DSHS Economic Services Administration Service Trends Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jun 2023 |
Online Library

This study describes changes in the number of participants in four public assistance programs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: 1) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 2) Basic Food, 3) Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) cash assistance program, and 4) Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral program. The number of TANF and Basic Food recipients dramatically increased during the pandemic and, at the end of 2021, caseloads remained above pre-pandemic levels. In contrast, the number of ABD recipients increased only slightly during the pandemic, while the number of HEN Referral recipients remained the same during early months of the pandemic before declining significantly. Trends across subgroups, such as race/ethnicity, age, region, and homeless status are also examined.


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