A Profile of Families Cycling on and off Welfare. Defining cyclers, short-term, and long-term welfare recipients

04/01/2004

For most analyses in this report, we divide the samples into three key outcome groups, based on each sample member's pattern of welfare receipt: cyclers, short-term recipients, and long-term recipients, this grouping reflects definitions used in the literature (e.g., Ver Ploeg, 2002), combined with an examination of the full sample. In this report we define a cycler as someone who had 3 or more spells of welfare receipt during the 4-year observation period. (19) A short-term recipient is defined as someone who had 1 or 2 spells and a total of up to 24 months of welfare receipt during the observation period. Long-term recipients are defined as sample members with 1 or 2 spells and a total of 25 to 48 months of welfare receipt during the observation period.

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