Title

Welfare Recipients: How Do They Become Independent?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Abstract

This research used data concerning recipients' employment, receipt of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), receipt of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and poverty status to develop a typology of adaptations by welfare recipients. Using U.S. Department of Labor survey data, a sample of AFDC/TANF recipients was analyzed through event history analysis. The results show that welfare reforms launched in 1996 moved dependent recipients out of welfare but had no effect on working recipients' chances of leaving welfare. New two-year limits on unbroken program participation (and a five-year lifetime limit) pushed many unprepared recipients into poverty, working or not. Economic conditions became worse for working poor people than for those on welfare. The study also found that some former welfare recipients did go to work and eventually leave welfare and poverty. Occupational skills, work experience, child support, marriage, and experience in dependency or supplementation were among the factors promoting such a change.

DOI

10.1093/swr/26.3.159

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