Families Who Left Welfare

Brief

Families Who Left Welfare

Who Are They and How Are They Doing?
July 1, 1999

Abstract

This report offers the first national picture of what happened to welfare leavers during the early stages of welfare reform. Among many conclusions, the report finds that sixty-one percent of former welfare recipients are working, mostly in service and clerical occupations, with a median salary is $6.61 per hour. While 69 percent work more than 35 hours per week, few of these jobs provide benefits, and only 23 percent of welfare leavers receive employer-sponsored health insurance. Fewer welfare leavers are participating in Medicaid, food stamps, and child care assistance than are eligible. Many former welfare recipients face economic hardships. One-third of leavers report having to cut meal size or skip meals, and nearly 40 percent report problems paying rent, mortgage, or utility bills.

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