Posts Tagged "Wisconsin research"
March 7, 2023
Social Security in Multigenerational Families
It’s not unusual for Black and Latino children to live with their grandparents, who are either the primary caregivers or members of a multigenerational family.
And just as the grandparent is integral to the family unit, so are the Social Security benefits the grandparent receives and contributes to the household. The poverty rates in families with children would be much higher without the income from Social Security, according to new research on Wisconsin families.
Nearly two-thirds of the study’s families in which a grandparent is a child’s primary caregiver rely on Social Security retirement benefits, disability benefits, or the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), which makes small cash payments to low-income retirees and the disabled.
Just under half of the three-generation households that include a grandparent get some income from Social Security.
The University of Wisconsin researchers confined their study to low-income families who are participating in state-run safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, child support, and a caretaker supplement. They used state government data to draw a detailed picture of the grandparent families, whose income in 2019 ranged from about $33,000 when the grandparents are caregivers to $40,000 in multigenerational families. The families are more likely to be Black, Latino, and, in the case of three-generation families, Asian. The vast majority of the heads of household are women and frequently urban dwellers.
But the reason for the grandparents’ involvement and the importance of their financial support are different in each situation. Grandparents tend to be caregivers when the child’s parents are incarcerated, have substance abuse or mental health issues, or have died. These grandparents are a crucial, or the sole, source of financial support.
In three-generation households, they support the child’s parent or parents financially. But the working adults’ earnings are by far the most important source of family income. …Learn More