How Many People that Receive One Safety Net Benefit Also Receive Others?
People facing economic instability often need more than one program or service. This might be particularly true for participants in certain programs—for example, families receiving TANF benefits might be more likely to face food insecurity given other circumstances in their lives. Even when participating in a single program, a small earnings increase can cause a loss of benefits. Also, some working parents view fragmented program rules as difficult to navigate with programs not designed to support upward economic mobility. These as well as other barriers challenge agencies to streamline coordination among programs. This analysis by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, using pre-COVID pandemic data, looks at the reach of the social safety net, including the interaction of specific programs, to better understand program participation as the economy continues to recover.