Regardless of their efforts to enhance the lives of their families, numerous low-income Nebraska females are being held back by state policies and practices.This is the finding of
“I’m trying as hard as I can: Obstacles to Economic Chance for Low-Income Women, a report released Tuesday by Voices for Children in Nebraska.Through surveys and focus groups with low-income females across the state, the report documents how what it calls the cliff impact makes it very tough for households to obtain ahead economically.Cliff effect refers to the structure of public assistance programs: When households receive a small increase in earnings,
they lose even more in advantages– often penalizing them for effort and achievement.The result is that lots of low-income ladies find their households are better off if they decrease raises and promotions.”This report tries to catch the experience and viewpoint of Nebraska ladies who are seeking to conquer poverty,”said Carolyn Rooker, executive director of Voices for Kid.
“Reading the experiences of those working through flaws in our system shows us, on an individual level, how our existing state policies are damaging those who are trying to obtain some level of economic security for themselves and their households.” Report data was collected through surveys of 296 low-income females throughout Nebraska. The outcomes are not meant to be generalized as statewide poverty data, Rooker stated. Rather, they provide an appearancea search for policymakers
and others into the everyday battles low-income people face.Findings were organized into these categories. * Cliff impact– 46 percent of ladies who got involvedtook part in public benefit programs experienced the cliff result at some time, the study found.One woman said she lost 4 times more income than she got when she got a 50-cent-an-hour raise that equated into a$20 regular monthly wage boostraise and a loss of $82 a month in food stamps. * Accessing public securitysafeguard programs– 30 percent of those checked stated their greatest difficulty was accessing public help through the ACCESSNebraska system. Individuals grumbledexperienced hour-long waits on hold, errors, ill-mannered treatment, lost paperwork and challenges of getting to a phone or computer to utilize the system. * Education and wages– 29 percent said lack of education and 25 percent stated inadequate wages were the most often self-identified barriers to financial stability. Numerous ladies said that in spite of a desire to gain job skills and education, the expense of that education was out of their reach. * Savings and possessions– of 296 ladies spoke with, less than 1 percent had more than $2,000 in savings, and 65 percent had no cost savings at all. In addition, very couple of had possessions such as homes and retirement accounts. The report found absence of possessions could related in part to asset limits set by the state for those looking for temporary aid to needy families, or TANF, and SNAP or youngsterchildcare subsidies.The report suggested policymakers take these steps: * Eliminate the cliff effect by permitting families to gradually change off of support. * Reorganize incentives helping low-income households build cost savings and possessions. * Find methods to make greater education more easily accessible for low-income households.