Iowa's Limited Benefit Plan. B. Survey Methodology


The LBP Survey was a mixed-mode survey. Initial efforts were made to complete an interview by telephone; if this was unsuccessful, then an in-person interview was attempted. The telephone phase of the survey began in early February 1996 and continued until the end of March 1996. The in-person phase began in mid-March and lasted for one month. All interviews were completed during the respondents' six-month FIP ineligibility period of the LBP. More specifically, the interviews were completed during LBP months eight through twelve, with most (92 percent) being completed during LBP months nine through eleven.

A letter was sent to the last known address of each sampled individual explaining the survey, encouraging participation, and offering a $50 incentive payment to survey participants. The letter instructed the individual to call MPR's toll-free number to complete an interview or to schedule an interview for a convenient time. MPR attempted to telephone those sampled individuals who did not call the 800 number. Contact was attempted without regard for whether the sampled individual had moved either within or outside of the state.(2) These methods yielded a high telephone interview completion rate.

When an interview could not be completed via telephone, responsibility for interviewing the sampled individual was transferred to ISED, which attempted to contact and interview the individual in person. ISED used on-call survey field staff in each of the three PROMISE JOBS SDAs to conduct the in-person interviews.

Sample members who were successfully contacted and who agreed to participate in the survey were administered a brief sequence of screener questions to confirm that the FIP case to which the individual belonged had experienced the expected pattern of cash assistance (positive in LBP month six; zero in month seven). Individuals who indicated that this pattern of cash assistance did not apply to their cases were deemed ineligible for the remainder of the interview if they also reported having received cash assistance in the survey month. Ten of the 172 sampled individuals were excluded from the full interview for this reason. Thus, the sample eligible to be interviewed consisted of 162 individuals and their associated FIP cases.