Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE "Leavers" Grants. Program Participation

11/27/2001

Non-TANF government assistance can help families in their transition from welfare to work. However, some families return to TANF. The major findings across studies on returns to TANF and participation in other public assistance programs are summarized below.

Percent of Single-Parent Welfare Leavers Retuning to TANF

The graph shows the minimum, maximum, and median TANF return rates as reported for the first four post-exit quarters across the studies. Not all studies provide data for all post-exit quarters. See Table IV.1 of the Final Synthesis Report for more details.

  • It is not uncommon for leavers to return to TANFa quarter to a third of families who left welfare returned to TANF at some point in the first year after exit.

Percent of Single-Parent Welfare Leavers Receiving Food Stamps
The graph shows the minimum, maximum, and median food stamp receipt rates as reported for the first four post-exit quarters across the studies. Not all studies provide data for all post-exit quarters. See Table IV.3 of the Final Synthesis Report for more details.

  • About half of leaver families receive food stamps in the first quarter after exit and about two-thirds receive these benefits at some point in the year after exit.

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The graph shows the minimum, maximum, and median adult Medicaid coverage rates as reported for the first four post-exit quarters across the studies. Not all studies provide data for all post-exit quarters. See Table IV.7 of the Final Synthesis Report for more details.

  • About three out of five leaver families have an adult enrolled in Medicaid in the first quarter after exit. Medicaid coverage of children is generally higher, ranging from 60 to 90 percent after exit.
  • The percentage of leavers who receive food stamps and Medicaid at any point over the year after exit is significantly higher than the percentage receiving in any of the individual quarters, suggesting a great deal of cycling on and off these programs.
  • Participation in both food stamps and Medicaid is generally lower for continuous leaver families than those who return to TANF at some point in the year after exit.
  • Several studies also report on additional sources of government assistance, such as housing assistance, disability benefits, reduced-price lunches, WIC, fuel/energy assistance, unemployment compensation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The range of participation in these programs varies across studies.
  • Food stamp and Medicaid program participation are generally higher for those who are not currently employed compared to those currently employed.