Are the Steep Declines in Food Stamp Participation Linked to Falling Welfare Caseloads?

Brief

Are the Steep Declines in Food Stamp Participation Linked to Falling Welfare Caseloads?

November 1, 1999

Abstract

At all levels of income, former welfare recipients were more likely to leave the Food Stamp program than families that had not been on welfare, according to this brief based on the 1997 National Survey of America's Families. Among the poorest of the poor, those at 50 percent of the federal poverty line and below, former welfare families stopped using food stamps at twice the rate of nonwelfare families. About two-thirds of families that left the Food Stamp program appeared to be eligible based on their incomes. The most common reasons families gave for leaving the Food Stamp Program were increased earnings/a new job, or administrative problems and hassles.

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