Iowa's Limited Benefit Plan. A. Data Sources

05/01/1997

The flow analysis is based on three administrative data files. The core data file is the LBP Master File, Iowa's administrative file on LBP assignments. This is supplemented with data from the Iowa Automated Benefit Calculation (IABC) System Case Master File and the IABC Individual Master File, which provide case- and individual-level data on welfare clients and applicants.

1. LBP Master File

The LBP Master File is a cumulative data file that contains information on each assignment ever made to the LBP. The file is structured by assignment, with one record per individual per assignment to the LBP. For each assignment, the file provides key program information pertaining to the LBP. Four data elements in this file are of particular interest in the flow analysis: the reason for assignment, the starting date of the assignment, the reason for cancellation, and the date of cancellation. The file also includes the name and state identification number of the individual assigned to the LBP and the IABC case number of his or her case. These identification numbers act as direct links to data in the IABC Case Master and Individual Master Files.

2. IABC Case Master File

The IABC Case Master File is a monthly data file that provides current and historical information on each family that is participating in, or has applied for, FIP.(1) This file is organized by welfare benefit unit, or case, with one record per case. The file includes the IABC case number and name of the case-name person (the person in whose name the benefit check is issued). These identifiers provide links to data in the LBP Master File and the IABC Individual Master File.

For the flow analysis, the Case Master File provides data on FIP and Food Stamp receipt by cases assigned to the LBP. In particular, the file provides monthly FIP and Food Stamp benefit histories for the period surrounding the LBP assignment.

3. IABC Individual Master File

The IABC Individual Master File is a monthly data file that provides information on each individual belonging to a case included in the Case Master File. The file includes the individual's state identification number and the IABC case number of his or her case. These identifiers provide links to data in the LBP Master File.

For the flow analysis, the Individual Master File provides measures of demographic characteristics of the individual assigned to the LBP. These include the age, race/ethnicity, gender, marital status, and education of the individual assigned to the LBP. In addition, it provides information on several case-level characteristics, including the number of persons, the number of children in the case, and the age of the youngest case member; these are measured by aggregating the data over individuals in the same case.