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

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

CLASP submitted comments to CMS on Oklahoma's SoonerCare research and demonstration waiver amendment request.

Dec 11, 2018 | Report/Brief | Suzanne Wikle

While work requirements are new to health programs, we have decades of experience with such requirements in other safety net programs. This FAQ and fact sheet translates many of the lessons learned from TANF and SNAP to Medicaid.

Oct 19, 2018 | Testimony/Comments | CLASP

CLASP submitted comments to CMS on Alabama's section 1115 demonstration waiver proposal.   

Oct 15, 2018 | Fact Sheet | CLASP

This fact sheet shows how the programs funded under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the nation’s primary investment in workforce development, are neither funded nor structured to accommodate the sharply increased need created by proposed Medicaid work requirements.

Oct 10, 2018 | Presentation/Webinar | CLASP

CLASP hosted a webinar with Dr. Jamila Michener, author of Fragmented Democracy. She discussed research on the impact of federalism on work support programs and resulting political and racial inequality.

Sep 27, 2018 | Testimony/Comments | CLASP

CLASP submited comments in response to Oklahoma’s SoonerCare 1115(a) Demonstration Waiver request and raises serious concerns about the effects of the amendment, as proposed, on the coverage and health outcomes of low-income Medicaid beneficiaries in Oklahoma.