UI as a Safety Net for Former TANF Recipients. Receipt of UI


Among TANF leavers who are UI applicants, the proportions receiving UI benefits in the analysis cohorts are presented in Table 11. Final rates of UI benefit receipt within three years of leaving TANF for employment range from 29.5 percent in the Ohio 2001 cohort to 65.0 percent in the Michigan 2001 cohort.

Compared to the first year after TANF exit, UI beneficiary rates tend to be higher in the second and third years after leaving TANF (Table 13). Final beneficiary rates can be high despite initially high rates of disqualification for non-monetary separation reasons since state UI laws deny UI benefit entitlement for only a fixed term, or until re-qualification occurs — usually through reemployment with additional earnings exceeding a required level.(4) Claimants disqualified for failing non-monetary eligibility requirements can also appeal the denial. However, the appeal rate and the success rate among appeals is likely to be low among TANF leavers.

Among all UI applicants, beneficiary rates for TANF leavers were uniformly lower than for those not recently involved with TANF. Table 12 shows the simple unadjusted differences in UI beneficiary rates to be between 8.3 percent and 36.1 percent lower for recent TANF leavers. Controlling for characteristics that influence UI eligibility, the beneficiary rates are between 2.4 percent and 21.7 percent lower for recent TANF leavers.(5)

Among TANF leavers who qualify for UI in the 1997 to 2003 cohorts, Table 11 shows the ranges of mean values for UI entitlement and benefit receipt. UI weekly benefit amounts (WBA) range from $156 to $203, entitled durations of UI benefits range from 17.0 to 25.5 weeks, and mean UI compensation received over the benefit year ranged from $1,891 to $3,919. The percentage of entitled benefits drawn ranged from 71.6 to 83.6, while the rates of exhausting UI benefit entitlements ranged from 38.9 to 64.3 percent.


Table 13.
Beneficiary Rates (percent) Among UI Applicants by Year After TANF Exit When Newly Unemployed
  1997 Cohorts 2000 Cohorts 2001 Cohorts 2003
Florida Texas Florida Michigan Ohio Texas Florida Michigan Ohio (*1) Texas
Year 1 52.7 60.5 53.3 60.0 29.2 55.7 49.0 64.0 22.3 56.9 57.6 51.5
Year 2 56.3 62.3 63.8 66.0 28.1 60.6 60.8 65.4 35.7 60.1 60.2 56.6
Year 3 60.6 61.3 66.8 66.7 37.3 63.1   67.4   62.9 63.3 61.1
Applicants (*2) 10,158 13,616 10,136 7,022 7,885 8,984 7,051 7,089 7,045 10,646 9,128 98,760
Average Rate 56.5 61.2 59.4 63.5 30.4 58.9 53.3 65.0 29.5 58.9 58.9 55.0
(*1) To observe new unemployment following TANF exit, eight and ten quarters are checked for the Florida 2001and Ohio 2001 cohorts respectively. For all other cohorts, twelve quarters subsequent to TANF exit are checked for new unemployment.

(*2) UI application is identified in a new spell of unemployment by checking for a UI benefit year begin (BYB) date in the period starting with the quarter prior to new unemployment through three quarters after new unemployment.

Rates of monetary and non-monetary eligibility together with UI beneficiary rates are presented graphically in Figure 9 for newly unemployed TANF leavers. Over time, rates are stable within states, but there are some noteworthy differences across states. The very high rates of monetary eligibility exceeding 90 percent in Florida, Michigan, and Texas are prominent. Beneficiary rates hover around 60 percent for these three states. Non-monetary eligibility rates for the Ohio cohorts are low at around 30 percent, but on par with Texas. Beneficiary rates in Ohio are slightly below the non-monetary eligibility rates. But in all other states the UI beneficiary rates far exceed the non-monetary eligibility rates.

Figure 9.
UI Eligibility and Beneficiary Rates Among Newly Unemployed TANF Leavers


Figure 9. UI Eligibility and Beneficiary Rates Among Newly Unemployed TANF Leavers (percent). See text.

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