Yesterday, the Asset Building Program and ACCESS to Financial Security for All (an initiative of PolicyLink) engaged in a productive conversation on Twitter about the issue of asset limits. Check out the Storify summarizing the conversation below, or at this link.
Asset limits are simply caps on the amount of savings that applicants and recipients of public assistance programs may have to apply or receive support. While these limits were designed to ensure programs target only the most high-needs families and individuals, they ultimately serve as a disincentive to save. By restricting families from having as little as $1000 on hand for an emergency, these limits leave families more economically vulnerable in the long-run and less able to move out of poverty and off assistance. Furthermore, asset limits can add cost and administrative complexity to the benefits administration process, which reduces the efficiency of programs at the state and local level.
During the chat, we featured a new web-based resource that uses maps, infographics, and research to highlight the challenges that asset limits pose. You can explore the site here. As always, if you have questions about asset limits, or any other topics discussed during the chat, please tweet at us (@AssetsNAF), leave a comment here, or send an email.