University of Wisconsin–Madison
Focus and Focus+ Icon

From multiple program participation to disconnection in Wisconsin

The declining availability of cash welfare, and an income support system that increasingly provides benefits that complement, rather than replace, paid work, combine to raise concerns about families disconnected from work and welfare. These concerns were further heightened in the recent recession. While past research on disconnected populations has been particularly useful in understanding disconnection in relation to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), new patterns of program participation suggest the importance of considering broader populations. Further, while past research has noted that many of the ‘disconnected’ receive some form of public assistance other than TANF, less is known about the importance of these other sources of support. Finally, while there is some evidence of increases in disconnection over time, most analyses focus on a single cohort. The study described in this article adds to the literature on disconnection in several ways. In particular, we analyze how patterns of disconnection vary for different program participation populations; across cohorts and over time for a given cohort; and by different definitions of ‘disconnection.’


Economic Support, Employment, Social Insurance Programs, Unemployment/Nonemployment


, , ,