Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
States expanding Medicaid eligibility under the ACA can substantially expedite Medicaid enrollment and retention for SNAP participants, 97 percent of whom will qualify for Medicaid, according to this study. Even in states where SNAP provides broad-based categorical eligibility that extends SNAP’s gross income limits to at least 185 percent of the federal poverty level, 94 percent of SNAP recipients will qualify for Medicaid. Data showing SNAP receipt can thus verify Medicaid applicants’ financial eligibility, allow administrative renewal for Medicaid beneficiaries, and facilitate Medicaid enrollment for numerous eligible consumers when expanded coverage begins in early 2014.
In this commentary for BlogHer.com, Urban Institute fellow Olivia Golden discusses a two-generation policy agenda that can help promote young children's development and low-wage workers' economic stability, which should start with a national focus on the first year of life.
Considerable research attention has been devoted to low-income mothers disconnected from both work and welfare. This body of work has rarely highlighted disconnected mothers' roles as parents and has remained virtually silent about the experiences and well-being of their children. This paper synthesizes research findings to show that many of the circumstances disconnected mothers face pose major risks to children's development and potentially serious consequences for children. We describe potential interventions to help disconnected families by increasing and stabilizing family income, enhancing parenting skills, supporting children directly, and reaching out to disconnected mothers who are not citizens.
Both the extent of concentrated poverty (the share of the poor that live in low-income neighborhoods) and regional equity (disparity in conditions between lower- and higher-income neighborhoods) are critical indicators of a community's well-being. In the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, concentrated poverty worsened somewhat overall in the early 2000s, while disparities narrowed modestly for most social and economic measures. However, metros differed dramatically from each other on both counts. The two concepts are also not closely correlated: many metros have high concentrated poverty but low disparity between neighborhoods, and the reverse is also true.