Public benefits are intended to help people remain housed, fed, and healthy when they fall on hard times until they can find work and become financially stable. Yet public benefits can work against these goals. Current public benefit policies undermine success at work such as small raises or more hours.
Workers face a disruptive “benefits cliff” where they lose hundreds of dollars in childcare, SNAP, MediCal or housing benefits if they earn even a few dollars above strict income requirements. Workers are suddenly on their own even though they still rely on these benefits to be successful at work.
We need a “benefits escalator” to help workers gradually transition to the middle class through more work, skilled work, or higher wages. This means reforming public benefits so more low- and moderate-income families can access the resource they need until they can earn enough to be self-sufficient and financially secure.
GSO advocates for more effective and inclusive public benefits like this at the state and federal levels and helps Californians get connected with the resources they need to escape the poverty trap and thrive at work.