Financial security is a dream for most Americans, but for many in our community, navigating barriers to achieve financial stability can be challenging and stressful to overcome. One significant barrier is called the Benefits Cliff – when career advancement and associated wage increases puts a family above the income eligibility threshold for public assistance program.
Based on 2021 Mecklenburg County Family Demographics data, approximately 200,000 families in Mecklenburg County are receiving public assistance benefits to help them meet their basic living expenses. That is why we are pleased to share a project we’re working on to help lessen the impact of wage increases on individuals benefits and allow for family’s sustained growth and prosperity.
The Benefits Cliff Project is designed to create awareness about the impact of the benefits cliff and provide tools for individuals, employers and workforce service providers to navigate the cliff’s impact.
At the heart of this work, we aim to promote dignity, family stability and economic mobility for those affected by the benefits cliff. We believe there is a logical solution for addressing this issue. As income gradually increases, public assistance should gradually decrease until low-income workers reach self-sufficiency. Goodwill is here to change the narrative and provide solutions for individuals and their families looking to prosper.
What’s happening behind the scenes:
- We are developing a microsite to help the community access information and resources to inform different outcomes for the impacts of benefits cliffs. A central feature of the microsite will be The CLIFF Dashboard, a tool that shows how public assistance losses intersect with career paths.
- Local employers are signing on to participate in a pilot that allows employers to create a customized CLIFF Dashboard for their workforce. After the official public launch in September, the pilot will run for 12 to 15 months.
If you would like to join us in advocating for solutions to eliminate the benefits cliff, please contact LaRita Barber at LaRita.Barber@goodwillsp.org or Justin Taylor at Justin.Taylor@goodwillsp.org.