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Advocates look at how poor are pushed over Indiana's benefits cliff

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Written by
Tim Grimes
TheStatehouseFile.com
November 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — While Washington politicians are focused on preventing the country from going over what’s called a fiscal cliff, advocates for Indiana’s poorest families are debating a different kind of cliff completely.

The Indiana-based drop-off is one that occurs when a low-income individual on public assistance gets a salary bump that makes him or her suddenly ineligible for the aid. That often results in a lower net income for his or her family.

The Indiana Institute for Working Families authored a report about the problem with the Indianapolis Foundation, Indiana Community Action Association, and the National Center for Children in Poverty. It found that even a 50-cents-per-hour raise can lead “to the complete termination of a benefit and a dramatic net loss of resources.”

The institute held a forum Monday in Indianapolis to bring together nonprofit leaders to learn about the report and heard the real-life consequences of the cliff effect.

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