|Detailed Objective: The 2002 Farm Bill substantially expanded State options for Food Stamp Program (FSP) administrators to set policy on income reporting, alignment of public assistance programs, and treatment of income categories. It also restored food stamp eligibility to certain immigrants who entered the United States after 1996 and allowed, at State option, 5 months of transitional food stamps for families leaving cash welfare programs. The objectives of this study are to expand an existing Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)-based microsimulation model to incorporate key Farm Bill provisions as well as to refine the simulation capacity and improve the model's usefulness for examining other policy options.
The Farm Bill provisions of primary interest are simplified reporting, transitional food stamp benefits to families leaving cash welfare, and partial restoration of benefits to legal immigrants. The simulations will explore three key outcomes: months of eligibility for FSP (initial eligibility and duration of eligibility by spell); total change in food stamp benefits and the distribution of benefits across different categories of families; and administrative cost savings (for those policies that change the reporting requirements.)
The study also will refine the model's capacity to simulate consequences of alternative reporting policies in the National School Lunch Program. This will be done by incorporating take-up rates estimated from raking methods.