Accession Number : ADA290651

Title :   Unemployed Parents: An Evaluation of the Effects of Welfare Benefits on Family Stability.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DI V

PDF Url : ADA290651

Report Date : APR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 60

Abstract : When enacted in 1935, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDc) program did not provide cash benefits to families if both parents lived at home unless one of the parents was disabled. In 1961, under the Unemployed Parent (up) segment of AFDC, states were first given the option to provide AFI)C benefits to needy two-parent families in which the m%or earner was unemployed. Just over half of the 54 states and territories used that option before the program was extended to all states in 1990. The Family Support Act of 1988 expanded up benefits to all states; however, it also allowed states that did not previously offer UP benefits to limit assistance to no fewer than 6 months in any 12-month period and allowed states to require the participation of one or both parents in an employment or training program. The expansion of the UP pm gram did not occur without substantial debate on both sides of the issue. Proponents of extending the UP program argued that if benefits were not available to two-parent families, those families would be more likely to separate in order to qualify for benefits available to single-parent families. The opponents cited findings from negative income tax experiments as evidence that broadening access to UP would be harmful to family stability.1 While analyses of the negative income tax experiments in two of the research sites showed that the couples receiving a guaranteed income were more likely to separate than those who did not, these findings cannot be clearly generalized to UP families. Among other issues, the analyses included couples without children, for whom the effect of cash benefits was stronger than for couples with children. pg 12. JMD

Descriptors :   *FAMILY MEMBERS, *CHILDREN, *SOCIAL WELFARE, *UNEMPLOYMENT, GUARANTEES, MEDICAL SERVICES, BENEFITS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, INCOME, INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS, FEDERAL BUDGETS, MONEY, ADJUSTMENT(PSYCHOLOGY).

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE