urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Poverty, Assets, and Safety Net

Mother and ChildGovernment 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.

Featured Links

Data Tools

  • NICCNet Income Change Calculator
  • TRIM3 program and poverty analysis model
  • Welfare Rules Database — tables on TANF data from each of the states and Washington D.C.

Related Policy Centers

Viewing 1-5 of 1939. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

Assessing the Merits of Photo EBT Cards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Research Brief)
Gregory B. Mills, Christopher Lowenstein

In seeking to reduce the trafficking of benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), states are considering policies to require that SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards include a photograph of the household head. Such policies have sparked controversy, placing in direct conflict the desires to bolster program integrity with the statutory rights of SNAP household members to utilize their program benefits and receive equal customer treatment. Drawing on Massachusetts’ 2013 implementation of a photo EBT policy, this brief suggests that such policies are not a cost-effective means to promote program integrity and may hinder benefit access.

Posted to Web: March 26, 2015Publication Date: March 26, 2015

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package (Research Report)
Kye Lippold

A package of five policies—a transitional jobs (TJ) program, a $10.10 minimum wage, expanded earned income tax credits, a tax credit for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and expanded child care subsidies—could cut the national poverty rate by at least half. Using the TRIM3 microsimulation model and the Supplemental Poverty measure, the analysis shows the national poverty rate falling fall from 14.8 percent to either 7.4 percent or 6.3 percent, depending on the take-up rate assumed for the TJ program. Poverty is greatly reduced for all age groups and race/ethnicity groups.

Posted to Web: March 25, 2015Publication Date: March 25, 2015

Integrating Health and Human Services Programs and Reaching Eligible Individuals under the Affordable Care Act: Final Report (Research Report)
Stan Dorn

Enacted against a background of growing public- and private-sector interest in integrating enrollment, retention, and eligibility determination for health and human services programs, the Affordable Care Act included provisions specifically calling for an expansion of such efforts, using 21st-century information technology (IT) to improve consumer experience and streamline enrollment while lowering administrative costs and protecting program integrity. This report, which summarizes a multi-faceted research project sponsored by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, describes integration efforts to date and explores promising strategies for the future.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2015Publication Date: February 28, 2015

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