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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: Reeves, Richard V.; Krause, Eleanor
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    We argue in Part 1 of this paper that maternal depression is an under-acknowledged factor in the intergenerational transmission of poverty, and lack of economic mobility. Specifically, we show that:

    I. Poverty increases the risk of maternal depression;

    II. Maternal depression can weaken attachment;

    III. Weaker attachment can impair child development;

    IV. Slower development can damage child outcomes; and

    V. Worse child outcomes can increase the risk of future poverty.

    Since our focus here is on the role of the mental health of caregivers in the very early years, we spend more time on these particular links in the chain. The other links—for instance, between child and adult outcomes—are treated only briefly, with pointers to the broader literature. In Part 2 we draw out some policy approaches to breaking the cycle at each point. This is an area where a “two-generation” approach may pay dividends. Specifically, we suggest policies to:

    I. Reduce poverty;

    II. Reduce the impact of poverty on depression among caregivers;

    III...

    We argue in Part 1 of this paper that maternal depression is an under-acknowledged factor in the intergenerational transmission of poverty, and lack of economic mobility. Specifically, we show that:

    I. Poverty increases the risk of maternal depression;

    II. Maternal depression can weaken attachment;

    III. Weaker attachment can impair child development;

    IV. Slower development can damage child outcomes; and

    V. Worse child outcomes can increase the risk of future poverty.

    Since our focus here is on the role of the mental health of caregivers in the very early years, we spend more time on these particular links in the chain. The other links—for instance, between child and adult outcomes—are treated only briefly, with pointers to the broader literature. In Part 2 we draw out some policy approaches to breaking the cycle at each point. This is an area where a “two-generation” approach may pay dividends. Specifically, we suggest policies to:

    I. Reduce poverty;

    II. Reduce the impact of poverty on depression among caregivers;

    III. Reduce the impact of caregiver depression on early child development; and

    IV. Reduce the impact of weaker early child development on later outcomes.

    (Edited author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Wheaton, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The current administration has proposed changing the way we measure inflation when setting the federal poverty thresholds because it believes that the current measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), overstates inflation. An alternative measure the administration is considering and seeking public input on is the Chained Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, commonly known as “chained CPI.”

    Switching the inflation measure from CPI-U to the chained CPI would result in slower inflation rates from year to year. The differences between the two inflation measures would be minimal at first but would compound over time. Fewer low-income people would be included among those living under the poverty line and fewer would qualify for programs that use federal poverty guidelines (which are based on the poverty thresholds) to determine eligibility. A program that relies on federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s primary food assistance program that serves roughly 40 million people...

    The current administration has proposed changing the way we measure inflation when setting the federal poverty thresholds because it believes that the current measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), overstates inflation. An alternative measure the administration is considering and seeking public input on is the Chained Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, commonly known as “chained CPI.”

    Switching the inflation measure from CPI-U to the chained CPI would result in slower inflation rates from year to year. The differences between the two inflation measures would be minimal at first but would compound over time. Fewer low-income people would be included among those living under the poverty line and fewer would qualify for programs that use federal poverty guidelines (which are based on the poverty thresholds) to determine eligibility. A program that relies on federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s primary food assistance program that serves roughly 40 million people per month.

    In this brief, we use Urban’s Analysis of Transfer, Taxes, and Income Security microsimulation model and 2016 American Community Survey data to estimate the number of people who would ultimately lose SNAP benefits if the poverty guidelines were based on poverty thresholds adjusted for inflation using the chained CPI. We find that in 2016:

    • 579,000 SNAP recipients would have been ineligible for SNAP if the chained CPI had been the inflation measure used to adjust federal poverty thresholds for the previous 15 years. Among those recipients, 242,000—or about 42 percent—would have been children.
    • The number of recipients losing SNAP eligibility would grow over time. Had the chained CPI been used for five years prior to 2016, 104,000 SNAP recipients would have been ineligible, and if it had been used for ten years, 245,000 recipients would have been ineligible. 
    • Had the chained CPI been used for the previous 15 years, just over 240,000 SNAP households would have been ineligible in the average month in 2016, including nearly 50,000 households with a person age 60 or older, more than 20,000 households with a person with a disability, and more than 118,000 households with at least one child.
    • The number households that would have been ineligible in 2016 also varies by state with more populous states experiencing the largest reductions in eligibility. Had the chained CPI been used for the previous 15 years, 24,000 households and 15,000 households in New York and California, respectively, would have been ineligible. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Kuehn, Daniel; Hassani, Hannah; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report was updated on August 28, 2019. On page vi, the share of child support payments in California that is owed to the government was changed from 70 percent to 40 percent to reflect the most recent data. On page 2, “In San Francisco” was changed to “According to the San Francisco Department of Child Support Services” to clarify the source of the percentage in the first paragraph. (author abstract)

    This report was updated on August 28, 2019. On page vi, the share of child support payments in California that is owed to the government was changed from 70 percent to 40 percent to reflect the most recent data. On page 2, “In San Francisco” was changed to “According to the San Francisco Department of Child Support Services” to clarify the source of the percentage in the first paragraph. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wheaton, Laura; Tran, Victoria
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent (a reduction of 17 percent). SNAP reduced the poverty gap (the aggregate amount of additional income required to remove all poor families from poverty) by $35 billion (21 percent) in 2015. (Author abstract) 

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent (a reduction of 17 percent). SNAP reduced the poverty gap (the aggregate amount of additional income required to remove all poor families from poverty) by $35 billion (21 percent) in 2015. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Heffernan, Christine; Goehring, Benjamin; Hecker, Ian; Giannarelli, Linda; Minton, Sarah
    Reference Type: Dataset, Report
    Year: 2018

    The purpose of this publication—the Welfare Rules Database’s annual Databook—is to provide researchers and policymakers with easy access to detailed information on how states provide cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The dozens of tables in this book collectively describe how states determine eligibility for TANF benefits, how they compute program benefits for eligible families, and the work requirements and time limits that they impose. In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017, 1.095 million families received cash aid from TANF in the average month.

    This publication presents the key policies that each state used to determine cash aid under the TANF program as of July 2017. The Databook also provides longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2017. All the tables in this publication are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and developed and maintained by the Urban...

    The purpose of this publication—the Welfare Rules Database’s annual Databook—is to provide researchers and policymakers with easy access to detailed information on how states provide cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The dozens of tables in this book collectively describe how states determine eligibility for TANF benefits, how they compute program benefits for eligible families, and the work requirements and time limits that they impose. In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017, 1.095 million families received cash aid from TANF in the average month.

    This publication presents the key policies that each state used to determine cash aid under the TANF program as of July 2017. The Databook also provides longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2017. All the tables in this publication are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and developed and maintained by the Urban Institute. The Databook summarizes the more detailed information in the WRD. Users interested in more information than is provided in this Databook are encouraged to use the full database, available at https://wrd.urban.org. This site includes a point-and-click interface, as well as extensive documentation. (Edited author introduction)

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