Supporting Families After Welfare Reform: Access to Medicaid, CHIP and Food Stamps
Field of Work: Removing administrative obstacles that prevent low-income families from securing Medicaid, CHIP and Food Stamps.
Problem Synopsis: Following the enactment of welfare reform in 1996, many people who lost welfare benefits continued to be eligible for Medicaid and Food Stamps, yet from one-half to two-thirds of former welfare recipients were losing these benefits, according to researchers at Mathematica Policy Research.
Synopsis of the Work: Supporting Families After Welfare Reform (2000 through 2007), designed to complement RWJF's Covering Kids & Families (2001 through 2009), aimed to help states and large counties solve problems in eligibility processes that made it difficult for low-income families to access and retain Medicaid, CHIP or Food Stamps—particularly families moving from welfare to work.
According to the national program office, participating sites devised strategies to help families secure and retain benefits. The strategies included simplifying client forms and notices; mailing reminders or calling families regarding required verifications; reorganizing workflow to reduce staff burdens; and reprogramming computer systems to reduce mistakes.