Income and Relative Poverty Status of AFDC Families

HRD-88-9: Published: Nov 4, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined: (1) incomes of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits; (2) major programs and other sources of AFDC recipients' incomes and how this income affected total incomes; (3) how AFDC recipient incomes compared with the poverty line, other welfare recipient incomes, and nonwelfare family incomes; and (4) welfare policy implications of these results.

GAO found that 2- to 4-member AFDC families had monthly incomes: (1) averaging $819 at market value and $646 at recipient value; (2) consisting mostly of welfare benefits and affected by such factors as geography, availability of housing assistance, and earnings; and (3) rarely exceeding the poverty line. GAO also found that: (1) 9 of 10 AFDC families participated in at least 2 other federal welfare programs; (2) welfare benefits comprised at least 90 percent of AFDC family income; (3) nonwelfare income sources included Social Security, veterans' benefits, alimony, and child support; (4) AFDC families typically had lower incomes than those of other welfare groups and of nonwelfare, single-parent families; and (5) there is limited information on incomes of AFDC families living with persons not receiving AFDC.

Jul 25, 2018

May 30, 2018

Apr 10, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Nov 9, 2017

Sep 6, 2017

Jul 14, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here