Increase in minimum wage could affect some benefits for Massachusetts residents

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The minimum wage increase in Massachusetts could mean residents are losing certain benefits. 

Food stamps, childcare vouchers, and rent subsidies could be cut despite a better wage. Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston calls this the ‘cliff effect.’ 

The ‘cliff effect’ shows the drop in public supports that occur when earnings go up.  

For example, every additional dollar of earnings a worker getting SNAP receives, he/she sees a drop in the number of SNAP benefits of about 30 cents.  

The wage increase will benefit 662,000 workers across the state. 

“You’d hope it all works out for them the best way $11 is pretty hard to get anywhere in Massachusetts so I think raising it is definitely a good deal,” said Jackson Klesse of Westfield. 

Cliffs only affect families and individuals that have both earnings and public support. 

The increase will give a raise to most food service workers and about a third of workers in human services such as disability and elderly services. 

This increase is part of a nationwide effort to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

State lawmakers are hoping to achieve that by 2023.  

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