Work Requirements in Safety Net Programs

In April 2018, the administration released an executive order calling for federal agencies to add or strengthen work requirements for federal aid programs such as Medicaid, cash assistance, and nutrition assistance. For Medicaid, work requirements are a major policy shift for the 50-year-old health insurance program. Many other programs, like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, already mandate work.

What we already know about existing work requirements can inform states and agencies as they respond to this policy change. We will be exploring lessons from research about work requirements, estimating who could be affected by these policy changes, and studying implementation and impacts.

Data Viz

Work Requirements Tracker
Heather Hahn, Eleanor Pratt, Eva Allen, Genevieve M. Kenney, Diane K. Levy, Elaine Waxman, and Nathan Joo
August 21, 2018



Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirements: What Are the Coverage Risks for Working Enrollees?
Anuj Gangopadhyaya, Emily M. Johnston, Genevieve M. Kenney, and Stephen Zuckerman
August 14, 2018

The Nature of Work and the Social Safety Net
Pamela J. Loprest and Demetra Smith Nightingale
July 23, 2018

Medicaid Work Requirements in Arkansas: Who Could Be Affected and What Do We Know about Them?
Anuj Gangopadhyaya, Genevieve M. Kenney, Rachel A. Burton, and Jeremy Marks
May 24, 2018

Assessing Changes to SNAP Work Requirements in the 2018 Farm Bill
Gregory Acs, Laura Wheaton, and Elaine Waxman
​May 15, 2018

​Work Requirements in Safety Net Programs: Lessons for Medicaid from TANF and SNAP
Heather Hahn
April 17, 2018

Who Could Be Affected by Kentucky’s Medicaid Work Requirements, and What Do We Know about Them?
Anuj Gangopadhyaya and Genevieve M. Kenney
March 26, 2018

Guidance on Medicaid Work and Community Engagement Requirements Raises Many Important Questions
Heather Hahn, Genevieve M. Kenney, Eva H. Allen, Rachel A. Burton , and Elaine Waxman
​January 12, 2018

Work Requirements in Housing Authorities: Experiences to Date and Knowledge Gaps
Diane K. Levy, Leiha Edmonds, and Jasmine Singleton
January 12, 2018

Work Requirements in Social Safety Net Programs: A Status Report of Work Requirements in TANF, SNAP, Housing Assistance, and Medicaid
Heather Hahn, Eleanor Pratt, Eva H. Allen, Genevieve M. Kenney, Diane K. Levy, and Elaine Waxman 
December 22, 2017

Fact Sheets

Proposed SNAP Work Requirements and Children's Food Security
Elaine Waxman
June 21, 2018

What Research Tells Us about Work Requirements
Heather Hahn
May 8, 2018

Urban Wire Blog Posts

Work patterns over time—not in a single month—show how working adults use SNAP
Elaine Waxman
August 17, 2018

How Kentucky's economic realities pose a challenge for work requirements
Nathan Joo and Elaine Waxman
August 9, 2018

Six ways the changing nature of work challenges the safety net
Pamela J. Loprest and Demetra Smith Nightingale
July 23, 2018

How expanded work requirements in the 2018 Farm Bill could affect SNAP participants and states
Greg Acs and Elaine Waxman
May 16, 2018

Beyond raising rent, Ben Carson's housing overhaul would increase burdens on low-income Americans
Diane K. Levy and Susan J. Popkin
April 30, 2018

What research tells us about work requirements
Heather Hahn
April 11, 2018

Rationale for Medicaid work requirements not supported by evidence
Anuj Gangopadhyaya
March 22, 2018

Work requirements and housing: What we don't know could hurt us
Diane K. Levy
January 30, 2018

Testimony before the US House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development

Research on Work Requirements, Access and Alignment of Supports for Low-Income Families
Heather Hahn
March 15, 2018