Author: Daniel Schroeder
Date: May 2007
Publisher: The Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago
Publication Type: Final Report, 43pp (Harris School Working Paper Series 07.15).
Food Stamps (FS) and cash assistance were reformed in 1996 and later to emphasize work as a route out of poverty. When employment opportunities were plentiful, as they were during the late 1990s, many families were able to transition off program rolls and into jobs. However, when the employment situation reversed starting in 2000, social supports were needed. This study attempts to determine whether Unemployment Insurance (UI) was a significant source of support for these families, as might be expected because many former welfare recipients should have developed work histories that would have made them eligible for UI benefits. In particular, the study asks whether UI was able to replace or complement food stamps for unemployed, welfare-eligible families.