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New research finds work is key to ending government dependency

Naples, FL – A new study, released today by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), found that adults with children who left the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program have higher incomes and are better off than they were before gaining their independence.

The report, written by FGA’s Vice President for Research Jonathan Ingram and Senior Research Fellow Nic Horton, focused on non-disabled adults with children who left TANF after Kansas implemented new welfare reforms.

The report concluded that:

  • The incomes of Kansas families who left TANF more than doubled in the first year, and eventually more than tripled. In total, families are now earning $48 million per year more than they had on welfare.
  • Kansans who regained their independence saw their incomes increase and surpass their previous earnings and welfare benefits combined.
  • Kansans found employment in more than 600 industries, ranging from health care to finance to information technology.
  • Fewer able-bodied adults dependent on welfare allowed Kansas to better focus resources on the truly needy.

“FGA’s past research has shown that the best way to free able-bodied, childless adults from the welfare trap is to get them back to work—the results of this study clearly indicate that the same is true for non-disabled parents. When able-bodied adults regain their independence, whether they have children or not, their incomes skyrocket and they’re able to lift themselves out of government dependence. That’s the power of work,” said Ingram.

“The results of this study speak for themselves: working Kansans are earning more and are better off than they were when they were dependent on government benefits. As policymakers consider the best path forward for helping millions of Americans regain their independence, the Kansas experience cannot be ignored.”

The full text of the report can be viewed here.

The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and regulatory reform. To learn more, visit


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