A study done by the Urban Institute focused on identifying why some low-income mothers become "disconnected" from social services and stop welfare receipt despite their continued low income status. Rates of such disconnection have increased in recent years. There is concern over the well-being of these mothers and their children (who appear to not have steady income via employment or social services). Disconnected mothers are economically worse off than other low-income single mothers. They have lower individual incomes and are more likely to experience issues that hinder employment (e.g., health issues). About one-third live independently with their children, and one-third cohabitate. The primary reason for becoming disconnected is not working (loss of all earnings), whereas gaining earnings is the main reason for a woman to become reconnected. Living with other adults may also prompt disconnection. Relationship education programs may benefit from awareness of such mothers and the role that their partners play in the process of becoming disconnected.
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Dynamics of Being Disconnected from Work and TANF.