What Research Tells Us about Work Requirements

Highlights

What Research Tells Us about Work Requirements

May 8, 2018

Abstract

In April 2018, the administration released an executive order instructing all federal agencies to develop or strengthen work requirement policies for people receiving federal aid through programs such as Medicaid, cash assistance, and nutrition assistance.

This fact sheet summarizes key points about the research on work requirements. First, many programs already mandate work, but those requirements have not proven to be effective. Second, many recipients already work. Third, many recipients who aren’t working face major employment barriers like illness or lack of child care. Requiring work without removing these obstacles could cause people to lose needed benefits. Federal programs can support people by expanding access to workforce development programs and improving access to assistance.

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