Skip to Main Content
Benefits Cliffs
One person helping another person up a mountain

Benefits Cliffs occur when slight increases in earnings disqualify low-wage workers from public assistance programs, hampering their financial independence and career advancement.

Our Community Development team provides information and tools to help Fifth District policymakers and organizations improve workers' long-term financial outlook.

Learn More About Our Efforts

Second/Third Quarter 2021

Neeraja Deshpande

The Richmond Fed has been working to educate policymakers and workers in the Fifth District about benefits cliffs

Research and Resources

Oct. 19, 2021

Tom Barkin
President, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

President Tom Barkin talks about who is on the sidelines of the labor market, what’s keeping them there, and how we can remove barriers in their way.

Demo the CLIFF Tools

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond + Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta CLIFF

As part of our efforts to help address benefits cliffs across the Fifth District, the Richmond Fed has partnered with the Atlanta Fed to use Atlanta's CLIFF tools, a suite of digital resources that showcase the loss of public assistance a worker might face with an increase in income, and the simultaneous gap in financial resources this causes. The CLIFF tools also facilitate the simulation of policy and programmatic solutions.

Learn more about the tools by viewing the demo version of the CLIFF Dashboard and the demo version of the CLIFF Planner on the Atlanta Fed's CLIFFs tools webpage.

Our Partners

These organizations have signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Richmond Fed to access the CLIFF Dashboard and to use this tool to help their citizens and clients determine how best to achieve and sustain financial well-being.

Leading Age Virginia 50 Years Logo
ReWork Richmond
Office of Community Wealth Building
Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont
Virginia Goodwill Network

The Virginia Goodwill Network ( VGN) is a consortium of five regional Goodwill organizations that provide collaborative workforce development programs and services to tens of thousands of Virginians each year.

This includes: