Immigrants’ Use of Welfare in California: The Impacts of the Welfare Time Limit among Immigrant and Non-English-language Households

Jane Mauldon, University of California, Berkeley
Rebecca A. London, Stanford University

Immigrants comprise a substantial share of the total welfare population, especially in California, where they make up 35%-40% of the state caseload. This paper uses disparate data sources to, investigate characteristics of aided immigrant families in California and the impacts of reaching the TANF time limit among non-immigrants and immigrants, and among different immigrant groups. We use administrative data from the state and six focus counties that together comprise more than half the state caseload, as well as a two-wave survey of 1,197 timing-out welfare recipients, fielded in multiple languages. We describe the immigrant caseload overall. We use the linked survey and administrative data to test how reaching the five-year welfare time affects immigrants-- their earnings, their aid receipt (on CalWORKs with a time-limit exemption, transitioning to the less-generous Safety Net, or leaving aid). We also consider detailed measures of child and family wellbeing, hardships and barriers to work.

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Presented in Poster Session 7