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Pause the Clock: Examining the Need

In early 2004 the issue of a "pause the clock" proposal was gaining more attention from community advocates and being introduced to DWS management. The TANF review study research group from the Social Research Institute (SRI) was asked to begin gathering data regarding the need for such a provision.

Data for this study were gathered in conjunction with going studies of former cash assistance recipients who had closed non-participation, reached the time limit, or the end of an extension. The "pause the clock" portion of the study contained questions which focused on times when the respondent was both receiving cash assistance and was unable to work or engage in work preparation activities.

"Unable to work" was defined as circumstances under which a professional (doctor, counselor, etc.) had documented the respondents inability to become employed or other documentation (such as a police report) verified the respondents need. Respondents could provide information regarding any issue. They were also prompted to think specifically about areas currently included in the extension criteria: health/mental health/substance abuse, domestic violence and medical needs of a dependent.

As with previous studies, data were collected during in-person interviews. The data presented here were collected between May and December 2004. Respondents for this study had their cash assistance closed at some point between March and September 2004.

Read the report associated with this project

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Last Updated: 12/6/19