University of Wisconsin–Madison

Removing Savings Penalties for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2018
Level County
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Children & Families, Civil Rights, Democracy & Governance, Economic Justice, Finance & Procurement, Housing, Public Safety
In an era where the rich continue to get richer, the divide between white wealth and the wealth of households of color widens, and more than a third of all Americans are one financial crisis away from poverty, maintaining the barriers to saving ingrained in state law are simply bad policy choices. Legislators have a unique role to right past wrongs and break through these barriers to ensure that all families have the means to save, build their wealth and achieve prosperity for themselves and future generations. Savings penalties or asset limits - resource restrictions on individuals otherwise eligible for receiving federal public benefits - are a significant barrier to prosperity for many in this country.

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