Research & Analysis by Steve Wamhoff
Connections between receipt of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are widely discussed in both policy and poverty research literatures, but reliable data on the extent of this interaction are scarce. This article contributes to analysis of the interaction between TANF and SSI by evaluating the financial consequences of TANF-to-SSI transfer and developing new estimates of both the prevalence of receipt of SSI benefits among families receiving cash assistance from TANF and the proportion of new SSI awards that go to adults and children residing in families receiving TANF-related benefits. The connections are substantial and justify collaboration between the Social Security Administration and TANF authorities both nationally and locally in improving the programs' interface.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program serves as both a safety net and a way station for families with disabilities. According to most studies, at least a third of all households receiving these benefits include an adult or child with a disability. Surveys have found that persons with disabilities receiving these benefits were less likely to be working. Sanctioning rates of these families exceed those for families without disabilities, and continuing poverty is more common among cases that close. There is overlap between this welfare program and Supplemental Security Income; more than one out of every six of these families included a recipient of Supplemental Security Income in 2002.