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The Family Transition Program: Final Report on Floridas Initial Time Limited Welfare Program

December 2000

Dan Bloom, James J. Kemple, Pamela Morris, Susan Scrivener, Nandita Verma, Richard Hendra


Florida’s Family Transition Program (FTP) represents the first attempt of a state to initiate time limits on welfare benefits. At the onset of this program, welfare recipients were randomly assigned to either the FTP, or to the traditional welfare program. FTP enrollees were subject to time limits on their benefits, but were provided services to aide in the search for employment. Findings show that families taking part in FTP exhibited significantly lower levels of long-term (> three years) welfare relative the traditional welfare group (6% and 17%, respectively). By the end of the program, however, both groups had the same probability of being employed.

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Policy Implications

These results show that, while FTP decreased likelihood of long-term welfare receipt and provided initial economic benefits, traditional welfare recipients eventually caught up in terms of employment and earnings. Therefore, benefits to such time-limits regarding employment may be short-lived.

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