Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Thirteenth Report to Congress. INDICATOR 10. Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells

03/01/2014

Figure IND 10a. Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Exits during the 2004 – 2006 Period

Figure IND 10a. Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Exits during the 2004 – 2006 Period

Note: Welfare exits are defined as moving from receipt to non-receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare exit. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “Increase in other Household Earnings” was limited to cases when there were increases in household earnings without an increase in recipient earnings, and “Increase in Adults (not marriage)” was limited to cases where the adult joining the household was not marrying the head of the household. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, veterans’ payments and Workers Compensation. An increase in earnings must be an increase of at least $50 per month. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in recent past" represents the percentage of all spells ending during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the SIPP. In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in volumes prior to 2008.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2004 panel.


  • Figure IND 10a shows events associated with single mother TANF exits during the 2004 SIPP panel, 2004 - 2006. Welfare exits were most often associated with an increase in recipient earnings. Thirty (30.3) percent of welfare spells that ended during the 2004 to 2006 time period were associated with an increase in the recipient’s earnings. Almost thirteen (12.5) percent of welfare exits were associated with an increase in the earnings of other household members.
  • Forty-six percent of welfare exits during the 2004 – 2006 time period were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed.
  • Table IND 10a shows the events associated with welfare exits among single mother recipients for selected years. Increases in recipient earnings have always been the most common event associated with welfare exits, but exits associated with recipient earnings increases have decreased over time. For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 54.8 percent of exits were associated with an increase in recipient earnings, yet for the 2004 - 2006 time period 30.3 percent were associated with increases in recipient earnings.

Table IND 10a. Percentage of Single Mother AFDC/TANF Spell Exits Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

  Spell Ended 1993-1995 Spell Ended 1996-1999 Spell Ended 2001-2003 Spell Ended 2004-2006
Increase in own earnings 54.8 44.6 34.3 30.3
Increase in other household earnings 10.3 11.9 12.4 12.5
Became SSI recipient 1.6 5.9 5.1 4.4
Became recipient of other government benefits 2.2 2.6 2.9 0.4
Last child left or turned 19 5.6 2.4 1.6 3.1
Married 5.4 2.1 2.3 2.7
Increase in number of adults (not marriage) 17.6 12.4 12.8 13.4
Ended work limitation 3.0 10.9 8.8 5.2
Moved across state lines 2.4 1.4 2.8 4.3
None of above in recent past 24.0 31.1 37.3 46.0

Note: Welfare exits are defined as moving from receipt to non-receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare exit. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “Increase in other Household Earnings” was limited to cases when there were increases in household earnings without an increase in recipient earnings, and “Increase in Adults (not marriage)” was limited to cases where the adult joining the household was not marrying the head of the household. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, veterans payments and Workers Compensation. An increase in earnings must be an increase of at least $50 per month. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in Recent Past" represents the percentage of all spells ending during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the SIPP. In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in volumes prior to 2008.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels.


  • Welfare exits associated with changes in household composition have also decreased over time. For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 5.6 percent of welfare exits were related to the last child in a household leaving home or turning 19 years old as compared to 3.1 percent for the 2004 – 2006 time period.
  • Welfare exits associated with marriage also declined over the two time periods. For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 5.4 percent of exits were related to marriage, for the 2004 – 2006 time period, the rate was 2.7 percent.
  • Forty-six percent of welfare exits were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed, which is nearly twice the level observed in the 1993-1995 period.

Figure IND 10b. Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during the 2004-2006 Period

Figure IND 10b. Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during the 2004-2006 Period

Note: Welfare entries are defined as moving from non-receipt to receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare entry. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “Other Household Earnings Decreased” was limited to cases when there were decreases in household earnings without a decrease in recipient earnings, and “Decrease in Number of Adults (not divorce)” was limited to cases where the adult leaving the household was not married to the head of the household. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, veterans payments and Workers Compensation. A decrease in earnings must be a decrease of at least $50 per month. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in Recent Past" represents the percentage of all spell beginnings during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the SIPP. In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in volumes prior to 2008.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2004 panel.


  • Figure IND 10b shows the events associated with the beginning of TANF spells among single mother recipients in the 2004 – 2006 time period. A decrease in earnings was the most common event associated with welfare entries. For spells beginning between 2004 and 2006, 48.6 percent were associated with a decrease in the recipient’s earnings and 23.8 percent were associated with a decrease in the earnings of other household members.
  • Changes in household composition also were associated with the beginning of welfare spells. Almost 23 (22.9) percent of welfare entries were associated with a new child joining the family while 18.1 percent of TANF entries were the result of a decrease in the number of adults in a household not due to divorce. Almost six (5.9) percent of TANF entries were associated with divorce or separation.
  • Sixteen (15.9) percent of welfare entries were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed.

Table IND 10b. Percentage of Single Mother AFDC/TANF Spell Entries Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

  Spell Began 1993-1995 Spell Began 1996-1999 Spell Began 2001-2003 Spell Began 2004-2006
Recipients’ earnings decreased 57.1 52.6 50.3 48.6
Other household earnings decreased 24.0 21.0 20.1 23.8
Lost SSI benefits (own) 1.4 5.1 4.4 5.1
Lost other government benefits (own) 8.1 5.1 6.1 3.2
New child in family 22.0 17.1 20.5 22.9
Divorced/separated from spouse 8.7 6.7 4.3 5.9
Decrease in number of adults (not divorce) 19.2 17.6 15.4 18.1
Onset of work limitation 7.2 10.9 11.5 10.6
Moved across state lines 1.7 1.4 2.2 5.5
None of above in recent past 8.8 14.1 16.7 15.9

Note: Welfare entries are defined as moving from non-receipt to receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare entry. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “Other Household Earnings Decreased” was limited to cases when there were decreases in household earnings without a decrease in recipient earnings, and “Decrease in Number of Adults (not divorce)” was limited to cases where the adult leaving the household was not married to the head of the household. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, veterans’ payments and Workers Compensation. A decrease in earnings must be a decrease of at least $50 per month. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in Recent Past" represents the percentage of all spell beginnings during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the SIPP. In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in volumes prior to 2008.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels.


  • Table IND 10b shows the events associated with the beginning of welfare spells among single mother recipients by selected time periods.
  • Decreases in a recipient’s earnings has been the most common event associated with welfare entries over time.
  • For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 57.1 percent of AFDC spell entries were associated with a decrease in recipient earnings. The percentage was 48.6 percent for the 2004 – 2006 time period.
  • A decrease in other household members’ earnings also was related to the beginning of welfare spells. For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 24.0 percent of welfare entries were associated with a decrease in other household members’ earnings. For the 2004 – 2006 time period, 23.8 percent of welfare entries were associated with a decrease in other household members’ earnings.
  • A new child in the family was the third consistently common reason for welfare spells entries. Adding a child to the family was associated with 22.9 percent of spells beginning during 2004-2006 and 22.0 percent of spells beginning in the 1993-1995 period.

View full report

Preview
Download

"rpt_indicators.pdf" (pdf, 2.09Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®