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Abstract

Several recent changes in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) have been directed at households without children. Some of the changes,such as new work requirements and time limits for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), are intended to encourage economic self-sufficiency and to reduce program dependence. Other changes are intended to raise low program participation rates among vulnerable groups. This study examines administrative records for adult-only households from South Carolina’s public assistance and Unemloyment Insurance systems during 1996- 2003. The study investigate show patterns of exit from and re-entry into the FSP and patterns of employment vary with program provisions for ABAWDs, recertification intervals, economic conditions, and personal and family characteristics. The study shows that households subject to ABAWD policies had shorter spells of food stamp participation, longer spells of food stamp non participation,and higher rates of employment than did households not subject to the policies. In addition, adult-only households were much more likely to leave the FSP at recertification time than at other times .Finding employment hastened exits from the FSP and delayed returns.

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