In addition to providing an annual summary report of the active TANF caseload in Maryland, we also occasionally focus in on special topics relevant to that group such as special state programs, the child-only caseload, and the hard-to-serve, among others.

Reports are free of charge, and may be downloaded from this page.

Click here for Life On Welfare Annual Updates.

Characteristics of Early Pandemic TCA Recipients
(August 2021) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella

Nearly 10,000 families joined the TCA program during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic—April to June 2020. Many of these families were new to TCA, and there were demographic differences between pandemic and pre-pandemic families. This report further examines the families who began their TCA receipt during the early months of the pandemic by comparing findings across three pandemic cohorts: (1) families who were previous recipients (39%), (2) families new to both TCA and SNAP (11%), and (3) families new to TCA (50%).

A Profile of New TCA Recipients: From the Great Recession Recovery to the COVID-19 Pandemic
(January 2021) Lauren A. Hall

This brief provides a profile of all adult recipients who were new to the TCA program in three cohorts: (1) economic recovery (2011 to 2014); (2) pre-pandemic (July 2019 to March 2020); and (3) pandemic (April to June 2020). In addition, we followed new recipients from the economic recovery cohort over time to develop an understanding of their TCA experiences.

Long-term Welfare Receipt: Who are the 5% and Why Do They Stay?
(October 2020) Lauren Hall, Alyssa Gross, & Letitia Passarella

This brief examines 25,100 new adult recipients who entered TCA between state fiscal years 2011 and 2014. We followed these new recipients through March 2020 to compare new recipients who eventually exceeded 60 months of receipt to new recipients who did not. We found that disabilities and the local unemployment rate increased the probability of exceeding 60 months, while employment during the first year of benefit receipt and educational attainment decreased the probability. 

Intergenerational Cash Assistance: Who is Experiencing the Cycle of Poverty?
(April 2019) Letitia Logan Passarella

Intergenerational poverty, defined as the receipt of cash assistance for one year or more as a child and as an adult, was experienced by two in five young adults receiving Temporary Cash Assistance in Maryland. This report provides insight into who is experiencing intergenerational poverty including a descriptive profile of their cash assistance receipt, child welfare experience, and employment participation.

Temporary Cash Assistance in MD: Who are the Adults Caring for Child Recipients?
(May 2018) Letitia Logan Passarella

Increasing the earning potential of adults, particularly those who receive public benefits, is important for family economic stability, child well-being, and preventing inter-generational poverty. In order to understand more about all adults caring for children in Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program, this report focuses on the demographics, cash assistance receipt, and employment and earnings of adults who are recipients of TCA benefits as well as adults on child-only cases. The report also examines the characteristics of adults on the different types of child-only cases.

Two-Parent Families & Cash Assistance
(May 2016) Elizabeth Gleason & Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli

In this brief, we profile October 2014 TCA cases that were designated as two-parent families. In October 2014, two-parent families were 2% of all cases, making them a small but growing part of the TCA caseload. Two-parent families are a distinct population: over half of recipient adults are married, and two-parent families are more likely to have three or more children than other families receiving TCA. In particular, two-parent families have very little prior welfare receipt. Most two-parent families have one employed parent, but two employed parents are not common.

A Profile of TANF Churn in Maryland
(December 2015) Letitia Logan Passarella

This brief examines all cases that closed and reopened within 30 days during state fiscal year (SFY) 2015. Cases that quickly reopen are referred to as churn cases, and one in seven (14.5%) cases churned during SFY 2015. The two most common reasons for the case closure were the lack of a redetermination for benefits and a work sanction. When customers reopen their cases right away because they have come into compliance with program rules, then churn is appropriate. Inefficiencies arise, however, when churn occurs because customers did not submit paperwork for the redetermination of benefits: customers must complete new applications and caseworkers must process those new applications even though customers remained eligible.

New TANF Entrants: Short-term Outcomes
(January 2015) Kari O'Donnell, Letitia Logan Passarella

A prior report in the Life on Welfare series found that compared to caseheads who returned to cash assistance in October 2008, new caseheads in that month were younger and less likely to have been employed in the previous year, although they did earn more in that year. This new brief provides outcomes during the four years after these clients began receiving TCA in October 2008 in order to determine whether differences continue. Indeed, we do find difference between these groups in their use of TCA and their employment and earnings.

Caseload Growth in Baltimore County
(July 2014) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, Kari O'Donnell, Letitia Logan Passarella

A new trend emerged with the increase in Maryland’s TCA cases throughout the Great Recession: Baltimore County became the jurisdiction with the second-largest caseload, surpassing Prince George’s County. This appears to be a lasting trend, as Baltimore County has had the second-largest caseload since May 2011. Therefore, this report examines the type of cases driving the caseload growth in Baltimore County.

Hispanic Child-Only Cases
(April 2014) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, Letitia Logan Passarella, and Catherine E. Born

In a previous brief profiling the Hispanic TCA population, we noted that two-thirds of all Hispanic TCA cases do not have an adult included in the assistance unit. This unusually high percentage of child-only cases warrants further investigation, so this brief focuses on child-only cases in the October 2011 caseload, comparing Hispanic and non-Hispanic child-only cases.

Assignment to Education and Training Activities
(January 2013) Letitia Logan Passarella and Catherine E. Born

Assignments to education and training activities among the welfare caseload nearly tripled between October 2007 and October 2010. This report provides a demographic profile of the caseheads assigned to an education and training activity in October 2010 and also reviews their TCA and employment histories.

Profile of the Hispanic TCA Population
(December 2012) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, Letitia Logan Passarella, and Catherine E. Born

This brief provides a first look at the Hispanic TCA population in Maryland. We find that the Hispanic TCA population is quite different from the non-Hispanic TCA population in several notable ways: Hispanic payees are younger, more likely to be married, and less likely to have a 12th-grade education. Also, they are more likely to be designated as a child-only case, in which the adult casehead is not calculated in the cash benefit amount. Further research is required to determine whether Hispanic child-only cases resemble the typical child-only case in Maryland.

Profile of the Active Caseload: Long-term Disabled Caseheads
(June 2013)Sarah Williamson, Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, & Catherine E. Born

Between October 2007 and October 2011, the long-term disabled caseload in Maryland grew by over 80%, compared to only 40% for the total Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) caseload in the state. In order to better understand this growing population, this report provides a snapshot of Maryland’s long-term disabled TCA caseload in October 2011.

Male Caseheads Receiving TCA: Who Are They and What Are Their Circumstances?
(February 2011) Lauren A. Hall, Letitia Logan, Catherine E. Born

This brief examines the recent increase in male TANF recipients.

Profile of the Active Caseload: Separate State Programs& Short-Term Disabilities
(October 2006)Pamela C. Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born, Correne Saunders

The controversial reauthorization of TANF via the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 has created new rules that will represent a significant challengeto states. This report examines Maryland's Separate State Programs (SSP) and compares them to traditional TANF cases in order to anticipatewhat the implications of the various options might be so that the choices made are the ones most suited to the realities of welfare caseloads at the state and sub-state level.

Maryland's Child-Only Caseload: A Comparison of Parental and Non-Parental Cases
(April 2005) Andrea Hetling, Correne Saunders, Catherine E. Born

This report describes Maryland's child-only caseload and makes comparisons between not only non-child-only and child-only cases but also sub-groups within this population.

Life On Welfare: Have the Hard-to-serve Been Left Behind? Changes in TANF Caseload Over the Course of Welfare Reform
(May 2001) Pamela Caudill Ovwigho

Using cross-sectional samples from October 1996 and October 1998, this study examines the hypothesis that the families still receiving TANF face more personal and family challenges in leaving welfare for work, than did families who have already left the rolls.

Life On Welfare: Who Gets Assistance 18 Months Into Reform?
(November 1998) Catherine E. Born, Pamela J. Caudill, Melinda L. Cordero

This report, based on the study of narratives for 358 Frederick County, MD, families who received a TCA check in March 1998, attempts to both provide policy-makers with information that may be useful in meeting the challenges being confronted in the mid-years of welfare reform, and also to better define the phrase "hard to place" used to describe clients who may be at heightened risk of hitting the five year lifetime time limit.

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