Improving Work Supports: Using the Family Resource Simulator to Identify Problems and Test Solutions

Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher: Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy

Author(s): Nancy K Cauthen; Kinsey Alden Dinan; John Bouman

Research Area: Government; Labor; Social conditions

Keywords: Labor; State Government; Workforce; Low-Income Workers

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Work support programs, such as tax credits and child care subsidies, help low-income workers enter and remain in the labor market. However, too often these programs are implemented haphazardly by states rather than as part of a comprehensive workforce strategy. Eligibility "cliffs" that result when a marginal increase in earnings leads to an even greater loss in work support benefits can cause a family's total resources to drop precipitously. A new Web-based tool, the Family Resource Simulator, can be used to calculate the impact of work-support policies on families' resources.