CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - May 2013

June 03, 2013

Work Supports Newsletter
May 2013

In this Issue:

CLASP Webinars

CLASP In Focus Blog Postings


Webinar on New Research that Shows the Value of Subsidized Employment Programs

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. 

Mobility found that workers in the subsidized employment programs experienced increased employment and earnings, even after the subsidized jobs ended. This was true both for programs where the workers were hired directly by the employers, and for ones where workers were placed on the payroll of a third-party intermediary. Long-term unemployed workers benefited particularly.


Access the recorded webinar here >>

A Shredded Safety Net

MAY 29, 2013

By 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.

Following welfare reform, the number of families receiving assistance declined dramatically. Buoyed by the strong economy and the expansion of other key work supports, including child-care subsidies, public health insurance under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Earned Income Tax Credit, the number of single mothers in the workforce increased and child poverty declined. However, starting in the early 2000s, progress stalled and poverty rates began to climb again.


It’s Time to Update and Strengthen Supplemental Security Income

MAY 31, 2013

By Lavanya Mohan

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.

With Rent this High and Wages this Low, How Can a Family Survive?

MAY 29, 2013

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Lavanya Mohan

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.


Where Poverty and Immigration Policies Intersect

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.


Medicaid Expansion Significantly Decreases Financial Hardship and Improves Mental Health

MAY 20, 2013

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Lavanya Mohan

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.


The Most Important Problem Facing Children in the US Today

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.

Read more >> 

Parental Unemployment Takes its Toll on Children

MAY 13, 2013

By Stephanie Schmit and Emily Firgens

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.


Proposed SNAP Cuts Would Result in Millions of Empty Dinner Tables

MAY 13, 2013

By Helly Lee and Lavanya Mohan

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

Disconnected Mothers and the Well-Being of Children: A Research Report, 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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