Work, Income, and Well-Being among Long-Term Welfare Recipients

Brief

Work, Income, and Well-Being among Long-Term Welfare Recipients

Findings from a Survey of California's "Precarious" Families

This survey of 546 long-term welfare recipients in two California counties demonstrates great diversity in work, income, and dependency. After nearly a decade of attachment to welfare, working non-poor families achieved self-sufficiency and were out of poverty, working poor families were balancing work and welfare, and nonemployed poor families were still poor and very dependent on welfare. Almost one-third of the families studied had a spouse or partner; almost two-thirds were working; and over two-fifths were out of poverty. A connection to work, without an increase in income, was not related to having a low-risk family environment or improved health.

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