Multiple Welfare Benefits in New York City
The first study measuring total cash income and in-kind benefits actually received on a case-by-case basis by New York City families on Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). On average, AFDC grants and shelter allowances totaled 56 percent of income; 44 percent came from food stamps (value above cost), Medicaid, public social services, and nonwelfare income. Only 7.6 percent of cases had earnings; 29.5 percent received Social Security, workers' compensation, or unemployment benefits. Medicaid benefits averaged $1,600, constituting 25 percent of an average total income of $6,088. Half the cases received under $1,000 in Medicaid-paid benefits, while percent received over $7,000. Newer cases received higher Medicaid benefits, suggesting that many families move onto welfare because of sudden high medical needs. Eighty-three percent of cases received incomes above the Federal poverty line, and 78 percent of the cases had total income below the BLS Lower Consumption Budget.