Social Scientists Recommend New Safety Net for Low-Income Families

Source: Urban Institute, Press release, July 16, 2008

One-third of families with children, 13.7 million households, struggle to cover the everyday costs of living but don’t always succeed. Yet, four in five of these low-income families, whose incomes are less than twice the federal poverty level, include working adults.

Some families receive food stamps, child care subsidies, tax credits, and other government work supports, but these programs either offer too little or go to too few of those in need. At the same time, wages for low-income workers have generally stagnated over the past two decades, rainy-day saving is difficult at best, employer-sponsored health insurance is growing scarcer, and unemployment insurance is limited or unavailable.

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