Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1997. Indicator 10. Rates of Participation in Means-tested Assistance Programs

10/01/1997

Not all eligible households participate in means-tested programs. This indicator reflects "take- up rates" - the number of families that actually participate in the program as a percent of those who are eligible.

Figure IND 10a. AFDC Caseload as a Percent of Eligible Families

Figure IND 10a. AFDC Caseload as a Percent of Eligible Families

  • The percentage of all eligible families who participated in AFDC declined 3 percentage points (from 80 percent to 77 percent) between 1981 and 1987. Between 1987 and 1989, the percentage of eligible families participating in AFDC increased substantially, from 77 percent to 84 percent. After reaching a peak of 86 percent in 1992, the percentage declined in 1993 and remained stable in 1994.

Table IND 10a. AFDC Caseload as a Percent of Eligible Families

  1981 1983 1985 1987 1988 1989 1990 1992 1993 1994
Average Monthly

Eligibles

3,097 2,848 2,917 2,914 2,923 3,168 3,259 4,101 4,085 4,188
Average Caseload 3,871 3,651 3,692 3,784 3,748 3,771 3,974 4,768 4,981 5,046
Participation Rate 80 78 79 77 78 84 82 86 82 83

Source: Number of eligibles estimated by the Urban Institute using TRIM model simulations. Caseload based on data from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

Figure IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percent of Eligible Households

Figure IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percent of Eligible Households

  • In all years, larger percentages of children in eligible households received Food Stamps compared to other age groups, and smaller percentages of the elderly in eligible households received Food Stamps compared to other adults and children.
  • For disabled persons under age 60, the percentage in eligible households who received Food Stamps increased substantially between 1985 and 1994, from 47 percent in 1985 to 71 percent in 1994.

Table IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percent of Eligible Households

 

Persons

Households

Elderly

Children

Disabled

Under 60

Adults 18 - 59

August 1985 64 59 37 74 47 65
January 1988 59 56 34 70 55 66
January 1989 59 56 29 68 57 60
January 1992 74 69 33 86 67 77
January 1994 71 69 35 80 71 73

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates, various years.

Figure IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients of Eligible Adults

Figure IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients of Eligible Adults

  • For all adults, the percentage of those eligible who received SSI remained constant between 1993 and 1994 (63 percent) and increased substantially in 1995 (from 63 percent to 70 percent).
  • For all adults in 1995, a larger percentage of eligible disabled adults in one-person units participated in the SSI program (74 percent) compared to both eligible aged adults in one-person units (65 percent) and adults in married-couple units (52 percent).

Table IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients by Type as a Percent of Eligible Group

  1993 1994 1995
All Adults 63 63 70
One-Person Units - Aged NA NA 65
One-Person Units - Disabled NA NA 74
Married-Couple Units NA NA 52

Note: The figure for married-couple units is based on very small sample sizes-married couple units were only about 5 percent of the adult units in the average month of 1995.

Source: Number of eligibles estimated by the Urban Institute using TRIM model simulations.