The federal Family Self-Sufficiency program works with Housing Choice Voucher recipients to foster economic self-sufficiency and boost assets through case management and an escrow account for participants’ increased earnings. This three-year report examines program implementation, participants’ engagement, and impacts on employment, government benefits receipt, and material and financial well-being.
This first national randomized controlled trial of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program — the main federal strategy to help housing voucher recipients make progress toward economic mobility — examined program implementation, participants’ engagement, and impacts on labor force participation and benefits receipt in the first 24 months of this five-year program.
SaveUSA encourages low- and moderate-income people to set aside money from their tax refund for savings by awarding a 50 percent match to successful savers. After 42 months, the program had sustained its earlier effects, increasing both the percentage of individuals with nonretirement savings and the average amount of savings.
This report describes the early effects of a program helping low- and moderate-income families build up unrestricted-use savings via tax refunds. Individuals who save a pledged amount for a year earn a 50-percent match payment. After 18 months, SaveUSA had increased the percentage of individuals with savings and boosted average savings amounts.
SaveUSA, a pilot program in New York City, Newark, San Antonio, and Tulsa, offers a matched savings account to low-income tax filers, building on the opportunity presented by tax-time refunds, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit. This 12-page brief offers early implementation findings.
This demonstration tested the effects of earlier access to health care coverage and related services for new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. After one year, the program increased health care use, reduced reported unmet medical needs, and modestly improved health and functioning. It also increased job prep and search activities but did not raise employment levels.
This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project demonstrates that low-income single-parent and two-parent families have a roughly equivalent need for services to support employment retention and advancement and that this need does not differ substantially between men and women in two-parent families.
Six-Month Results from the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration
David Wittenburg, Anne Warren, Deborah Peikes, Stephen Freedman
This policy brief offers early findings from a demonstration testing whether earlier access to health care and related services for new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries who lack health care coverage would lead to improved outcomes. So far, the intervention has increased the use of health care services and reduced the reported unmet health care needs of the project participants.
Jacquelyn Anderson, Stephen Freedman, Gayle Hamilton
A program in Los Angeles offering individualized and flexible case management services to working welfare recipients did not substantially increase the use of work-based services by participants – and did not lead to greater employment or higher earnings than did the county’s existing postemployment program.
Two education and training programs for employed, single-parent welfare recipients had small impacts on attendance in basic education or training overall but had larger impacts for disadvantaged groups. However, over two years, neither program increased employment and earnings levels overall or for any subgroup.
In MDRC’s study of over 160,000 single-parent welfare recipients, families who repeatedly return to welfare assistance—“cyclers”—were less disadvantaged in the labor market than long-term welfare recipients. At the same time, they were less able than short-term recipients to attain stable employment and to work without welfare.
Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs
Gayle Hamilton, Stephen Freedman, Lisa Gennetian, Charles Michalopoulos, Johanna Walter, Diana Adams-Ciardullo, Anna Gassman-Pines, Sharon McGroder, Martha Zaslow, Surjeet Ahluwalia, Jennifer Brooks
How best to help people move from welfare to work — particularly whether an employment-focused approach or an education-focused approach is more effective — has been a subject of long-standing debate. This report summary, which describes the long-term effects of 11 different mandatory welfare-to-work programs for single parents and their children, takes a major step toward resolving this debate.