Is the Safety Net Catching Unemployed Families?

Brief

Is the Safety Net Catching Unemployed Families?

Abstract

The vast majority of unemployed families received some help from core safety net programs in 2009.Among those experiencing unemployment, receipt of unemployment benefits doubled between 2005 and 2009. Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) also increased.Public Assistance played a limited role in unemployed families' lives.About 15 percent of low-work, unemployed families got no help from the safety net.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 clearly helped to strengthen the safety net.This extra help has mostly ended, leaving many families to contend with high unemployment and a frayed safety net.

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