Codes and Frequencies
For persons who received welfare, Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC/ADC) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) general assistance, or cash assistance during the month prior to the interview (1991-1996) or in the last calendar year (1997 forward), WELFMO reports the approximate number of months the person received the assistance during the previous calendar year.
Please refer to the Universe and Comparability tabs for more detailed information on the comparability of this variable.
In 1991-1996, WELFMO is part of the Family Resources supplement that provides information on individuals' health benefits, amount of coverage and income received from employment, welfare benefits, public assistance, and savings. In 1997 and onward, WELFMO is part of the Person Core questionnaires.
Questions in the Family Resources supplement are different from those in the core survey in terms of the content and the treatment of missing data. Questions in the Family Resources were normally asked of the month prior to the interview while the core survey asked of the last calendar year. All missing data in the Family Resources supplement were imputed by NHIS. Users can refer to the imputation flag variable WELFMOFLAG to identify persons with imputed data.
Changes in the universe affect the comparability of this variable. For 1991 and 1996, this question was asked of persons who received welfare or public assistance in the past month. From 1997 forward, it was asked of people who received public assistance in the last calendar year.
In addition, in 1991-1992, this variable included all persons who received welfare last month. In 1993-1996, this question was asked of persons who received public assistance last month and who did not live in a single or married-couple family whose annual income is above $20,000. Users can maximize the comparability of this variables within samples from 1991 to 1996 by excluding single-person families and married-couple families whose annual income is more than $20,000 (use INCFAMR82ON).
- 1991-1992: Persons who received welfare/AFDC/General assistance/cash assistance last month
- 1993: Persons in quarters 3 and 4 who do not live in single or married-couple families whose income is $20,000+ and who received welfare/AFDC/General assistance/cash assistance last month.
- 1994-1996: Persons who do not live in single or married-couple families whose income is $20,000+ and who received welfare/AFDC/General assistance/cash assistance last month.
- 1997-2018: Persons who received welfare/AFDC/General assistance/cash assistance during previous calendar year.