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Profile of Families Cycling on and off Welfare

Publication Date
Mar 31, 2004

The report analyzes the experiences of welfare "cyclers" (those who received welfare benefits during three or more discrete spells during a four-year observation period) using five MDRC studies of welfare reform initiatives during the mid- to late-1990s. Overall, cyclers constituted a relatively small portion of the welfare caseload (9 percent). Cyclers generally fared better than long-term recipients, but not as well as short-term recipients. The report also found that the incidence of cycling increased during the years following PRWORA.