Work Requirements in Safety Net Programs

Brief

Work Requirements in Safety Net Programs

Lessons for Medicaid from TANF and SNAP
April 17, 2018

Abstract

Despite the logic supporting work requirements in public assistance programs, evidence shows work requirements often fail to achieve their goal of creating economic mobility for those receiving assistance for two primary reasons: First, work requirements don’t necessarily help people find jobs. Second, the red tape associated with work requirements can cause people to lose access to vital supports even when they are working or should be exempt from requirements. To find jobs and maintain self-sufficiency without relying on public assistance, people need access to skill development, job opportunities with living wages, and access to affordable health insurance and other benefits.

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