Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta CLIFF Tools

Due to the complexity of public assistance programs, workers often struggle to understand the timing and magnitude of benefits loss. This uncertainty, coupled with economic insecurity, can prevent individuals from seeking or accepting opportunities for career advancement. Additionally, individuals who do advance without understanding when assistance will end may find themselves in situations where their standard of living doesn't improve or even declines.

The CLIFF suite of tools developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta models the interaction of public benefits, taxes, and tax credits with career advancement. The CLIFF suite currently includes three core tools—CLIFF Snapshot, CLIFF Dashboard, and CLIFF Planner. Each tool is tailored to meet a client’s needs in different career stages.

CLIFF Snapshot
The CLIFF Snapshot compares a client’s current financial situation to alternative scenarios. Counselors can help clients better understand how an increase in wages, additional hours worked, or participation in public assistance programs may better position them for financial stability.

See demo versions of the CLIFF Snapshot.Off-site link
CLIFF Dashboard
The CLIFF Dashboard details the long-term financial implications of a new career. The Dashboard shows income and public assistance over a 20-year-plus horizon. The Dashboard also includes a minimum household budget that identifies the estimated level at which after-tax income will position a worker to cover basic expenses.

See demo versions of the CLIFF Dashboard.Off-site link
CLIFF Planner
The CLIFF Planner helps clients when they’re ready to map out details of a career move. With the Planner’s flexibility, counselors can work with clients to build a customized education plan, career plan, and budget. The Planner produces a much more individualized financial portrait than does the Dashboard.

See demo versions of the CLIFF Planner.Off-site link

CLIFF Tools Expression of Interest Form

If you are interested in accessing these tools for use by your organization, please complete this form. Responses help us understand how organizations plan to use these tools so we can provide support and resources based on your organization's specific needs.

Contact us at cliff@atl.frb.org if you have questions on Advancing Careers research or tools.