Unemployment Insurance as a Potential Safety Net for TANF Leavers: Evidence from Five States. B. Patterns of UI Monetary Eligibility Among Key Subgroups

09/01/2004

To study UI monetary eligibility in greater depth, we examined potential monetary eligibility rates according to employment and TANF receipt in the year preceding the reference month. We also examined potential UI eligibility rates among TANF leavers who experienced a job loss, and among all TANF leavers, including those who left for reasons other than work.

  • People who had more work experience during the year preceding the reference month were more likely to have UI monetary eligibility.

Human capital characteristics usually are important predictors of who is likely to attain UI monetary eligibility. We found that those who had any labor market experience during the year preceding the reference month were more likely to potentially have UI monetary eligibility than were those with no work experience during that year (Figure III.4). We also observed a relationship between TANF receipt and potential monetary UI eligibility, although the differences here are smaller. Overall, people who were on TANF for less than six months during the year preceding the reference month were somewhat more likely to potentially have monetary eligibility for UI in later periods than were those who received TANF more intensively during that year.

Figure III.4.
UI Eligibility At Quarter 8 After TANF Exit, by TANF and Employment Experience During the Year Preceding the Reference Month
Figure III.4.1 UI Eligibility At Quarter 8 After TANF Exit, by TANF and Employment Experience During the Year Preceding the Reference Month, TANF Receipt Status
Figure III.4.2 UI Eligibility At Quarter 8 After TANF Exit, by TANF and Employment Experience During the Year Preceding the Reference Month, Employment Status
Source: Administrative records data from selected Welfare-to-Work Evaluation study sites, assembled by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Note: Sample includes those who exited TANF and held a job within three months of TANF exit.

  • Former TANF recipients who had exited TANF for work and subsequently experienced a job loss had considerably lower rates of potential UI monetary eligibility than did those who never lost their jobs. These differences were larger among those who lost their jobs during the early quarters after TANF exit.

Between 12 and 20 percent of those who left TANF for work lost their jobs during each quarter of the first year after TANF exit for a job (not shown). Workers who lost their jobs tended to have considerably lower potential UI monetary eligibility rates than those who did not lose their jobs. These differences were the largest among workers who lost their jobs during the early period after TANF exit. For instance, workers who had lost their jobs for the first time during the second quarter after TANF exit had potential monetary UI eligibility rates of 33 to 45 percent across the sites as compared with 53 to 71 percent for those who had not lost their jobs until that time (Figure III.5). TANF leavers who lost their jobs for the first time during the fourth quarter or later were considerably more likely to potentially attain monetary eligibility (73 to 94 percent) largely because they had built up a history of employment by that time. Thus, although the overall rate of potential UI monetary eligibility for the group as a whole could become relatively high in later quarters, TANF leavers who lose their jobs during the first year of TANF exit—the group most likely to need UI assistance—are considerably less likely to qualify.

Figure III.5.
Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time
Figure III.5.1 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Phoenix, AZ
Figure III.5.2 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Cook Co, IL
Figure III.5.3 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Baltimore Co,  MD
Figure III.5.4 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Philadelphia, PA
Figure III.5.5 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Tarrant Co, TX
Figure III.5 Quarterly UI Eligibility at the Time of Job Loss Among Those Who Lost Their Jobs During a Given Quarter and Those Who Had Not Lost Their Jobs Until That Time, Legend
Source: Administrative records data from selected Welfare-to-Work Evaluation study sites, assembled by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
  • Former recipients who left TANF for reasons other than work generally had much lower rates of potential UI eligibility than did those who left TANF for work.

Between 10 and 20 percent of people who left TANF within the year following the reference month for reasons other than work potentially had monetary eligibility for UI during the two-year period after TANF exit (Figure III.6). These low rates are not surprising, as many people who leave TANF for non-work reasons never enter the labor market. Interestingly, among this group of TANF leavers, eligibility rates actually fell slightly during the early months after exit. Some members of the group had eligibility at the time of exit because they had some earnings during their reference year before they exited welfare. However, because they did not exit TANF for work, they did not have the employment history around the time of exit to qualify for UI. Eventually, as some of these people entered or reentered the labor market, potential monetary eligibility increased slightly for the group that exited TANF for reasons other than for work.(3) As we saw in Figure II.2 in the preceding chapter, those who exited TANF for reasons other than for work had very low employment rates, with only 20 to 25 percent having any earnings between quarters 4 and 8 after TANF exit.

Figure III.6.
Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers
Figure III.6.1 Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers, Phoenix, AZ
Figure III.6.2 Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers, Cook Co, IL
Figure III.5.3 Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers, Baltimore Co,  MD
Figure III.5.4 Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers, Philadelphia, PA
Figure III.5.5 Quarterly Potential UI Monetary Eligibility Among All TANF Leavers, Tarrant Co, TX
Source: Administrative records data from selected Welfare-to-Work Evaluation study sites, assembled by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Note: Sample includes those who exited TANF and held a job within three months of TANF exit.

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