Slideshow: Benefit Cliffs and Benefit Plateaus

May 16, 2017
Slideshow: Benefit Cliffs and Benefit Plateaus

Policymakers have an array of options to support low-income workers in earning the incomes they need to make ends meet. Two common approaches involve raising wages, largely through minimum wage laws, and expanding public benefits and tax credits such as Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other critical supports. Yet the interplay between higher wages and public benefit eligibility means that low-income workers might not always see higher incomes from working more hours—a phenomenon described here as “benefit cliffs” and “benefit plateaus. To explore this topic, PHI analyzed how the recent increase in hourly wages in New York City—spurred by a 2016 state law that will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2018—impacts a home care aide’s benefit eligibility and income.

Allison Cook
About The Author

Allison Cook

New York Policy Manager
Allison Cook is the New York Policy Manager at PHI. Her work focuses on New York policy issues affecting direct care workers, including Medicaid, public benefits, training, career advancement, and workforce development.
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