The Effects of Distributing More Child Support to Current and Former Welfare Recipients

Laura Wheaton, Urban Institute
Elaine Sorensen, Urban Institute

This paper presents estimates of the potential effect on families and the government of two possible changes in child support policy that have been proposed as part of TANF reauthorization. The first policy change would encourage states to increase the generosity of the child support pass-through and disregard rules used in their TANF program. The second policy change would enable former TANF recipients to receive more of the past-due child support collected on their behalf through the Federal Tax Refund Offset program. We find that, if implemented, these policy changes would increase family income and self-sufficiency and reduce poverty, although government costs would increase.

Presented in Session 107: Child Support