Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer

The Benefits Cliff: How It’s Impacting Workers, Employers, and the Economy

Many lower-wage workers are familiar with the benefits cliff. This cliff occurs when an increase in a worker’s earned income causes a disproportionately greater loss of critical public assistance, from housing to childcare and healthcare benefits. A cliff can be prompted by a modest raise or a worker taking a new job with higher pay, or by someone rejoining the workforce after some time away. Sometimes the cliffs can be anticipated; often they are difficult to discern until a worker gets notice that they’ve lost a key benefit. It can be a disincentive to workers taking a job or wanting to advance in their career.

In the virtual FedTalk session on July 31, you’ll learn how the benefits cliff impacts individuals and families, employers, policymaking, and the economy overall. You’ll also learn about how some community organizations are working with state agencies and policymakers to make progress on the benefits cliff issue. Join us and bring your questions for this insightful conversation.


  • Brittany Birken, Community and Economic Development Director & Principal Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Gabriella Chiarenza, Communications Advisor, Fed Communities 


  • Scott Fast, Workforce and Technology Strategist, Innovate+Educate
  • Anne Kandilis, Director, Springfield WORKS Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts
  • Marielle Lovecchio, Director, Tennessee Alliance for Economic Mobility

When and where

Monday, July 31, 2023
3:00–4:00 PM ET

Online Webinar