CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - May 2013
June 03, 2013
Work Supports Newsletter
In this Issue:
CLASP In Focus Blog Postings
The webinar is the second of a series that highlights the joint paper by the National Transitional Jobs Network at Heartland Alliance and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). This webinar features Mark Elliott and Anne Roder of Mobility presenting new research they have conducted on the value of subsidized employment programs.
MAY 29, 2013By Elizabeth Lower-Basch
In 1996, the year that Congress passed and Bill Clinton signed welfare reform, fulfilling his campaign pledge to “end welfare as we know it,” there were 14.5 million poor children in the United States; 8.5 million children were in families that received cash assistance from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or welfare. Even then, nearly half of poor children were not in families that received welfare.
MAY 31, 2013
There is widespread agreement in America that individuals who have severe disabilities that prevent them from working should not be left destitute as a result. We have a program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), that is supposed to ensure that is the case. And indeed, SSI provides desperately needed income support to more than 8 million Americans, who receive an average payment of $517.20 per month. However, SSI’s income exclusions and asset limit guidelines have not been adjusted for inflation in decades. These outdated standards undermine our commitment to keep these most vulnerable individuals out of poverty.
MAY 29, 2013
A recent report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) shows the high costs of housing across the nation – costs that low-wage workers and their families simply cannot afford. Although minimum wage remains at $7.25/hour, NLIHC estimates a full-time worker must earn, on average, $14.32/hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment and $18.79/hour to afford a house. In practice, rental costs take up most of a poor family’s income, leaving very little left over for other basic monthly necessities, such as food, transportation, and child care.
MAY 23, 2013
By Helly Lee
On May 21, after two weeks of hearings and dozens of votes on amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) by a bipartisan vote of 13-5. Although the word “poverty” does not appear in the title of the bill, it was at the core of some of the committee’s most contentious debates and will likely remain a focus when the bill reaches the Senate floor in June.
MAY 20, 2013
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examining the impact of expanded Medicaid coverage has gained national attention. The study collected data on Oregon residents who received insurance through the state's expanded health care program. Although 90,000 low-income people qualified and applied for the program, only 10,000 ultimately received coverage. Unlike previous studies, this allowed researchers to test the impact of Medicaid expansion by comparing health and other outcomes between those who received coverage and those who did not. One of the key conclusions drawn by the study is that health care coverage nearly eliminated out-of-pocket medical expenses, especially catastrophic expenditures, for the program's 10,000 participants.
What if we tackled child poverty with the same determination and commitment that we put into eliminating polio? At a time when one in five children lives in poverty, income inequality is growing, and the severe negative long-term consequences of childhood poverty are known, the analogy is not farfetched.
MAY 13, 2013
As the U.S. continues recovering from the Great Recession, unemployment among the nation's families is a persistent concern. In an average month in 2012, 6.2 million children lived with unemployed parents, and 12.1 million children were affected by an unemployed or underemployed parent. Parental unemployment and underemployment can create instability for low-income children, which can be exacerbated when families face reduced eligibility for child care subsidies, or loss of subsidies entirely. Federal cuts to child care and Head Start funding under sequestration may further reduce access as Head Start classrooms close, and states tighten their child care subsidy eligibility policies.
MAY 13, 2013
This week, both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees will mark up their versions of a Farm Bill that includes provisions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Despite the program’s effectiveness—helping over 47 million people afford nutritionally adequate meals and make ends meet—and a long history of bipartisan support, SNAP continues to face threats of deep cuts.
Reports & Publications from Colleague Organizations
A Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Health Coverage Profile of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States, Migration Policy Institute
Priced Out in 2012, The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities, Technical Assistance Collaborative
House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill Would Cut Nearly 2 Million People off SNAP, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
Using SNAP Receipt to Establish, Verify, and Renew Medicaid, Urban Institute
If you have news you want to share with your colleagues around the country in this Newsletter, let us know.
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The Work Supports Newsletter is a monthly update that summarizes CLASP's work on safety net programs that include cash assistance (TANF), nutrition supports (SNAP), refundable tax credits, health insurance, child support enforcement and child care subsidies.