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Connecticut Advocacy Group Presses State To Update Benefit Eligibility In Wake Of Minimum Wage Hike

Mark Lennihan

Connecticut Voices for Children say there will be unintended consequences for families due to the increase in minimum wage unless the state updates its benefit eligibility criteria.

The group released a report that says a small wage increase can lead to a significant reduction in public benefits. This so-called “benefit cliff” could be devastating to families on the brink.

Lauren Ruth, the group's research and policy director, said the current system for assessing federal benefits is inadequate because Connecticut is an expensive state to live in.

“Sometimes families will earn a little more than what they should stay eligible and sometimes a little bit less, so creating programs and evaluating their programs to keep families enrolled throughout fluctuations in earnings and employment,” Ruth said.

CT Voices encourages lawmakers to make the needed adjustments of eligibility criteria to ensure families will continue to access public benefits.

Connecticut’s minimum wage is set to increase fully to $15 an hour by June 2023.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.