Work Requirements, Time Limits, and Work Incentives in TANF, SNAP, and Housing Assistance [February 12, 2014]   [open pdf - 477KB]

"Congress is again debating how to promote work in the context of programs to aid poor and low-income people and families, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and federal rental housing assistance programs (public housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program). A number of factors have combined to heighten Congress's interest in this topic. Concerns have been expressed about continued 'dependency' of families on government assistance as well as the amount of federal spending on these programs, work disincentives inherent in program design, and the effectiveness of our current social safety net in adequately addressing poverty. […] This report focuses on work requirement, time limit, and work incentive policies in three programs: the TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] block grant, SNAP, and housing assistance programs. TANF is sometimes touted as a model program with work requirements and time limits that can be applied to other low-income aid programs. However, as will be explored in this report, its policies and lessons are complicated and may not be fully applicable to other social assistance programs. Thus, policy makers considering expanding these policies face a number of considerations, which are discussed later in this report."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43400
Public Domain
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