TAX & BENEFITS

By affecting where and how we live, learn, work, consume, and save, America’s tax and benefit systems shape economic opportunity and security. Our work on taxes and benefits emphasizes detailed research-based ideas for raising revenues while improving and establishing new benefit systems that address the changing and complex needs of governments, families, and communities.

The Lasting Legacy of Exclusion Report Cover
REPORT | August 2021

The Lasting Legacy of Exclusion: How the Law that Brought Us Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Excluded Immigrant Families & Institutionalized Racism in our Social Support System

In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) radically transformed our system of social supports. In addition to decimating cash assistance for families, the law’s immigrant exclusions exacerbated economic and racial inequities and harmed children and families in the 25 years since. This report—published jointly with the Center for the Study of Social Policy—examines the racist roots of PRWORA’s anti-immigrant exclusions and highlights the law’s role in institutionalizing and legitimizing anti-immigrant exclusion in a range of public benefits and tax credits.

Elisa Minoff, Isabella Camacho-Craft, Valery Martinez, & Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Caring Economy brief cover
BRIEF | August 2021

Building the Caring Economy: Workforce Investments to Expand Access to Affordable, High-Quality Early & Long-Term Care

High-quality caregiving, including child care and long-term services and supports, is essential but out of reach for too many families. At the same time, care workers—who are disproportionately women of color—face poor job quality, low pay, and inadequate benefits, which undermines access to quality care. This brief offers recommendations for caregiving investments that promote the well-being of children, older adults, people with disabilities, and their families by creating and sustaining good jobs in the caregiving sector.

Isabella Camacho-Craft & Sophie Khan

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
BRIEF, DATA & WORKBOOKS | February 2021

No Choice: The Implications of Unmet Child Care Needs For Unemployment Assistance & Paid Leave Access During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the clear need for child care, paid leave, and unemployment assistance, but many state and federal unemployment assistance and paid leave programs fail to account for the child care needs of working families. For many parents of dependent children, widespread closure of child care and in-person school made searching for work and securing and retaining formal employment nearly impossible. This brief describes how unmet child care needs intersect with and can be mitigated by state and federal unemployment assistance and paid leave programs, and provides policy recommendations to address the care crisis in the short-run and beyond. An accompanying workbook chronicles and analyzes state-by-state policies on the availability of wage replacements for workers without child care.

Cassidy Viser, Isabella Camacho-Craft, Kali Grant, & Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
REPORT | November 2020

Matching Timing To Need: Refundable Tax Credit Disbursement Options

Refundable tax credits are powerful tools for advancing economic security and opportunity, reducing poverty, and improving the lives of families in need. Despite their successes, these tax credits are limited by a key misalignment: unaffordable living expenses, unstable pay, and persistent hardship are experienced consistently or unpredictably throughout the year, unlike the single annual tax credit disbursement. This report provides a framework for policymakers and advocates seeking to create periodic payment options that align tax credit disbursement timing to need and advance economic, racial, and gender equity. The report also outlines specific periodic payment design recommendations for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, including flexible disbursement options.

Steve Holt, Kali Grant, & Funke Aderonmu

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
BLOG | September 2020

Untangling Unemployment Assistance Benefits in 2020: A Flow Chart

GCPI, the National Employment Law Project, and the Century Foundation created a flowchart to clarify which pandemic-response or regular unemployment assistance benefits may be available to workers from late March 2020 through late December 2020 and under which circumstances.

Cover to Brief: Claiming Unemployment Benefits While Receiving Social Security Administration Disability Payment
BRIEF | August 2020

Claiming Unemployment Benefits While Receiving Social Security Administration Disability Payments

COVID-19 response legislation greatly strengthened and expanded the dollar amount, duration, and coverage of unemployment assistance. These changes have prompted questions about the implications for workers receiving disability benefits. This brief discusses and clarifies the interactions between disability benefits and unemployment assistance. It is published jointly with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, The Arc, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, The Century Foundation, and The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.

Sheila Naughton, Kali Grant Michael Evangelist, & Patrick Cooney

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
TESTIMONY | June 2020

Using Tax Based Policies to Support Workers & Families During The COVID-19 Recession: The Urgent Need for Additional Measures

The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have wrought unprecedented hardship for families with low incomes, particularly Black and Brown families. The federal government alone can and must spend more to help families weather the crisis, emphasized Indi Dutta-Gupta, in his testimony before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. He highlighted the key role tax policy, particularly cash transfers and refundable tax credits, can play in supporting families. With its ability to reach tens of millions of households with speed and efficiency, the tax system can play a vital role in delivering immediate assistance and jumpstarting a lasting economy.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
BRIEF | May 2020

A Jobseeker’s Allowance Would Respond to COVID-19 & Beyond

As unemployment soars, a substantial share of unemployed jobseekers—including new entrants, such as many students completing school—are excluded from the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) system and new emergency unemployment programs. This brief argues that a Jobseeker’s Allowance could fill gaps in the UI system and help workers, families, and the economy by providing cash and employment supports for jobseekers left out of UI. The brief is jointly published with Employ America, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Employment Law Project, and the Century Foundation.

 

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
BRIEF | May 2020

Memo: Automatic Stabilizers are Popular with Voters

Automatic stabilizers—policies that make public spending responsive to economic conditions—boost our economy by reducing income losses and supporting consumer spending. This memo, published jointly with Data for Progress and the Groundwork Collaborative, analyzes new polling data on automatic stabilizers. By a two-to-one margin, voters support Congress implementing policies to automatically increase social spending during periods of increased unemployment.

Ethan Winter

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
BRIEF | May 2020

Considerations for Child Care Providers & Workers Navigating Financial Support Options During the COVID-19 Crisis

Child care providers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and are facing tough decisions about how to do what’s best for the families they serve, their own families, their workers, and their businesses. This fact sheet, published jointly with the National Women’s Law Center, outlines financial supports available to help cover providers’ business expenses and to help workers who face layoffs or reduced hours.

 

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
FACT SHEET | March 2020

Fixing Unemployment Insurance in Response to COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has brought sudden attention to the important role unemployment insurance (UI) system plays in quickly delivering aid to families and stimulus to the economy. This fact sheet, published jointly with The Century Foundation, the Economic Policy Institute, National Employment Law Project, and the National Women’s Law Center, emphasizes the importance of focusing both on immediate changes to help individuals and sustained, structural fixes to fully respond to a crisis of this magnitude and gird the nation for the challenges of a recession and future economic crises.

 

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
FACT SHEET | March 2020

COVID Response: Getting Cash to Lower-Income Families

The COVID-19 pandemic is devastating to families with low incomes, our communities, and our economy. This fact sheet, published jointly with the National Women’s Law Center, proposes that providing cash transfers to cash-strapped people through EBT is an expedient, cost-effective, and efficient mechanism to help people maintain living standards while quickly boosting our economy.

 

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
TESTIMONY | February 2020

Measuring Poverty: Why It Matters, & What Should & Should Not Be Done About It

An administrative proposal to artificially lower the poverty line is “technically questionable, economically unwise, and morally troubling” according to Indi Dutta-Gupta’s testimony before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform. Over time, this change would harm millions of people by taking away their access to foundational support programs—including Medicaid and SNAP. His testimony emphasized the proposal’s inevitable harmful impacts, highlighted the proposal’s questionable assumptions about people experiencing poverty, and underscored the need to reform the poverty measurement to improve its accuracy and usefulness for the federal government and the many other stakeholders who rely on it.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Cover of Disability FAQ Fact Sheet
FACT SHEET | December 2019

Unemployment Insurance & Protections are Vital for Women & Families

Unemployment insurance provides temporary support to unemployed workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. This fact sheet, published jointly with the National Women’s Law Center, National Employment Law Project, and Center for American Progress, shows the importance of unemployment insurance for women and families and suggests changes that would improve the program’s effectiveness for women, their families, and the economy as a whole.

 

Cover of Tax Code for the Rest of Us report
REPORT | November 2019

A Tax Code for the Rest of Us: A Framework & Recommendations for Advancing Gender & Racial Equity Through Tax Credits

This report, published jointly with the National Women’s Law Center, offers a new vision for a tax code that works for women, people of color, and low- and moderate-income families. Centuries of racist, sexist policy choices and discrimination have created significant barriers for women and people of color to build the kind of wealth our tax code now rewards. At the same time, insufficient tax revenues—exacerbated by tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations—constrain budgets for programs that help people afford their basic needs. The paper proposes a framework to help policymakers, advocates, and the public evaluate when and how refundable tax credits can advance equity, economic mobility, and opportunity for all.

Melissa Boteach, Amy Matsui, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Kali Grant, Funke Aderonmu, & Rachel Black

REPORT | July 2019

The Paid Family & Medical Leave Opportunity: What Research Tells Us About Designing a Paid Leave Program that Works for All

At some point in our lives, nearly all of us will need to take time away from a job to address a loved one’s or our own serious illness, or to welcome a new child into our family. In this report, GCPI synthesizes research on paid leave and makes recommendations for designing a national paid leave policy that advances equity.

Kali Grant, Cara-Brumfield, Sophie Khan, Funke Aderonmu, & Indivar Dutta-Gupta

REPORT | February 2019

Structurally Unsound: The Impact of Using Block Grants to Fund Economic Security Programs

This analysis finds that block grants (characterized by capped amounts of federal funding to states and other entities paired with expansive flexibility for how the funds are spent) are fundamentally ill-equipped to support basic living standards compared to other structures, especially those that meaningfully guarantee access to adequate benefits or services. Specifically, block grants struggle to respond to need, can be less accountable to program goals and to the people who participate in the program, and can exacerbate inequities–especially racial inequities.

 

Cara Brumfield, Funke Aderonmu, Kali Grant, Aileen Carr, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Isabella Camacho-Craft, Doug Steiger, & Peter Edelman

 

WORKING PAPER | January 2019

Unworkable & Unwise: Conditioning Access to Programs that Ensure a Basic Foundation for Families on Work Requirements

This working paper outlines the ramifications of taking away Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance from those who do not document meeting new work and community engagement requirements. The paper underscores how proposals that take away basic assistance from people who don’t meet work requirements are ill-informed, ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable, while alternative policies would produce far better outcomes.

 

Kali Grant, Funke Aderonmu, Sophie Khan, Kaustubh Chahande, Casey Goldvale, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Aileen Carr & Doug Steiger

REPORT | January 2018

The Difference Between Surviving and Not Surviving: Public Benefits Programs and Sexual Violence Victims’ Economic Security

This new report from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence along with the Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality highlights the urgency of strengthening public benefits policies at the state and federal levels so that they better meet the needs of people facing domestic violence and sexual assault.

 

REPORT | September 2017

Security & Stability: Paid Family and Medical Leave and its Importance to People with Disabilities and their Families

This report by The Arc and GCPI is the first to contribute an overview of the disability angle on paid leave. The findings highlight why a comprehensive, national paid leave program is needed in the U.S. for all workers, including people with disabilities and their families. We also propose that a national paid leave approach should be accessible to all working people, including those with disabilities and their families.

Kali Grant, T.J. Sutcliffe, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, & Casey Goldvale

REPORT | Fall 2016

Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America

In partnership with the Center for American Progress (CAP) and National Employment Law Project (NELP), the center released a report on modernizing unemployment insurance for a 21st century economy and establishing a new Jobseeker’s Allowance.

FACT SHEET | June 2016

A Plan to Improve Unemployment Protections in America

This document succinctly summarizes recommendations laid out in the 2016 CAP, GCPI, and NELP report, “Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | June 2016

Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America: Intro & Summary

Summary of the 2016 CAP, GCPI, and NELP report, “Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America,” on modernizing unemployment insurance for a 21st century economy and establishing a new Jobseeker’s Allowance.

BRIEF | July 2016

Where States Are and Where They Should Be on Unemployment Protections

CAP, NELP, and GCPI identify the main challenges facing states’ unemployment insurance (UI) programs; provide recent state-level data; and recommend steps that states can take to substantially strengthen their UI programs.

EVENT | July 2016

Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America: A Discussion

Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) and White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman explain the need for unemployment insurance (UI) reform. Co-Executive Director Indivar Dutta-Gupta served on a panel of experts to debate UI and the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

REPORT COVERAGE | June 2016

Wall Street Journal article feature: “Should an Unemployed Uber Driver Be Eligible for a “Job Seeker’s Allowance?”

The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report on Job Seeker’s Allowance is referenced in identifying the main challenges facing unemployed Uber drivers eligibility for job seeker’s allowances.

REPORT | June 2016

Unemployment Insurance Modernization and Eligibility

Updated, independent analysis from the Urban Institute commissioned by the center, CAP, and NELP—which shows that just three of the center’s proposed reforms would significantly increase the share of newly unemployed workers who are protected by UI.

INFLUENCE | February 2015

Comments on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Reauthorization

The center submitted comments on the discussion draft of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization bill to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human.

OP-ED | April 2015

TANF’s not all right

Though TANF seemed promising to some in its first four years, evidence from the last 15 raises alarms and suggests a need for new strategies to help disadvantaged families.

ARTICLE | Fall 2015

Poverty and Inequality in America: Why We Should Care and What We Should Do

Two-generation approaches to poverty reduction and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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