The Picard Center, in collaboration with the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, has created customized information on family budgets for all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes.
One tool, the Family Resource Simulator, shows the impact of various work supports – such as food stamps, child care assistance, public health insurance, and tax credits – on families’ abilities to make ends meet. Estimates are based on comprehensive, parish-specific data on the cost of living in Louisiana, combined with up-to-date information about the impact of tax and benefit policies in the state.
For example, in Orleans Parish, a single parent with two children must earn near $10.50 just to break even. Once that parent earns just a few cents more, he or she reaches an income cliff and loses the family’s food stamps assistance. The parent reaches the break-even line again at $14.42 an hour, or approximately $30,000 a year. However, once that parent earns $16.83 an hour, he/she loses the family’s child care subsidy, which causes the family’s ability to make ends meet to fall sharply below the break-even line. The parent must then earn approximately $20 an hour to break even again, only to have another sharp decline below the break-even line at $21 an hour, when the family loses children’s public health insurance.
This tool is especially useful in aiding decision makers on how to best use government supports to effectively help families escape generational poverty without continuously facing income cliffs from loss of work supports.
Click on the image above to download the full-size version of the Family Resource Simulator for Orleans Parish.
For more information on the Family Resource Simulators, please call our Poverty and Family Studies division at (337) 482-1562 or (337) 482-0512.