Setting the Baseline: A Report on State Welfare Waivers. Table III, Family Cap Policies by State

06/01/1997

State No extra benefits(1) Reduced benefits(2) Vouchers for some of loss(3) Reduced JOBS exemption(4) Increased earnings disregard(5) Child support passed through(6) Extends after family is off AFDC(7) Exempt for rape & incest(8) Exempt first-time minor parents(9) Exempt for disabled child(10) Exempt for child not living with parents(11) Exempt for contraceptive failure(12) Exclusion lifted after off AFDC for time(13)
Arizona X - - - X - X X X - - - -
Arkansas X - - - - - - X X - - - -
California X - - X - X - X X - X X -
Connecticut - X - X - - - X X - X - -
Delaware X - - - - X - X X - X - -
Florida X X - - - - - X X - X - -
Georgia X - - - X - - X X - - - -
Illinois X - - - X - X X X - X - -
Indiana X - X X - - - X X X X - -
Maryland X - X - - X - X X - X - -
Massachusetts X - - X - X X X X - X - -
Mississippi X - - - - X X X X - X - -
Nebraska X - - X - X - X X - X - -
New Jersey X - - - X - X - X - - - X?
North Carolina X - - - - - - X X - X - -
South Carolina X - X - - - - X X - X - -
Tennessee X - - - - - - X X - X - X
Virginia X - - X - X X X X - X - -
Wisconsin(14) X - - X - - X X X - X - -

 

 


The states in the table below do increase AFDC benefits when a child is born to a recipient family, but require the parents to participate in JOBS activities sooner than they would for a child not conceived while the family is receiving AFDC.

 

State No extra benefits Reduced benefits Vouchers for some of loss Reduced JOBS exemption Increased earnings disregard Child support passed through Extends after family is off AFDC Exempt for rape & incest Exempt for first-time minor parents Exempt for disabled child Exempt for child not living with parents Exempt for contraceptive failure Exclusion lifted after off AFDC for time
 New Hampshire

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

X

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

X

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

Texas - - - X - - - - - - - - -
Wyoming - - - X - - - - - - - - -

1. Most states' family cap provisions deny families an increase in AFDC benefits when a child is born more than 10 months after the family applied for AFDC. For cases that had begun AFDC receipt before this provision was enacted, family cap applies 10 months after family is notified of the new provision. Georgia applies its family cap only after a family has received AFDC for 24 months or more.

2. Connecticut limits the benefit increase for a child conceived while family is receiving AFDC to one-half of the average benefit increase for an additional child. Florida provides a benefit increase of one-half of the maximum allowable increase, for the first child born to AFDC family (including all such children in a multiple birth). For a second or subsequent child, there is no increase in the AFDC cash benefits.

3. Maryland and South Carolina provide vouchers for goods and services worth up to the amount of the benefit increase that would otherwise be available. Indiana provides a voucher worth up to half of the benefit increase.

4. Under the JOBS program, parents with children under a certain age (between 1 and 3, at state option) are exempt from participation requirements. States with a "reduced JOBS exemption" do not give as long an exemption to parents who have an additional child while on AFDC. In California, the exemption is lowered to 4 months from 3 years. Connecticut does not provide a JOBS exemption when a child conceived on AFDC is born. Indiana lowers the exemption to 12 weeks. (The regular JOBS exemption is also being lowered from 3 years to 12 weeks, but in stages.) In Massachusetts, the age is lowered to 3 months from 2 years. In Nebraska, the age is lowered to 3 months from 6 months. In New Hampshire and Wyoming, the age is lowered to 13 weeks from 1 year. Texas provides a one-time only JOBS exemption for taking care of child under age 5. In Virginia, the age is lowered to 6 weeks from 18 months. In Wisconsin, there is no exemption from the time limit for the birth of a child conceived while on AFDC, and only a 6 month exemption from the work requirement.

5. These states allow families with earned income to keep more of their earnings in order to compensate for the benefits they are denied as a result of the family cap. Arizona and Georgia use fill-the-gap budgeting for the amount of the family cap, while New Jersey gives the family an additional 50 percent earned income disregard.

6. These states allow families to keep all child support collected on behalf of the child who is excluded from benefits as a result of the family cap.

7. In these states, children born after a family is off of AFDC can be denied benefits if the family later returns to AFDC. In Arizona, a child conceived within 12 months of leaving AFDC will be excluded unless the family remains off for 60 months. In Illinois, the family cap applies to a child conceived while the family was off of AFDC for less than 3 months. In Massachusetts and Mississippi, the family cap applies to children conceived within 12 months of the family leaving AFDC. In New Jersey, the family cap is not lifted unless the family is off of AFDC for at least 90 days for earnings or at least 12 months for any reason. In Virginia and Wisconsin, the family cap applies to children born within 6 months of the family's leaving AFDC.

8. In every state that has received authority for a family cap except New Jersey, the terms and conditions of the waiver state that children who are conceived as a result of rape or incest are not subject to the family cap.

9. In every state that has a family cap, an exception is made for the first birth to a minor parent who is receiving AFDC as a dependent child.

10. One state, Indiana, makes a humanitarian exception for a child who is mentally or physically disabled.

11. 11. Most states with family caps make an exception for a child not living with his or her parents. In many cases, legal custody of the child must have been transferred, or the child must be unable to live with his or her parents due to their death, disability, incarceration or institutionalization. Wisconsin's waiver allows the state to restrict the exemption if, after two years, a study finds that a significantly higher fraction of children subject to the benefit cap are living outside their parents' household than children in the control group.

12. This exemption only applies when the conception is due to the failure of a contraceptive that does not require action on the part of the patient -- intrauterine devices, Norplant, or sterilization of either partner.

13. Tennessee and possibly New Jersey allow a child previously denied cash assistance to receive benefits if the family stays off of AFDC for a sufficient period before returning.

14. Wisconsin information is based on statewide AFDC Benefit Cap waiver; similar family cap provisions are also contained in Parental and Family Responsibility and Welfare Not Work waivers.