An Overview of the WIN Program:

Its Objectives, Accomplishments, and Problems

HRD-82-55: Published: Jun 21, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Work Incentive Program (WIN) to determine: (1) what portion of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) population receives assistance from WIN; (2) what percentage of WIN participants achieve self-support; (3) whether other WIN performance goals are being achieved; and (4) what mix of services is being provided to WIN participants and to what extent those services and other factors are associated with participant outcomes.

Because of budget limitations and legal exemptions from the WIN program, less than 20 percent of adult AFDC recipients participated in the program in 1980. Over 60 percent of adult AFDC recipients were legally exempt from registering for WIN because they were caring for children under 6 years of age. Because of limited funding and a premium put on the number of recipients obtaining jobs, regardless of the help provided, WIN assisted those AFDC recipients who were easiest to place. Other recipients who registered generally did not get help. For fiscal year (FY) 1980, about 70 percent of the WIN registrants who entered employment said that they found their own work. Half of those who entered employment said that the program contributed to their finding a job. Slightly more than one-third of the AFDC recipients who were also WIN participants entered employment during 1980, and less than half of those were able to go off AFDC on the strength of their earnings. Because of the practice of counting twice individuals entering more than one job in a year and the use of unrealistic retention levels, GAO estimated that the reported FY 1980 saving from AFDC grant reductions of $632 million was overstated by $319 million. In addition, reported savings did not separate savings resulting from self-placements from those resulting from WIN placements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to eliminate the double counting of participants who enter into more than one job in a year.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to eliminate the double counting of participants who enter into more than one job in a year.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to use a more realistic retention level, such as the 6-month level, in annualizing savings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to use a more realistic retention level, such as the 6-month level, in annualizing savings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Based on a contractor study of program services provided to WIN registrants reported as obtaining their own employment versus whose reported as placed by the program, Labor does not intend to implement the recommendation. The study findings suggested that welfare grant savings attributable to both employment categories might properly be credited to the WIN program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to identify the welfare savings related to WIN placements separately from the savings resulting from participants' self-placements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Based on a contractor study of program services provided to WIN registrants reported as obtaining their own employment versus those reported as placed by the program, Labor does not intend to implement the recommendation. The study findings suggested that welfare grant savings attributable to both employment categories might properly be credited to the WIN program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct WIN program officials to modify the process used by WIN officials for calculating welfare grant reductions to identify the welfare savings related to WIN placements separately from the savings resulting from participants' self-placements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

 

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