Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Work Supports

“Work support” benefits—such as earned income tax credits, child care subsidies, health insurance, and food stamps—can help families close the gap between low earnings and basic expenses. NCCP’s Family Resource Simulator illustrates how critical these benefits can be in helping low-income families make ends meet.

But work supports are means-tested, so families lose eligibility as they work and earn more. Small increases in earnings can trigger sharp reductions in benefits, leaving families no better off—or even worse off—than before. In short, working more doesn’t always pay.

NCCP’s Making Work Supports Work project helps policymakers find solutions. Working in collaboration with state partners, NCCP identifies and models policy alternatives. The goal is to create a work support system that enables full-time workers to provide for their families and ensures that earning more always improves a family’s financial bottom line.

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