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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: Thompson, Megan; Minton, Sarah; Heffernan, Christine; Giannarelli, Linda
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief is a companion to the 2016 Welfare Rules Databook and provides a graphical overview of selected state policy differences for TANF cash assistance. The policies are taken from the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a database maintained by the Urban Institute and funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Child and Families in the US Department of Health and Human Services.

    The WRD is a comprehensive resource for comparing cash assistance programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, researching changes across time in cash assistance rules within a single state or determining the rules governing cash assistance in one state at a point in time. The WRD provides in-depth information on a wide range of policy topics.

    The brief describes and presents policies related to initial eligibility, benefit amounts, and ongoing eligibility. The brief also provides information about additional resources available from the WRD. (Author abstract)

    This brief is a companion to the 2016 Welfare Rules Databook and provides a graphical overview of selected state policy differences for TANF cash assistance. The policies are taken from the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a database maintained by the Urban Institute and funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Child and Families in the US Department of Health and Human Services.

    The WRD is a comprehensive resource for comparing cash assistance programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, researching changes across time in cash assistance rules within a single state or determining the rules governing cash assistance in one state at a point in time. The WRD provides in-depth information on a wide range of policy topics.

    The brief describes and presents policies related to initial eligibility, benefit amounts, and ongoing eligibility. The brief also provides information about additional resources available from the WRD. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Karoly, Lynn A.; Bozick, Robert; Davis, Lois M.; Kitmitto, Sami; Turk-Bicakci, Lori; Bos, Johannes M.; Holod, Aleksandra; Blankenship, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize...

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize the key reforms, delineate the questions underlying the SB 1041 evaluation and the evaluation approach, and explain the evaluation timetable, products, and expected utility.

    To determine if SB 1041 is achieving its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences, a series of reports will document the way the SB 1041 reforms were implemented across California's 58 counties, how the changes affected the number and composition of CalWORKs participants and their experience with program services, and the impact of the reforms on families and children, as well as the operations of county welfare offices. The multiyear, multicomponent evaluation will draw on primary and secondary data and employ qualitative and quantitative methods. The project was launched in July 2014 and will be completed in December 2017. Results will be made available through a series of reports released at the end of calendar years 2015, 2016, and 2017. (author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Logan, Letitia; Saunders, Correne; Born, Catherine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    One controversial feature of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, aka ‘welfare reform,’ was the unprecedented imposition, with few exceptions, of an across-the-board limit of five years (shorter at state option) on adults’ receipt of federally-funded cash assistance. However, because some recipient families have complex, difficult problems that are not easily or quickly resolved, PRWORA also included a ‘hardship exemption’ provision. This allows states to provide federally-funded aid beyond 60 months, but to no more than 20 percent of their caseloads. The 60-month time limit clock began to tick in Maryland in January 1997, and consequently, families began to exceed the limit in January 2002, the 61st month of the ticking clock. More than 10 years later, the clock still ticks. As each month passes, the number of families nearing the time limit and thus becoming potentially eligible for a hardship exemption ineluctably increases.

    Thus, it behooves states to continuously monitor where they are vis-à-vis the 20 percent cap and...

    One controversial feature of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, aka ‘welfare reform,’ was the unprecedented imposition, with few exceptions, of an across-the-board limit of five years (shorter at state option) on adults’ receipt of federally-funded cash assistance. However, because some recipient families have complex, difficult problems that are not easily or quickly resolved, PRWORA also included a ‘hardship exemption’ provision. This allows states to provide federally-funded aid beyond 60 months, but to no more than 20 percent of their caseloads. The 60-month time limit clock began to tick in Maryland in January 1997, and consequently, families began to exceed the limit in January 2002, the 61st month of the ticking clock. More than 10 years later, the clock still ticks. As each month passes, the number of families nearing the time limit and thus becoming potentially eligible for a hardship exemption ineluctably increases.

    Thus, it behooves states to continuously monitor where they are vis-à-vis the 20 percent cap and to have a solid understanding of their time-limited and hardship populations should the 20 percent cap be reached. If and when this happens, difficult rationing decisions would have to be made about which families would be exempted and which would not. Alternatively, state general funds would have to fill the gap, a gap that could get larger with each passing year. Neither scenario is appealing, but thankfully the most recent estimates are that Maryland is at least a few years away from reaching the 20 percent cap. Moreover, because of its commitment to data-driven decision-making, the Family Investment Administration of the Maryland Department of Human Resources and its research partner, the Family Welfare Group at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work have tracked the time-limited population for many years and issued multiple reports on the subject.

    Today’s report adds to our available body of knowledge on this subject by looking at the universe of 7,143 Maryland cases which exceeded the 60-month limit on benefit receipt and were granted a hardship exemption (so that benefits did not cease) between January 2002 and August 2010. Specifically, we use administrative data to describe demographic and case characteristics and cash assistance utilization patterns of the hardship population, the extent of their participation in work activities, the nature of the activities to which they are assigned, and the barriers which are documented as being present in their lives. To determine if there have been any changes over time in the size, distribution or composition of the hardship caseload, we present findings by time period cohort: January 2002 through December 2005 (n=4,746); January 2006 through December 2009 (n=2,035); and January 2010 through August 2010 (n=362). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: DeMaster, Dana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This report is the second in a series of annual reports that focus on a one-month snapshot of cases at their lifetime limit of MFIP receipt. It looks at two groups: 1) all cases that already have 60 counted months and continue to receive MFIP and 2) cases that reached their 60th counted month in the report month, December 2006. It identifies the total number of adults made ineligible due to the time limit, compares the characteristics of eligible adults that have reached their lifetime limit to those with less than 60 months, and gives the reasons that those in the first group continue to receive MFIP, the counties where these families reside, what happens to families in relation to MFIP in the month after they reach month 60, and outcomes for these families in their first six months after reaching the time limit. The first report in this series was At the Limit: December 2005 Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Cases that Reached the 60 Month Time Limit.

    The first section examines the demographic characteristics and chemical and mental health diagnoses of adults...

    This report is the second in a series of annual reports that focus on a one-month snapshot of cases at their lifetime limit of MFIP receipt. It looks at two groups: 1) all cases that already have 60 counted months and continue to receive MFIP and 2) cases that reached their 60th counted month in the report month, December 2006. It identifies the total number of adults made ineligible due to the time limit, compares the characteristics of eligible adults that have reached their lifetime limit to those with less than 60 months, and gives the reasons that those in the first group continue to receive MFIP, the counties where these families reside, what happens to families in relation to MFIP in the month after they reach month 60, and outcomes for these families in their first six months after reaching the time limit. The first report in this series was At the Limit: December 2005 Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Cases that Reached the 60 Month Time Limit.

    The first section examines the demographic characteristics and chemical and mental health diagnoses of adults that have reached the time limit and continue to receive MFIP. The next section looks at the reasons for continued eligibility, extensions, work hours and income, and number of caregivers in these households. Following that is a section that looks at the number of cases that reached 60 counted months by county and breaks down data from the previous section into the largest eight counties. The final section focuses on the 86 households that reached their 60th counted month in December 2006. (author abstract)

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