Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001. Participation in Public Assistance Programs


The March CPS can be used to determine the participation of families in a variety of public assistance programs. In 2001, approximately 1.0 million (8 percent) of child support-eligible parents lived in families in which at least one member received cash assistance through the TANF program. Participation in the Medicaid program was reported by 33 percent of these families, and 17 percent were enrolled in the Food Stamp program. Approximately one in nine of the child support-eligible families reported receiving housing subsidies (in the form of public housing or housing assistance), and about five percent collected a portion of their family income from the SSI program.

Participation in the five public assistance programs (TANF, Medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies, and SSI) was used to identify the three categories of families that are shown in each table: families receiving TANF cash assistance, families receiving assistance only from other government programs (but not TANF cash assistance), and families not receiving any public assistance from the programs mentioned above. As reported above, about one million child support-eligible families were receiving cash assistance, while an additional four million (30 percent) were receiving other public assistance but not cash assistance. Of the 13.4 million child support-eligible families, about three in five were not receiving any public assistance.

Significant variations in receipt of public assistance existed between the IV-D and non IV-D populations (Table 2). Among those families in the IV-D program, the percentages of those receiving cash assistance (13 percent), was considerably less than those receiving non-cash public assistance only (47 percent) and those receiving no public assistance (41 percent). However, an overwhelming majority (95 percent) of the 5.4 million child support-eligible families not in the IV-D program received no public assistance at all in 2001.This last statistic is affected by the assumption, stated above, that all families in which family income was received from TANF cash assistance or in which either the parent or child was covered by Medicaid, participated in the IV-D program.