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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: O'Leary, Christopher J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Under all state unemployment insurance (UI) systems it is possible for claimants to collect benefits while employed and earning wages. The weekly benefit amount is usually unaffected for earnings below some threshold level, while earnings above the threshold frequently reduce the weekly benefit amount by some fraction of earnings.

    The legislature of Washington State authorized a field experiment to investigate if reemployment incentives in the UI partial benefit system could be improved by “allowing unemployment insurance claimants to keep a greater portion of their weekly benefits when engaged in part-time or temporary employment.” (author introduction)

    Under all state unemployment insurance (UI) systems it is possible for claimants to collect benefits while employed and earning wages. The weekly benefit amount is usually unaffected for earnings below some threshold level, while earnings above the threshold frequently reduce the weekly benefit amount by some fraction of earnings.

    The legislature of Washington State authorized a field experiment to investigate if reemployment incentives in the UI partial benefit system could be improved by “allowing unemployment insurance claimants to keep a greater portion of their weekly benefits when engaged in part-time or temporary employment.” (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Vroman, Wayne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    One goal of welfare reform is to move larger numbers of welfare recipients into work. If the aims of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation are achieved, by 1998 more than a quarter of the roughly 4 million adults who received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) will be active labor market participants, and half are slated to join the workforce by 2002. Many, if not most, will no longer be receiving welfare benefits at that time.

    Low education and lack of work skills and experience put current and former welfare recipients at special risk of unemployment. The national unemployment rate for persons 16 and older in the labor force averaged only 4.9 percent in 1997, but former welfare recipients can be expected to have jobless rates that are twice the national average.

    Nonetheless, the anticipated increase in the unemployment pool resulting from welfare reform is modest. Because of low earnings and other factors, only a small fraction of adult welfare recipients who enter the labor market will become eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits...

    One goal of welfare reform is to move larger numbers of welfare recipients into work. If the aims of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation are achieved, by 1998 more than a quarter of the roughly 4 million adults who received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) will be active labor market participants, and half are slated to join the workforce by 2002. Many, if not most, will no longer be receiving welfare benefits at that time.

    Low education and lack of work skills and experience put current and former welfare recipients at special risk of unemployment. The national unemployment rate for persons 16 and older in the labor force averaged only 4.9 percent in 1997, but former welfare recipients can be expected to have jobless rates that are twice the national average.

    Nonetheless, the anticipated increase in the unemployment pool resulting from welfare reform is modest. Because of low earnings and other factors, only a small fraction of adult welfare recipients who enter the labor market will become eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under current rules. Moreover, neither federal nor state laws governing eligibility are likely to change in ways that will enhance access to unemployment benefits for unemployed former welfare recipients. Thus, these new workers’ impact on the UI system, in terms of added beneficiaries and costs, will be hardly noticeable. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Nilsen, Sigurd R
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Since 1935, the welfare and unemployment insurance (UI) programs have operated side-by-side as major parts of the nation’s social safety net. The welfare program provides cash assistance to needy families without means of support, while UI provides cash assistance to people temporarily unemployed. In 1996, federal legislation fundamentally changed the welfare program, putting time limits on how long most people can receive cash assistance and generally requiring recipients to engage in work activities to qualify for income support. Since that time, the welfare rolls have dropped dramatically, and large numbers of welfare recipients have started working, many in low-wage jobs. With this radical shift, the UI program is left as a more significant element of the social safety net, particularly for low-income families formerly assisted by the welfare program.

    In contrast to the welfare program, which focuses on assistance to needy families with children, UI is a social insurance program intended to partially replace lost earnings for people with prior work experience who...

    Since 1935, the welfare and unemployment insurance (UI) programs have operated side-by-side as major parts of the nation’s social safety net. The welfare program provides cash assistance to needy families without means of support, while UI provides cash assistance to people temporarily unemployed. In 1996, federal legislation fundamentally changed the welfare program, putting time limits on how long most people can receive cash assistance and generally requiring recipients to engage in work activities to qualify for income support. Since that time, the welfare rolls have dropped dramatically, and large numbers of welfare recipients have started working, many in low-wage jobs. With this radical shift, the UI program is left as a more significant element of the social safety net, particularly for low-income families formerly assisted by the welfare program.

    In contrast to the welfare program, which focuses on assistance to needy families with children, UI is a social insurance program intended to partially replace lost earnings for people with prior work experience who become involuntarily unemployed and who are able, available, and actively seeking work. Premiums are paid in advance by employers as a payroll tax on wages earned by their employees. Although state law varies, this payroll tax is applied to, at a minimum, the first $7,000 of most employees’ annual earnings. State law specifies the factors (for example, minimum earnings or employment period) that qualify a person to collect UI benefits.

    To conduct our study, we used a combination of methods. To determine the long-term trends in the usage of the UI program, we analyzed data from the Department of Labor. To compare the likelihood that low-wage workers receive UI benefits with that of other workers, we examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a national database maintained by the Bureau of the Census. For our purposes, SIPP data were available only for the 4-year period 1992 through 1995; to extend our analysis through the rest of the decade, we supplemented SIPP data with UI administrative data from the Department of Labor and with data from a national database jointly maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census—the Current Population Survey (CPS). To determine factors that may affect the likelihood a person will receive UI benefits, we reviewed the available literature. We also surveyed UI program directors for the 50 states on eligibility criteria that may affect low-wage workers in general and former welfare recipients in particular. To obtain detailed information on state policies and practices, we talked with officials in the four most populous states—California, Florida, New York, and Texas—as well as collected data on other states nationwide. A fuller description of our methodology is included in appendix I. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Rangarajan, Anu ; Razafindrakoto, Carol; Corson, Walter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This study, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) and with the support of the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL), examines the extent to which former welfare recipients are likely to be eligible for UI, and the extent to which former recipients who leave welfare and find work file UI claims. In particular, it examines such questions as: What is the rate of monetary UI eligibility among former welfare recipients who leave welfare and find work, and how does this rate change over time? How are nonmonetary factors likely to affect eligibility? For what benefit amounts are these individuals likely to be eligible? How sensitive are UI monetary eligibility rates to varying program parameters? How many former welfare recipients actually file UI claims and receive payments?

    Our study of these and related questions is based on data from the Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) evaluation. The WFNJ evaluation is a comprehensive, five-year study, funded by NJDHS, which tracks a representative statewide sample of...

    This study, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) and with the support of the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL), examines the extent to which former welfare recipients are likely to be eligible for UI, and the extent to which former recipients who leave welfare and find work file UI claims. In particular, it examines such questions as: What is the rate of monetary UI eligibility among former welfare recipients who leave welfare and find work, and how does this rate change over time? How are nonmonetary factors likely to affect eligibility? For what benefit amounts are these individuals likely to be eligible? How sensitive are UI monetary eligibility rates to varying program parameters? How many former welfare recipients actually file UI claims and receive payments?

    Our study of these and related questions is based on data from the Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) evaluation. The WFNJ evaluation is a comprehensive, five-year study, funded by NJDHS, which tracks a representative statewide sample of 2,000 welfare recipients who received TANF in New Jersey during the first 18 months under the new welfare rules, between July 1997 and December 1998. These recipients are being tracked through a series of five annual surveys, as well as through administrative records data. For this UI study, we examine the subset of welfare recipients who left TANF at any time before December 1999, and were employed around the time of TANF exit. We have data on employment and earnings for these individuals covering the two-year period after TANF exit, and data on UI claims over the three-year period after TANF exit.2 Wage records and UI claims data were provided by the New Jersey Department of Labor, and TANF administrative data by the Division of Family Development of NJDHS. (author summary)

  • Individual Author: Black, Dan A.; Smith, Jeffery A.; Berger, Mark C.; Noel, Brett J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    We examine the effect of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services system. This program  "profiles" Unemployment Insurance (UI)  claimants to  determine their probability of benefit exhaustion and then provides mandatory employment and training services to claimants with high predicted probabilities. Using a unique experimental design, we estimate that the program reduces mean weeks of UI benefit receipt by about 2.2 weeks, reduces mean UI benefits received by about $143, and increases subsequent earnings by over $1,050. Most of the effect results from a sharp increase in early UI exits in the treatment group relative to the control group. (author abstract)

    We examine the effect of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services system. This program  "profiles" Unemployment Insurance (UI)  claimants to  determine their probability of benefit exhaustion and then provides mandatory employment and training services to claimants with high predicted probabilities. Using a unique experimental design, we estimate that the program reduces mean weeks of UI benefit receipt by about 2.2 weeks, reduces mean UI benefits received by about $143, and increases subsequent earnings by over $1,050. Most of the effect results from a sharp increase in early UI exits in the treatment group relative to the control group. (author abstract)

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