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What's Happening to TANF Leavers Who Are Not Employed?


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  • Robert G. Wood
  • Anu Rangarajan
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    Based on four rounds of annual follow-up surveys with an early group of NJ TANF recipients, this issue brief focuses on those who have left the welfare rolls and are not working. About one in four recipients in this group were in this status throughout much of the study's follow-up period. The researchers note that the group is diverse; some recipients have substantial alternative sources of financial support, such as Supplemental Security Income, unemployment insurance, or earnings from a spouse or partner. However, those who lack alternative supports (the “least stable†leavers—representing about 1 in 10 of this early group) get by on very little income and are at high risk of extreme economic hardship. Although relatively few people spend extended periods in this status, a substantial number spend at least some time in it. Policymakers may want to consider strategies to help recipients through these difficult periods and perhaps avoid ending up in them in the first place.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Mathematica Policy Research in its series Mathematica Policy Research Reports with number 3697.

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    Length: 4
    Date of creation: 13 Oct 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:3697

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    Related research

    Keywords: Welfare; Welfare-to-Work; TANF;

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    Cited by:
    1. Andrea Helting & Jinwoo Kwon & Elizabeth Mahn, 2013. "Income Packaging and Economic Disconnection: Do Sources of Support Differ from Other Low-Income Women?," Working Papers 13-61, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.


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