Performance Improvement 2009. What Do We Know About Welfare Time Limits?


This study examined what has been learned about welfare time limits: the implementation of state policies, families affected by time limits, the effects of time limits on employment and welfare receipt, and the circumstances of families whose welfare cases have been closed because they reached a time limit. An earlier study included a survey of state welfare administrators to obtain information on states’ time-limit policies and their experiences. Through this study, findings from the earlier survey were updated. Researchers categorized States according to their time limit policies and how they implemented these policies.

The study found that about half of all assistance cases were subject to the federal time limit. Families who had reached 60 months were headed by individuals who were older, on average, had lower levels of education, were more likely to have a disabled family member, and more likely living in public housing or receiving a rent subsidy than individuals who had accumulated fewer months. In a given month in FY 2005, approximately 4.5 percent of assistance cases (and 8 percent of all adult-headed families) had received at least 60 months of assistance. No state had reached the 20 percent cap for granting extensions beyond 60 months due to hardships by FY 2005.

Report Title: Welfare Time Limits: An Update on State Policies, Implementation, and Effects on Families
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Michael, Dubinsky, 202-401-3442
Performer: The Lewin Group and MDRC
PIC ID: 8892

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"PerformanceImprovement2009.pdf" (pdf, 1.26Mb)

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