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State Variations in the Food Stamp Benefit Reduction Rate for Earnings: Cross-Program Effects from TANF and SSI Cash Assistance


  • Hanson, Kenneth
  • Andrews, Margaret S.


The Food Stamp Program reduces benefits to households as their earnings rise. This reduction is affected by household participation in other Government assistance programs (cross-program effects) and by the wide variation in State-specific reduction rates for earnings in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This study shows that, for food stamp recipients who also received cash benefits through TANF in 2005, an extra dollar of earnings led to a change in food stamp benefits ranging from a reduction of 36 cents to an increase of 9 cents. On average across all States, the overall reduction rate for food stamp benefits and TANF cash benefits was about 70 percent, or about double the benefit reduction rate for a household that received only food stamp benefits. Even with this high benefit reduction rate, households received larger net incomes by working and earning income. Cross-program effects and State-level variability in food stamp benefits are important considerations in integrating Government assistance programs into a support system for low-income households.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanson, Kenneth & Andrews, Margaret S., 2009. "State Variations in the Food Stamp Benefit Reduction Rate for Earnings: Cross-Program Effects from TANF and SSI Cash Assistance," Economic Information Bulletin 58315, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:58315

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2002. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2001," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33865, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "The Expanding Social Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 17654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Purtell, Kelly M. & Gershoff, Elizabeth T. & Aber, J. Lawrence, 2012. "Low income families' utilization of the Federal “Safety Net”: Individual and state-level predictors of TANF and Food Stamp receipt," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 713-724.
    3. Austin Nichols & Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1, pages 137-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Christopher J. O'Leary & Ken Kline, 2014. "Use of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Benefits by Unemployment Insurance Applicants in Michigan during the Great Recession," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-210, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.


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