Volatile Job Schedules and Access to Public Benefits

The Center for Law and Social Policy describes the challenges that workers with volatile schedules face in accessing public benefits, such as SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and child care assistance. Many low wage workers now have volatile schedules, meaning they receive one week or less advance notice of their upcoming work schedule. These workers also experience fluctuations in the number of hours worked each week. Workers with volatile schedules often need public benefits to supplement their income, but such schedules can make it difficult to access these benefits. After analyzing how volatile schedules impact access to benefits, this brief provides best practices for policymakers to consider to help workers access SNAP, TANF, and other public assistance support. For example, states can request a waiver to allow workers to average their hours across the month, which can reduce the need for clients to participate in employment and training programs for working less than 30 hours a week.
Record Type: 
Publication Date: 
September, 2015
September 2015
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