Work requirements

Work requirements

Many income and work support programs include a component aimed to increase the employment and earnings of participants. For example, in the most recent year, states reported spending $557 million of TANF and related state spending on employment and training programs.

CLASP advocates for high-quality employment programs for recipients of work support programs, informed by understanding of both the labor market and the circumstances of recipients, and provides technical assistance to states and localities on how to operate such programs within the framework of the federal programs. CLASP opposes work requirements with harsh sanctions that act as a barrier to access to benefits.

Recently renewed efforts to impose work requirements to receive public benefits reflect a profound misunderstanding of the realities of low-wage jobs. Strong evidence shows that work requirements frequently lead to a loss of benefits, which only makes it harder to work. Further, there is little evidence that work requirements increase employment outcomes or reduce poverty. Finally, work requirements create an unnecessary burden for workers and state governments.

Click here for an overview of CLASP's work in this area.


CLASP submitted the following comments on Utah's section 1115 demonstration application: per capita cap.

May 7, 2019 | Report/Brief | Suzanne Wikle

Recently, CMS issued guidance detailing criteria states should consider if they want to implement proposals to take away health coverage from individuals who do not meet new work requirements. The product of a partnership between CLASP and Community Catalyst, this memo focuses on strategies to defeat state legislation on work requirements and/or prevent state Medicaid agencies or governors from drafting 1115 waivers.

This brief, part of the TANF 101 series, describes the work participation rate which services as the only measure of performance states under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Apr 2, 2019 | Testimony/Comments | CLASP

CLASP submitted comments to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on their section 1115 demonstration waiver proposal.

CLASP has written comments on TennCare II's demonstration, Amendment 38.

CLASP wrote comments on South Carolina's Community Engagement Demonstration waiver application. 

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