Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE "Leavers" Grants. Chapter Summary


While the average incomes of leavers vary from study to study, most leavers have low incomes. It is important to note that these low-income leavers may be eligible for various in-kind public supports such as food stamps, WIC, child care assistance, and Medicaid or other public health insurance programs, all of which can enhance their well-being and are not included in these income and poverty measures. In addition, low-income working leavers can receive cash support from the EITC, currently the largest program supporting low-income families in the United States. These sources of support are examined in Chapter IV.


29The income "unit" varies slightly across the studies. For example, Illinois and Missouri report household income; Washington reports family income, and Arizona presents case income.
30This phenomenon is examined in more detail below in the section on the sources of leavers' incomes.
31Iowa includes loans in addition to gifts as help from family/friends.
32These shares are computed by dividing average income for those with the source by average family income. Shares sum to 100 percent subject to rounding and survey item non-response.
33Table V.6 presents only the incidence and average amounts for each source. The share of income represented by each source for each sub-group of leavers with income from that particular source is quite similar to the shares reported for all leavers in Table V.5.
34Note that in Arizona, some families designated as continuous leavers because they remained off TANF for a year, have returned to TANF by the time they are surveyed 12 to 18 months after exit.
35Because surveys ask about current employment but income last month, there are a few leavers who had earnings last month but are currently jobless and a few who had no earnings last month but are currently working. Because the discussion assumes work status and income are reported contemporaneously, the analysis does not present the actual computation; rather, it assumes that all currently employed leavers have earnings and that no currently jobless leavers have earnings.
36When the cash value of food stamps are counted, the poverty rate for Iowa's leavers drops to 41 percent.