016

    On January 28, 2016 from 2:00-3:30pm EST the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted The Connection Between SNAP and Work Webinar. During this free Webinar, attendees learned not only about the role of Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program's (SNAP) in promoting economic security and job development opportunities for low-income households, but also the ways in which the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program supports these efforts. Speakers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Seattle Jobs Initiative, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the University of Baltimore outlined the key factors that impact participants' work propensity, job tenure, and earnings, and described their experiences implementing, supporting, and evaluating programs that connect SNAP participants to employment. Mr. Ed Bolen, Ms. Marcie Foster, Ms. Susan O’Callaghan and Dr. Ting Zhang co-presented on the subject. Mr. Patrick Heiman moderated the discussion.

    This is the transcript from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar...

    On January 28, 2016 from 2:00-3:30pm EST the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted The Connection Between SNAP and Work Webinar. During this free Webinar, attendees learned not only about the role of Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program's (SNAP) in promoting economic security and job development opportunities for low-income households, but also the ways in which the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program supports these efforts. Speakers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Seattle Jobs Initiative, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the University of Baltimore outlined the key factors that impact participants' work propensity, job tenure, and earnings, and described their experiences implementing, supporting, and evaluating programs that connect SNAP participants to employment. Mr. Ed Bolen, Ms. Marcie Foster, Ms. Susan O’Callaghan and Dr. Ting Zhang co-presented on the subject. Mr. Patrick Heiman moderated the discussion.

    This is the transcript from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Powerpoint presentation can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

     

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