Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Rational for Why the Topic Was Chosen


A recent report from the NSAF indicates that 13 percent of the sample reported that their physical health limits their ability to work. Other state studies suggest that at least one-fifth, but possibly as many as one-half, of TANF recipients who are not working have health problems which, they believe, prevent them from working. Many parents who are no longer receiving TANF due to sanctions report being unable to comply with the rules because of a health condition, illness, or disability (Sweeney 2000). Evidence from studies of welfare recipients is beginning to show that health problems may present an important barrier, not only for obtaining and keeping employment but also for participating in programs meant to improve recipients employability. Although individuals with severe health problems can be exempted from work-activity requirements, most have not been evaluated for disability. Understanding the prevalence and severity of such problems could be useful in guiding states policies and procedures.

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