An Evaluation of the 1981 AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) Changes: Initial Analyses.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DIV
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The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 OBRA made major changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children AFDC program, particularly with regard to AFDC recipients earnings. These changes resulted in the loss of AFDC benefits for many working recipients, and they reduced benefits for many others. GAO conducted in-depth evaluations of OBRAs effects on individual AFDC families in Boston, Dallas, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Syracuse, using case records and interviews. These evaluations indicate that by fall 1983, most working recipients who lost benefits because of OBRA had not quit their jobs and returned to AFDC. In interviews with former working recipients more than a year after their termination from AFDC because of OBRA, GAO found that OBRA changes to the food stamp program appear to have resulted in a simultaneous loss of AFDC and food stamps for many families in Boston, Milwaukee, and Syracuse. Although earnings increased for many who remained in the labor force, the respondents as a whole including those no longer working experienced significant income losses in all five sites. Apparently they did not make up the loss of income from AFDC and food stamps by working. Additionally, in Dallas and Memphis, about half of these families remained without health insurance coverage after having lost Medicaid.
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