1 Arizona’s interim report provided information on families who left welfare in the first (calendar) quarter of 1998; the data shown for Arizona in Tables 1 and 2 are on families who left welfare in the fourth quarter of 1996, and were provided to ASPE in a supplemental report. The data shown for San Mateo County and Washington in Tables 1 and 2 are also for the fourth quarter of 1996. The data shown for Cuyahoga County are for welfare leavers in the third quarter of 1996. The Cuyahoga County and Washington interim reports reflect families who left welfare prior to TANF implementation, which occurred in October 1996 and January 1997, respectively. Arizona implemented TANF in October 1996 and San Mateo County in November 1996, and reported data for the fourth calendar quarter of 1996.
2 For example, some of the studies appeared to have reported receipt of food stamps and Medicaid among leavers who did not return to TANF, while others looked at all leavers. Also, some studies reported Medicaid receipt for adult leavers, while others examined receipt for children, who are more likely to receive Medicaid. In a statefunded report of survey findings, for example, researchers in Washington state reported that 44 percent of adult leavers and 64 percent of their children were covered by Medicaid three months after exit.
3 The General Accounting Office examined 17 reports based on studies conducted or sponsored by states of families who left the AFDC or TANF rolls during or after 1995 and summarized the findings of seven of those studies in a report WELFARE REFORM: Information on Former Recipients’ Status (GAO/HEHS-99-48) in April 1999. In addition, the Urban Institute summarized the findings on employment rates, characteristics of employment and other determinants of wellbeing from 11 state studies of leavers in May 1999 (Where Are They Now? What States’ Studies of People Who Left Welfare Tell Us, a product of Assessing the New Federalism, Series A, No. A-32).
4 Preliminary analyses of Los Angeles County administrative data and the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey show that the participation rate of immigrants in a wide array of benefit programs has declined more precipitously than the rate of citizens, even prior to implementation of new immigrant eligibility restrictions. Additional information on that study, “Understanding the Impact of TANF and Other Laws on Immigrant Families,” can be found in the third chapter of this report.
5 Separately funded research recently released by the George Washington University Center for Health Policy Research found that formal strategies to divert families from welfare are an increasingly common aspect of states’ efforts to shift to a workoriented assistance system. More than half the states have instituted formal programs to avoid enrolling families in welfare programs by finding other ways to assist them, or by requiring workrelated activities at a much earlier point in the application process. The researchers also reported an increasing awareness and concern that the implementation of aggressive state welfare reform efforts can lead to decreased access to other public benefits such as Medicaid.