Initial Synthesis Report of the Findings from ASPE's "Leavers" Grants. Endnotes


1.  The Wisconsin study uses a slightly different definition of leavers than the later ASPE-funded studies. The results reported here are based on supplementary work done by the authors of the Wisconsin study which makes the findings more comparable with those reported in subsequent ASPE-funded work.

2.  Many of these studies are reviewed in Loprest and Brauner (1999), GAO (1999), Acs and Loprest (2000), Isaacs and Lyon (2000), and DHHS/ASPE (2000).

3.  As of October, 2000, findings are not yet available from Massachusetts, but are expected soon. A fourteenth leaver study in South Carolina funded under a different mechanism, will have findings in 2001.

4.  Most studies require a family to remain off welfare for two months to be considered a leaver. Arizona uses a one month requirement throughout its study but presents supplementary findings using a two month definition. In this synthesis report, we focus on the two month findings from Arizona for comparability. DC requires a leaver to remain off welfare one full calendar month.

5.  Most studies examine families that left welfare during a given three month period. Wisconsin's leaver cohort is made up of leavers from a twelve-month period.

6.  Massachusetts' leaver study is not reviewed here because it was not complete by October 2000; however, a portion of welfare recipients in the state have reached their interim time limits and Massachusetts report concentrates heavily on time limited v. other TANF leavers. The Massachusetts report will be included in our final report in Summer 2001.

7.  The cohort of leavers from Cuyahoga county, Ohio, which we examine in this report (3Q96) pre-dates the imposition of the 36 month time limit.

8.  Diversion policies may have particularly strong effects on return rates.

9.  For Wisconsin, 73.5 percent of case heads whose educational attainment is reported have less than 12 years of schooling.

10.  Throughout the report, we include administrative results for Single-Parent families and note the few exceptions. Because three out of five surveys primarily report results for all cases together, our survey findings are for all cases except where otherwise noted.

11.  Note that we report nominal monetary values. While inflation was very low during the late 1990s, a two-year difference between studies can represent about a five percent difference in purchasing power.

12.  Illinois and Missouri report monthly household income; Washington reports family income, and Arizona presents case income.

13.  Some studies report quarterly information (receipt at some point within a three-month quarter) and some present monthly information (receipt in particular month). Studies reporting quarterly information will report a higher percentage than if they reported a monthly number. For example, the New York study shows that 17 percent of original exiters were receiving TANF in the twelfth month after leaving, but 19 percent received at some point in the fourth quarter after leaving. However, across studies we do not observe any pattern of difference between monthly and quarterly reports. Table V.1 indicates whether numbers reported are monthly or quarterly.

14.  Recall that most of these studies require that a family remain off welfare for at least two months to be considered a leaver. This common leaver definition may contribute the similar, low return rates across sites.

15.  Cuyahoga county has a 36 month time limit but it was not implemented until 10/97, after the study period. California's time limit was implemented in 1/98.

16.  Despite reporting 100 percent receipt of food stamps in the month of exit, San Mateo County has very low percentages of food stamp receipt across the entire post-exit period. This is due to the relatively low rates of returning to TANF (most of whom would be eligible for Food stamps) as well as very low rates of food stamp receipt among families not receiving cash assistance. Note that high maximum benefit levels and high earnings disregards policies in California may result in higher incomes (and less eligibility for food stamps) among families who leave welfare in California as compared with other states.

17.  Wisconsin also presents results for continuous leavers; however, its findings for all leavers and continuous leavers cannot be compared in the same way as we do for other sites because Wisconsin uses a slightly different leaver definition for the two groups.

18.  A number of states also have programs that extend public coverage to children at higher income levels. While these sometimes go by names other than Medicaid, we are including them under Medicaid here.

19.  Washington is reporting results for all individuals, so it may also have lower Medicaid coverage for adults alone.

20.  Just as in the case of food stamps, Wisconsin presents Medicaid findings for continuous leavers but they cannot be compared to all leavers because of differences in the definition of leaver across the two groups.

21.  Leavers may also receive assistance through the school lunch program, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutritional program, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and foster care programs. These sources of support are not consistently reported in the survey-based studies reviewed here and are excluded from this initial synthesis report. Child care assistance is discussed later in this report.

22.  As of 1998, three of our study areas had state EITCs as well, District of Columbia, Illinois, and New York.

23.  Arizona, Illinois, and Washington use a 6-month window for their questions. Missouri asks about the past month, and the District of Columbia asks about the time while on TANF and the time since exiting TANF, about 12 months.

24.  We do not discuss here whether these differences are statistically significant, which is reported in some studies and not others.

25.  District of Columbia also asks about child care arrangements used by employed leavers, but because the results are not broken out by age in the report, making comparable categorizations difficult, the results are excluded here. Arizona reports child care arrangements of all leavers, but does not separately report arrangements for employed leavers, so these results are also excluded.

26.  In District of Columbia an additional 2.5 percent of leavers report getting assistance from other private sources which could include government funds given to community or church groups. Missouri reports that 36 percent of leavers used child care subsidies at some point over the 30 months since exit.