Researchers used data from the National Survey of America's Families to estimate eligibility for TANF. The results indicate that four out of ten eligible families that do not receive TANF qualify for relatively small benefits. Because they are more likely to live with other adults, nonparticipating families have higher social family incomes and greater access to assistance for such needs as child care. Still, 500,000 to 1,000,000 families could gain substantial income and important services by enrolling in TANF. Most of these families are poor (almost half are extremely poor) and many have significant barriers to employment. Hispanics are much less likely to participate in TANF.
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