Duration of income support program participation in New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


This quantitative study uses Provincial administrative data from the Department of Social Development's database "NB Case" to profile the duration of income support program participation by non-disabled clients in New Brunswick, Canada. A sample of adults participating in the Transitional Assistance Program as of April 2012 is matched to monthly NB Case administrative data snapshots back to May 2005 and forward to September 2012 to reveal study participants' completed episodes on income support over the course of seven years. The longest completed episode for each participant is selected and analyzed. Variables depicting characteristics from the individuals, the household and the socio-economic environment are considered. This study supports significant effects on duration for seven of the twelve hypotheses. Low education levels, low employment rates, the existence of health issues, the presence and number of children, the occurrence of cycling on and off income support, benefiting from a formal housing subsidy as well as not earning wages while on social assistance all work to increase time spent on welfare. Partial confirmation is obtained for three hypotheses: a teenaged experience of parental SA use increases duration while owning a vehicle decreases duration in certain models. Older age increases duration for males only. The effects of being a multi-adult household or living in an urban area are insignificant in the context of this study. A comprehensive set of programs designed to mitigate non-economic barriers to work must compliment policy interventic:ms aimed at full-time labour market participation.