The LBP Survey included several items designed to measure respondents' perceptions of how and why they came to be on the LBP. Approximately 78 percent of respondents reported that they had been assigned to the LBP, 20 percent reported that they had voluntarily entered the LBP, and 2 percent did not remember why they entered (Table VI.5).
1. Events Leading Up to Assignment to the LBP
Among the respondents who said they were assigned to the LBP, the dominant reason they gave for the assignment was noncompliance with PROMISE JOBS; this was cited by 71 percent of those assigned to the LBP. Respondents most often described their noncompliance in terms of missing PROMISE JOBS appointments or generally "not cooperating" with PROMISE JOBS. Some explained that they were working full-time and could not miss work to meet with their caseworkers. One respondent said, "I guess I missed too many appointments and then I got a letter saying that I was on the LBP."
Fifteen percent of those assigned to the LBP reported that problems with their caseworkers or paperwork had precipitated their assignment. An even smaller share (8 percent) cited problems with transportation or child care arrangements as barriers to meeting PROMISE JOBS requirements, which thus led to their assignment. Finally, approximately 20 percent said that they felt they had no choice about being assigned to the LBP, suggesting that they did not fully understand the policies or the reason for the DHS action.
2. Reasons for Voluntarily Entering the LBP
Of the 20 percent of survey respondents who reported that they voluntarily entered the LBP, most indicated that they did so because they were "tired" of the public assistance system and wanted to be free of the hassles associated with it (results not shown). One respondent remarked, "I wanted to be in control. I knew I could get a job, so I just didn't sign my FIA." Another said, "I was ready to be off welfare. I wanted to be a good role model for my kids." Some reported that they thought the LBP was the only program available to them in Iowa. One of these respondents said, "I didn't know I had a choice. I picked it because I thought it was part of the new program where everyone [receiving FIP benefits] was on the LBP."