Examining SNAP and TANF Caseload Trends, Responsiveness, and Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

35 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020 Last revised: 25 Jan 2022

See all articles by Erik Hembre

Erik Hembre

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 18, 2021

Abstract

TANF and SNAP cases increased by 3.4 million between March and June 2020, their largest quarterly increase ever. Relative to the unemployment shock size, I find SNAP caseloads were less responsive during the pandemic relative to the Great Recession, however TANF caseloads showed a greater responsiveness. Examining the interaction of the pandemic UI expansions with SNAP and TANF, I find UI policies combined to increase SNAP cases by 5 percent and TANF cases by 3 percent. States which adopted pandemic-friendly policies experienced larger TANF and SNAP caseload growth, especially in states with less restrictive pre-pandemic policies.

Keywords: Public assistance programs, COVID-19 pandemic, poverty

JEL Classification: H0, H53, I3

Suggested Citation

Hembre, Erik, Examining SNAP and TANF Caseload Trends, Responsiveness, and Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3693339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3693339

Erik Hembre (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~hembre/

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