Can you imagine being offered a raise or promotion and not taking it simply because you'd be earning too much money? Unfortunately, many people who receive government benefits are discouraged from advancing their careers because of a phenomenon called "benefits cliffs" or "welfare cliffs".
Here's the catch: when people start making more money, they can also become ineligible for certain local, state, and federal benefits. While the pursuit of financial independence is encouraged, there is often a pay window that leaves people worse off than before, because they are not making enough additional money in wages to cover the resources that they lose due to their increased earnings.
Our Benefits Cliffs model incorporates more data and detail than any other product on the market, allowing for in-depth research and analysis of the welfare system on a micro and macro level. Created by the country's leading subject matter experts in welfare and economic reform, it factors in over 16 local, state and federal benefits programs and dozens of variables to generate the most accurate information and insights.All Programs
Earning after non-refundable taxes. That is, it does not count safety-net programs embedded in the tax...Learn More
Safety-net programs within the tax code allowing for cash assistance through tax “refunds,” such a...Learn More
General cash assistance from government safety-net programs, such as from cash payments from the Tempo...Learn More
Payment system for the purchase of food, such the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a....Learn More
(Health Insurance Exchange Premium Tax Credit) Federal refundable tax credits dedicated to help offset...Learn More
Payment system for the access of medical care that includes Medicaid and a state’s Child Health Insu...Learn More
State programs partially or fully funded by federal grants to provide for childcare assistance to low-...Learn More
Our Benefits Cliffs model empowers communities to help people overcome cliffs by building bridges to better futures.
We know that every person's situation is unique. That's why we allow the ability to customize family scenarios so that service providers can get a clear picture of when and where someone might experience a benefits cliff. In doing so, it provides individuals with the information they need to be proactive and map out a clear path between where they are, where they want to be, and what they need in order to get there.
Our Benefits Cliffs model incorporates more data and detail per state than any other product on the market, allowing for in-depth research and analysis of the welfare system on a micro and macro level.
Created by the country's leading subject matter experts in welfare and economic reform, it factors in 16 local, state and federal benefits programs and dozens of variables. In doing so, it provides researchers with a comprehensive data set that can be leveraged for a wide variety of both broad and niche studies.
Our Benefits Cliffs model provides comprehensive, easy to use tools that assess the inefficiencies of the current welfare system in order to identify opportunities for improvement and action.
With 16 local, state and federal benefits programs - more than any other product on the market - it distills the details into an easy-to-understand graph that can be customized to explore various scenarios. In doing so, it allows policymakers to quantify and visualize a systemic issue that - historically - has been anecdotal at best, in order to develop real solutions to real problems.
Our Benefits Cliffs model equips companies with critical information about how the current system may be impacting their ability to hire and retain employees.
With labor shortages at an all-time high, understanding the impact of benefits cliffs is a competitive advantage. Why do employees quit without warning? Why don't increased wages always attract more applicants? Why do star employees turn down raises and promotions?
Our tool helps to illuminate these situations so that companies can minimize the impact that the welfare system has on their people and their bottom line.
Try out our demo (with fixed state and year) to see how it works, or sign up to gain access to all 9 states currently included in the model. Don't see your state? Contact us to find out how you can have it added.
Select from variables such as number of children, ages of children, parent or guardian ages, and additional programs to generate customized benefits cliffs graphs.
Toggle programs on and off to see how they impact benefits cliffs and hover over any point on the graph to see a detailed breakdown of the values of each program at a specific income level.
“Georgia Center for Opportunity's Benefits Cliffs model is vital in understanding the specific income levels where benefits cliffs hit hardest. If used to improve existing policies, it could be one of the key devices that reshape the returns on work for those hard-working Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder.”
Craig Richardson, Ph.D.
Founding Director, Center for the Study of Economic Mobility Winston-Salem State University