Assistance programs summary

Children have a specialized form of Medicaid called the Child's Health Insurance Program CHIP. It covers hospital care, medical supplies, tests, eye exams, dental care, and regular check-ups. Medicaid pays for a significant portion of U. The Affordable Care Act increased Medicaid coverage by It raised the maximum income level and allowed single adults to qualify.

SNAP is more commonly known as food stamps. These government food benefits helped more than 42 million people buy food in In Sept. In addition to SNAP, the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children WIC helps pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women and children up to age five.

It provides:. In , roughly 6. Another food-based welfare program is known as the Child Nutrition Program. In , this program provided free or reduced-cost lunches to Supplemental Security Income provides extra cash to help low-income adults and children who live with disabilities.

As of January , more than 7. Of people getting benefits, more than 6. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for low-income families. More than 22 million individuals and families received EITC in The credits lifted approximately 5.

About 3 million of them were children. Housing assistance often takes the form of rental assistance. It includes 1.

Local agencies administer it to 2. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a similar welfare program that provides energy assistance and weatherization programs.

Many of these respondents may not realize that they benefit from federal assistance given to their state governments. There are many misconceptions about who exactly benefits from federal aid. In an interview, though, political scientist Suzanne Mettler said her research shows that welfare and food stamp recipients are far less likely to vote than others.

They struggle so much to make ends meet that they don't have the extra time to read up on political issues and go to the polls. The Tax Foundation and Gallup polls also show that many of the states that rely the most on federal benefits vote Republican.

Many voters who decry welfare programs may not be aware of how much they receive from government programs. For example, they may not be aware that the deduction for home mortgage interest is a form of government benefit. It's easier only to consider visible federal benefits, such as welfare checks or food stamps.

As a result, many voters don't realize that they are getting government benefits too. Another myth accuses undocumented immigrants of coming to the U. to take advantage of welfare programs. Most welfare programs, though, only benefit legal immigrants. Even legal immigrants must have a year work history or be a member of the military before they are eligible to receive TANF, for instance.

Other welfare programs have similar restrictions. The only federal welfare program that benefits undocumented immigrants is Medicaid. Even then, the benefits are only allowed in cases of emergency. Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Poverty Guidelines Used to Determine Financial Eligibility for Certain Federal Programs.

Department of Agriculture. Illinois Department of Human Services. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The American Presidency Project. Congressional Research Service. The gains from intensive job-search assistance could be smaller among participants in TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid because they face more barriers to employment, such as not having graduated from high school.

Intensive job-search assistance was a component of all the experimental evaluations of AFDC work requirements that were found to boost employment. In addition, after the training and job-search assistance were completed, the earnings of those two groups were similar, on average.

Likewise, experimental evaluations of AFDC recipients indicate that programs focusing on immediate job-search assistance generally boost employment and earnings more than programs that first provide vocational training or education.

One possible explanation is that the training did not align well with the demands of local employers. Recent research demonstrates that job training provided by smaller programs can increase employment and income when it focuses on occupations that are in high demand locally and that have the potential for career advancement.

Whether those programs would increase employment and income if implemented on a national scale is unclear.

That strategy has been used to boost employment during recessions and to help participants with few skills progress toward unsubsidized employment.

Many recipients of subsidized employment would not have been employed otherwise, either because jobs were scarce or because they lacked job skills.

The subsidies boosted their income by raising their earnings. Most studies have found that those gains disappeared once the subsidies ended. Mark C. Berger and Dan A. Consolidated Appropriations Act of , Public Law The cost of unsubsidized child care is less likely to deter higher-income parents from working.

A randomized controlled trial conducted on families near the poverty line found that a substantial reduction in the percentage of income recipients had to pay for child care had no effect on their employment or earnings. In the survey, respondents were asked about their child care usage in a typical week in the fall each year.

The analysis was limited to recipients with a child under age 13; those families account for almost all CCDF recipients. For a study that found evidence of long-term benefits from job training, see V. Joseph Hotz, Guido W. Imbens, and Jacob A. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of , Public Law , www.

Lawrence F. Katz and others, Why Do Sectoral Employment Programs Work? Lessons From WorkAdvance , Working Paper National Bureau of Economic Research, December , www. David Butler and others, What Strategies Work for the Hard-to-Employ?

Danielle Cummings and Dan Bloom, Can Subsidized Employment Programs Help Disadvantaged Job Seekers? The extent to which work requirements and work supports boost employment and income probably depends on many factors. When policymakers consider proposals that aim to increase employment and income among participants of means-tested programs through work requirements or work supports, it is important to consider three factors—the extent to which participants are already engaged in work-related activities, barriers to work, and economic conditions—and how those factors could change over time.

Employment, training, and job-search assistance are already widespread among some groups of participants in means-tested programs, which limits the extent to which work requirements can raise employment. Many program participants who are not engaged in work-related activities report having multiple conditions that make employment difficult, such as health issues or child care responsibilities.

The ability of work requirements and work supports to boost the employment of recipients is limited by the extent to which the recipients would participate in work-related activities in the absence of those provisions.

Because of that constraint, expansions of work requirements and work supports in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Medicaid could be less effective than that expansion was decades earlier in the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program. In , about 55 percent of AFDC recipients reported not working, searching for work, training for a job, or being a student see Figure In contrast, from through , about 30 percent of SNAP and Medicaid recipients reported not participating in at least one of those activities.

Because the employment rate among SNAP and Medicaid recipients is much higher than it was for AFDC recipients, it has less room to increase further.

The ability of work requirements to boost employment is limited by the extent to which recipients would have participated in work-related activities in the absence of those provisions. Most SNAP and Medicaid recipients are working or preparing to work even though few of them are subject to work requirements.

Data are limited to recipients between the ages of 18 and 61 who were not receiving disability benefits. Some recipients are engaged in multiple activities. They are included in the lowest applicable segment of the bar and not in higher segments.

Recipients are defined as not working or preparing to work if they report not working, searching for work, being in a job-training program, or being in school. That is because those requirements are unlikely to increase their earnings but can reduce the benefits they receive.

Employed adults must document their compliance with the work requirements typically each month or every few months , a process that can be arduous and time-consuming.

Some employed adults lose their benefits because they do not submit the required information, either because they find doing so too onerous or because they are not aware of the requirement. Work requirements are less likely to lead to employment and more likely to reduce income, including benefits, when applied to people who have conditions that make it difficult to find and keep a job.

Participants in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, SNAP, and Medicaid who are not working or preparing to work often report having such conditions. Other common barriers to employment include caring for young children or not having a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

In a survey, about 70 percent of recipients in TANF and SNAP who were not working or preparing to work reported having at least one barrier to employment, and about 20 percent reported having more than one see Figure Such barriers were also common among their counterparts in Medicaid, but less so.

Under the stringent work requirements in TANF, recipients who report having those barriers are much less likely to be employed when they leave the program. The employment rate for former TANF recipients who report having multiple barriers to employment is about 35 percent, compared with about 70 percent for former recipients who report having none of those employment barriers.

Most recipients of assistance who are not working or preparing to work report facing at least one of three common barriers that hinder employment. Data source: Survey of Income and Program Participation, Data are limited to recipients between the ages of 18 and 61 who were not receiving disability benefits, working, searching for work, or in school.

The barriers to employment reflected in the data are having a work-limiting disability, not having a high school diploma or equivalent degree, and having a child younger than 6 while being a single parent or having a working spouse.

Work supports can have a larger effect on employment when they are directed at people who face barriers to finding and keeping jobs instead of all participants. For example, subsidized child care can boost employment more when it is targeted at people who are not working because they cannot afford adequate care.

In contrast, extending child care subsidies to people with higher income would probably have a smaller effect on employment because those people are more likely to be able to afford child care without a subsidy.

Similarly, job training can boost employment more when it is directed at people who are unlikely to find a job because they lack marketable skills. Of the 11 approaches to getting AFDC recipients working that were evaluated in the s, the largest increase in employment came from assigning the most disadvantaged participants to training before they began searching for a job.

A survey of SNAP recipients provides detailed data on the barriers to employment faced by recipients of means-tested benefits.

They constitute the most common barrier to employment, even though recipients of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security were excluded from the survey see Figure The survey also excluded recipients who were caring for an incapacitated adult or a child under age 6 or who were participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program; still, 11 percent of respondents reported a lack of child care as a barrier to employment, indicating that not having access to before- and after-school care can limit employment.

Other reported barriers, such as a lack of education or transportation, could be addressed by workforce development programs. Overall, about 79 percent of the surveyed SNAP recipients reported facing at least one barrier to employment, and 48 percent reported more than one.

A survey of SNAP recipients indicates that they face multiple barriers to employment that are not measured by the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

Data source: Department of Agriculture. Data are limited to SNAP recipients who had to register for work. Thus, the data probably exclude most adults who are receiving disability benefits, caring for an incapacitated adult or a dependent child under age 6, or participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

When economic conditions are poor, work requirements can have adverse effects on participants in means-tested programs. In particular, those requirements can substantially reduce program participation while boosting employment only a little, and they can reduce average income because the lost benefits are not offset by additional earnings.

When jobs become harder to find, work requirements are difficult to meet through employment. At those times, if the requirements are not eased, they put families at greater risk of losing benefits before they can find work—and they are less likely to spur recipients to find work.

To examine the effects of work requirements during such periods, the Congressional Budget Office used data from the Department of Health and Human Services that cover through Yet the rate at which those parents lose cash payments does not decline substantially at such times.

When the unemployment rate is higher, families are more likely to stop receiving cash payments because they do not meet the work requirements, are less likely to be employed when they leave, and tend to have lower income when they leave.

Data source: Department of Health and Human Services, through The analysis is generally limited to the families of single women with children who are subject to the federal work standard and who live in one of the nine states for which CBO has adequate data. In addition, policymakers temporarily reduced the work requirements in TANF and SNAP during the recession.

Thus, it is more difficult for states to fund extended TANF benefits in response to an increase in economic hardship than it is for states to expand assistance through SNAP or Medicaid, both of which generally receive enough federal funding to provide benefits to all eligible people.

When economic conditions deteriorate, some work supports probably become more effective than others at boosting employment. Subsidized employment and job training, for instance, can build skills at times when participants are unlikely to gain experience through an unsubsidized job because so few are available.

When jobs are plentiful, those work supports are probably more likely to replace unsubsidized employment. In contrast, subsidized child care might boost employment less when jobs are scarce.

That is because fewer of the people who would work more if they received subsidized child care would be able to find additional work. Elderly people and people who receive disability benefits through Supplemental Security Income or Social Security are excluded from this analysis because they are exempt from work requirements.

Research has shown that many families whose income appears low enough for them to qualify for SNAP do not receive benefits because they do not adhere to the requirements for demonstrating that their income is low enough.

However, that research does not examine whether the work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents creates additional reporting requirements that lead to more eligible adults losing their benefits.

When Arkansas instituted a work requirement for Medicaid recipients, it substantially increased the frequency with which some adult recipients had to demonstrate continued eligibility, which probably led to a loss of Medicaid coverage among working adults. CBO used data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine barriers to employment among recipients.

Parents were classified as caring for a young child if they had a child under the age of 6 and were a single parent or had a working spouse. Before when the work requirement was imposed , AFDC recipients tended to stay in the program longer when the unemployment rate was high.

In addition, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act suspended the work requirement for ABAWDs through the month after the public health emergency declaration is lifted. Changing the stringency of work requirements and funding for work supports would affect the employment and income of the families served by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Medicaid.

By altering program participation and average benefit amounts, policy changes could also affect federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office has examined seven options that policymakers could pursue to expand or reduce work requirements or work supports.

The options are assumed to take effect at the beginning of fiscal year In many cases, the magnitude of the effects is highly uncertain. CBO examined two of the many ways in which lawmakers could expand work requirements to promote employment and reduce federal spending see Table , top panel.

In general, expanding work requirements would cause some newly covered recipients to work more, and most of those recipients would see their earnings rise by more than their benefits fell. But other recipients would be left without earnings or benefits because they did not comply with the new requirements.

The reduction in benefits would lower federal spending if the work requirements were imposed on recipients of SNAP or Medicaid because the federal government funds a fixed percentage of those benefits.

The hours-worked criteria limits ABAWDs to 3 months of benefits in any month period if they are not working at least 20 hours per week or in job training. Many of those people would be exempt from the expanded work requirements because they fall into certain categories for example, caring for an incapacitated person or, for SNAP, because they live in an area with high unemployment.

For similar reasons, many of the adults potentially subject to the reduced work requirements are exempt from the work requirement under current law. The first option that CBO examined would require all states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid recipients. Under this policy, which would be similar to the requirements imposed in Arkansas, able-bodied adults who have no dependents and who are between the ages of 19 and 49 would lose Medicaid coverage if they did not participate in work-related activities for at least 80 hours per month for three or more months over the course of a year.

Adults would be exempt from the requirements if they have dependents, receive benefits from Supplemental Security Income or Disability Insurance, are pregnant, or have certain mental or physical health conditions.

In addition to employment, hours spent in school, training for a job, searching for a job, or performing community service would count toward the hour minimum. About 30 million people would be potentially subject to the work requirements each year, though many of them would qualify for an exemption.

This option would substantially increase the amount that people who lost Medicaid coverage would pay out of pocket for medical services, and it would increase employment very slightly.

Employment would not increase much because many Medicaid recipients have limited access to work supports and do not receive intensive case-management services. For every recipient who worked more, several recipients would lose Medicaid coverage because they failed to demonstrate compliance, and many of those adults would become uninsured.

They would forgo some health care and pay more out of pocket for the care they did use, leaving them with less money to spend on nonmedical goods and services, on average. The increase in medical expenses from the loss of insurance coverage under this option is far more certain than the change in employment.

That reduction in enrollment represents a substantial portion of the adults who would be subject to the work requirements. Many other adults would be exempt. Under current law, only able-bodied adults who do not have dependents and who are under the age of 50 ABAWDs risk losing SNAP benefits if they do not spend 20 hours a week, on average, participating in work-related activities.

This second option that CBO examined would potentially extend that requirement to about 10 million able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who have dependents, though many of them would qualify for an exemption.

Participants would receive additional employment and training services to boost their chances of finding a job. If this option increased that spending substantially, it could push up spending overall. Spending on SNAP benefits would fall primarily because of reductions in benefits for adults who did not comply with the work requirement.

Spending on benefits would also fall for adults whose earnings rose because they worked more to meet the requirement. The states would not be required to match any of the additional federal funding for such programs. In all likelihood, this option would modestly increase employment among the additional recipients who would become subject to the expanded work requirement.

Its effect on employment would probably exceed that of the option that would impose a work requirement on Medicaid recipients because SNAP recipients would be offered more work supports. Some states would probably not be prepared to offer those supports for several years.

But the evidence of employment increases from the work requirement for ABAWDs suggests that this option would boost employment only a little if recipients were not provided with intensive case-management services, such as assistance provided in person by a trained caseworker.

Under this option, income would decline, on average, for households with adults who were not exempt from the work requirement.

Many of those households have few other resources. In particular, only about 53 percent of SNAP households with children had earnings in Many of the nonworking households whose benefits would decrease under this option would have very low income.

Other adults would probably work more under this option, but the size of the increase in their earnings from the combination of the expanded work requirement and work supports is very uncertain. Lawmakers could reduce work requirements in many ways to boost the income of the poorest families.

This analysis examines two of them see Table , bottom panel. In general, if work requirements were lessened, many newly exempt recipients would receive benefits for a longer period, and fewer of those recipients would work. Generally, the increase in benefits would lead to higher federal spending for SNAP and Medicaid but not for TANF.

Under this option, able-bodied adults without dependents would no longer be limited to 3 months of benefits in any month period if they were not working at least 20 hours per week or in job training.

Eliminating that hours-worked criteria would increase spending on SNAP by boosting the number of people receiving benefits. About 5 million fewer people would be potentially subject to the work requirement each year, though many of them are exempt from it under current law.

This option would increase federal spending by providing benefits to more people. A much smaller number of people would have lower income from working less because they would no longer be at risk of losing SNAP benefits.

But the specific size of the decrease in employment and the resulting effect on earnings is highly uncertain. Under this option, states would not be allowed to reduce the benefits given to those parents for insufficient participation in work-related activities.

That change would reduce the number of TANF recipients whose families were potentially subject to the work requirements by about 50, each year, CBO estimates, though many of those families would have been exempt under current law. The resulting increase in the number of TANF recipients would not change federal funding for the program, which is set at a fixed amount.

To better understand the potential implications of this option on employment and income, CBO examined the experience of TANF recipients in Alabama.

CBO used data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services for this particular analysis. This option would decrease employment among the parents subject to it by slowing the rate at which they found jobs.

The unemployment rate in Alabama was about 4 percent when it implemented the change in work requirements, whereas this option would probably exempt mothers in areas of the country where jobs were scarce as well as in areas where they were plentiful. Average cash income increased because the additional earnings for some families were larger than the loss of cash payments for families who did not meet the work requirement.

This option, which would reverse such a policy in a number of states, would have effects in the opposite direction. Although raising the age threshold back to 12 months in Alabama might lower average cash income in that state to its previous level, the net effect of such a change on earnings nationwide would probably be much smaller, for two reasons.

First, jobs would not be as plentiful in some of the states that would be forced to raise the threshold, which would decrease the number of recipients that could find work under current law and thus reduce the income loss under this policy. Second, Alabama provides smaller cash payments than most other states, so families who, because of this option, stayed in the program longer in those other states would see a larger increase in payments.

Many of the parents who would not work regardless of the requirement would be spared from having very low income because they would remain eligible for cash payments. Other parents would have lower income because they would choose to work less in the absence of the work requirement, but eligibility for cash payments would spare many of them from having very low income.

To promote employment and increase the income of poor families, lawmakers could expand work supports for participants in means-tested programs.

The effect on consumption would be greater than that from expanding work requirements. Expanding work supports would push up federal spending if the funding was not diverted from other services, however.

Although increases in earnings from expanded work supports might reduce spending on means-tested benefits, those reductions would be unlikely to offset a large portion of the spending on the work supports.

Among the many ways that lawmakers could expand work supports, CBO examined two options see Table , top panel. In addition, states could use a portion of the additional federal funding to assist some of the single parents in those programs who pay for unsubsidized child care despite meeting the federal requirements for the CCDF.

Beginning in , lawmakers increased funding for the CCDF by 41 percent, and by the states had used that funding to raise spending about 34 percent above its level in As a result, the number of subsidy recipients rose by about 7 percent, and the number of children on waitlists for subsidized child care fell by about 53 percent.

States primarily increased their spending in by boosting child care subsidies. States increased the subsidies by decreasing the amount that parents have to contribute and by raising the maximum rate a child care provider can charge and still be eligible for a subsidy.

This option would increase employment slightly among the parents who received more benefits through the CCDF.

The increase in employment would be concentrated among recipients who would not have received a subsidy under current law, and the expansion indicates that they would constitute a modest portion of the recipients affected by the expansion.

In addition to enabling more parents to work immediately, this option would allow more parents to undertake job training and job searching by making more subsidies available to parents who are preparing to work. Some recipients of TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid would have substantially more resources to spend on goods and services other than child care under this option.

In addition to the boost in earnings from more employment, parents would tend to spend less on child care. The number of parents paying for unsubsidized care would fall, and some states would use the additional funding to reduce copayments tied to subsidized care, which would benefit the parents who were already receiving subsidies.

Under current law, federal funding for TANF changes little in response to economic conditions. The increase in funding would be focused on periods when unemployment was widespread.

For example, if this option had been in effect during and , when the national unemployment rate peaked at 9. In contrast, the option would have increased funding in only one state in and , when the national unemployment rate fell to a low of 3. The additional funding would be used to cover 80 percent of increases in spending on job training, subsidized employment, and recurring cash payments that occur during the period of high unemployment.

Other uses of the funds would be prohibited. Constraints on how the funding is spent would be similar to those that accompanied the emergency contingency fund used in the wake of the — recession. States would cover the remaining 20 percent of additional spending on job training, subsidized employment, and recurring cash payments, but they would not have to increase their own total spending on TANF.

Instead, they could offset their additional spending on those services by spending less on other TANF services. But the initial effect on employment in each state would depend on which services it chose to expand.

On the one hand, employment could fall because some recipients of job training would have worked otherwise and because additional spending on cash payments would make some people work less. But those two effects would probably be modest because few recipients would be able to find work during periods of high unemployment.

On the other hand, employment could rise initially because some recipients of subsidized employment would not have been hired had the employer had to bear all the cost.

Additional spending on subsidized employment and cash payments would boost their income immediately, and the skills they learned through subsidized employment and job training would probably lead to higher future earnings, on average.

One way to reduce federal spending would be to decrease the work supports provided through means-tested programs.

If, instead, funding was shifted from work supports to cash payments for nonworking families, the number of families in deep poverty could be reduced.

Federal spending would be unchanged in that case, however see Table , bottom panel. CBO analyzed that option—even though it is not representative of the typical effects of decreasing work supports—because it is the only recent proposal for reducing work supports that the agency identified.

Hundreds of thousands of TANF recipients would be affected each year by that change, and their income would increase substantially as a result. This option would not affect federal spending.

To cover the increased cost of the cash payments, some states would probably reduce spending on other TANF-funded services; other states might spend more of their own funds on TANF as a whole. States would probably offset most of the increase in spending on cash payments by reducing spending on work supports and social services.

In , states that spent less than 20 percent of their TANF funding on recurring cash payments spent about 40 percent on subsidized child care and an additional 15 percent on other work supports. Furthermore, they allocated about 30 percent toward social services for children, including initiatives aimed at boosting educational attainment of parents, promoting family preservation and reunification, and providing guidance for parents on child health and development.

This option would expand the resources of low-income families by increasing the amount of cash assistance they received. States could provide more cash assistance in two ways: by paying families more or by making payments to more families a task they could accomplish by loosening eligibility standards and conducting outreach to increase the percentage of eligible families that apply for benefits.

The increase in cash payments would substantially boost the income of some of the poorest families in the affected states. In the 27 states that spent less than 20 percent of their TANF funding on cash assistance, about 35 percent of the families who receive those payments report being in deep poverty.

In addition to making larger payments to some recipients, the 27 states could provide benefits to more families in poverty. Currently, those states provide cash assistance to only about 6 percent of the families of single parents who are in poverty.

The number of people who would no longer work would probably be small compared with the number of people who would receive larger cash payments. The size of the change in employment is highly uncertain, though, because it would depend on how states chose to increase their spending on cash assistance.

Increasing the amount of the payments to nonworking recipients and boosting the number of nonworking recipients who got those payments would decrease employment. But some states might choose to make cash payments available to working recipients for longer periods, which could increase employment.

In some cases, changes to a program can affect spending on other programs in addition to spending on the changed program. For example, policies that increased the cash payments provided through TANF would reduce the benefits provided through SNAP. Changes in spending on other programs are not included in the estimates of costs provided in this analysis.

States could still waive the work requirement if their unemployment rate was high. Certain categories of people pregnant women, the parents of children younger than 6, and people who care for an incapacitated person would be exempt from the requirement.

States would have some discretion to exempt individuals otherwise subject to the requirements. In addition to possibly boosting income, on average, these options would allow nonworking people to continue receiving benefits, thus affording them a steady income stream. Compelling those people to try to find and keep employment, by contrast, could result in their periodically having no income.

That change is difficult to evaluate because during the months leading up to it, the state rarely enforced the work requirement on families with young children.

Marianne P. Bitler and Hilary W. For a description of how CBO forecasted a distribution of national unemployment rates, see Michael McGrane, A Markov-Switching Model of the Unemployment Rate , Working Paper Congressional Budget Office, March , www.

Experience indicates this option might boost employment among people who are not in TANF. In the wake of the — recession, states appear to have used the emergency contingency fund to provide subsidized employment to many people who were not in TANF.

Some job training and subsidized employment programs have achieved persistent increases in employment and earnings, but others have not see Chapter 3 for details.

That evidence indicates that this option would be more likely to increase employment and earnings if job training is focused on occupations that have the potential for career advancement. Its work requirements, which were enacted into law in as part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act PRWORA , are intended to help families more quickly replace cash payments with earnings.

By law, states are required to ensure that most recipients are working within 24 months of first receiving cash assistance. To meet that requirement, states impose work requirements on most parents before they have been in the program for 24 months.

The SIPP is a nationally representative survey of U. Department of Agriculture USDA Food and Nutrition Service FNS should. The committee identified several factors related to SNAP program participation that may affect whether some SNAP participants are able to meet the program goals and for which evidence is currently inadequate to fully assess their importance.

These factors may affect either directly or indirectly the definition of the adequacy of SNAP allotments. The two broad areas in which additional research is needed to further develop the knowledge base for the potential use of these factors in defining allotment adequacy are educational programs that can help participants increase the purchasing power of the SNAP allotment and access to retail outlets and foods.

Recommendation 4: U. Department of Agriculture USDA Food and Nutrition Service FNS should conduct further research in the following areas to support the definition of allotment adequacy:.

assess whether and how strengthening the quality content and delivery mechanisms of education in nutrition and resource management skills can support allotment adequacy, for example, through educational outreach such as demonstration projects, and evaluate the level of funding needed to support such programs; and.

assess how effectively these educational programs align with the needs of SNAP participants and the program's potential to enhance the purchasing power of SNAP allotments.

The committee reviewed a range of evidence applicable to the feasibility of defining the adequacy of SNAP benefits in terms of whether the SNAP allotment enables program participants to meet program goals, given their benefit allotment, not whether all participants will in fact reach these goals.

The committee's recommendations are structured to assist USDA-FNS in establishing an objective definition of the adequacy of the SNAP allotment, taking the evidence for these factors into consideration, and to identify specific data and analysis requirements to support an evidence-based assessment of allotment adequacy.

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Show details Committee on Examination of the Adequacy of Food Resources and SNAP Allotments; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee on National Statistics; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council; Caswell JA, Yaktine AL, editors. Contents Hardcopy Version at National Academies Press.

Search term. STUDY TASK AND APPROACH In response to questions about whether there are different ways to define the adequacy of SNAP allotments consistent with the program goals of improving food security and access to a healthy diet, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service FNS asked the Institute of Medicine IOM and the National Research Council NRC to conduct a study to examine the feasibility of defining the adequacy of SNAP allotments, specifically: the feasibility of establishing an objective, evidence-based, science-driven definition of the adequacy of SNAP allotments consistent with the program goals of improving food security and access to a healthy diet, as well as other relevant dimensions of adequacy; and.

data and analyses needed to support an evidence-based assessment of the adequacy of SNAP allotments. FIGURE S-1 Framework for determining the feasibility of defining the adequacy of SNAP allotments.

Conclusion 1: The Adequacy of SNAP Allotments Can Be Defined Based on the available evidence, it is feasible to define objectively the adequacy of SNAP allotments. Conclusion 2: The Adequacy of SNAP Allotments Is Influenced by Individual, Household, and Environmental Factors Evidence obtained by the committee in its data gathering workshop and in its review and assessment of the literature revealed that the opportunity for SNAP participants to meet the program goals, given a dollar value of their SNAP benefits, is influenced by a number of individual, household, and environmental factors that impact the purchasing power of the allotments.

The evidence on individual, household, and environmental factors that constrain the purchasing power of SNAP allotments is most robust for four factors: The SNAP allotment, which is based on the TFP, assumes the purchase of many basic, inexpensive, unprocessed foods and ingredients requiring substantial investment of participants' time to produce nutritious meals.

The evidence shows that the time requirements implicitly assumed by the TFP are inconsistent with the time available for most households at all income levels, particularly those with a single working head. By failing to account for the fact that SNAP participants, like other households, need to purchase value-added foods that save preparation time, the current value of the SNAP allotment substantially limits the flexibility and purchasing power of SNAP benefits.

The food prices faced by SNAP participants vary substantially across geographic regions of the country and between rural and urban areas.

However, SNAP benefits are adjusted only for Alaska and Hawaii. SNAP participants in locales with higher food prices are likely to find it more difficult than those in areas with lower prices to purchase the types and amounts of foods specified in the TFP as adequate to meet their needs for a nutritious diet.

The evidence points further to a lack of data on the extent to which food prices influence the ability of SNAP participants to purchase nutritious foods. There is evidence that low-income households face higher transaction costs in achieving food security and access to a healthy diet relative to higher-income households.

For example, low-income and minority populations are more likely than other groups to experience limited access to supermarkets and other large retail outlets, such as big-box stores, that offer a broad range of nutritious foods at reasonable cost.

Individuals without access to such venues experience greater disparity in the availability of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, in their neighborhood food outlets. In addition, a lack of transportation infrastructure commonly leads to limited food access in small towns and rural areas.

Nutrition education programs for low-income participants that include training in food purchasing and preparation skills appear to have some effectiveness in changing behavioral outcomes.

This finding lends credence to the theory that skills are a limiting factor in the ability of some SNAP participants to maximize the purchasing power of the current SNAP allotments. However, existing evidence on the influence of nutrition knowledge and skills on the ability of SNAP participants to purchase and prepare nutritious foods consistent with the assumptions of the TFP is insufficient to support a conclusion about the relevance of these factors to an evidence-based definition of the adequacy of SNAP allotments.

Conclusion 3: The Adequacy of SNAP Allotments Is Influenced by Program Characteristics The evidence suggests that a number of factors related to how the dollar value of SNAP allotments is calculated, as well as other SNAP program characteristics, can influence the feasibility of defining an adequate SNAP allotment.

Maximum benefit guarantee— The maximum SNAP benefit, currently based on assumptions of the TFP plus the temporary upward adjustment that occurred under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of , may not always be sufficient to allow participants to purchase the food components and prepare the meals specified by the TFP for several reasons.

As noted above, the time available for most households at all income levels, particularly those with a single working head, is insufficient to meet the assumptions of the TFP, and thus the allotments do not sufficiently account for the costs of purchasing foods that must be further prepared.

Also as noted above, the TFP does not account for many types of geographic price variation. In addition, limited evidence suggests that some SNAP households with no net income as defined under the program and residing in high-cost locales with limited access to food outlets are unable to purchase the foods included in the market basket underlying the TFP.

Although the committee found compelling evidence on the time costs of meal preparation and on geographic price variations, the evidence on how best to incorporate these factors into the SNAP benefit formula is less compelling.

The committee also identified as an issue affecting the adequacy of SNAP allotments the fact that the annual maximum benefit update occurs following a month lag. The June cost of food is used to update the TFP in October, but then is not updated again until the following October, 16 months later. Because of the impact of inflation and other factors on food prices, this lag in the benefit adjustment can significantly reduce the purchasing power of SNAP allotments.

Benefit reduction rate— The original assumption underlying the benefit reduction rate is that the average U.

household spends 30 percent of its income on food. This assumption is outdated and inconsistent with the current average spending pattern across income levels in the United States of about 13 percent of pretax income spent on purchases of all food consumed, both at home and away.

Although lower-income households spend a greater portion of their income on food e. Evidence suggests that a lower benefit reduction rate more closely aligned with current household spending patterns would likely give households greater incentive to combine workforce participation with the receipt of SNAP benefits by reducing the penalty for working.

Calculation of net income deduction— The committee found evidence that several program characteristics used to determine net income and the monthly allotment may not adequately capture the impact of additional extraordinary household costs that reduce the allotment's purchasing power.

Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks

Three of those programs are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which funds monthly cash payments along with many other services; Missing The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides approximately $ billion to states, the District of Columbia: Assistance programs summary





















Assistancr to Top. The Assisyance of people Disaster relief programs would Zero-interest offers longer work would probably be small compared with the number of people who Car loan interest rates receive progrmas cash payments. The experimental evaluations generally measured the effect of fully implemented work requirements by comparing income and employment for a group in which almost everyone was subject to the requirement and a group in which no one was. In addition, policymakers created the child tax credit in What Is an Electronic Benefits Transfer EBT? This allows for adjustments based on the cost of living that isn't based on one standard. The AFDC was created in as part of the Social Security Act, but it later came under scrutiny. In , Medicaid and SNAP had about 20 million recipients each in an average month, and about 10 million people received cash payments through AFDC. Such means-tested programs—some of which are administered jointly with the states—help the people who receive those benefits obtain goods and services that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Data for the CCDF were not available before See www. Evidence of the longer-term effects of work requirements and supports is limited, although research indicates that access to SNAP benefits during childhood tends to increase earnings in adulthood. Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis Federal Food Assistance Programs ; SNAP · Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Provides timely, targeted, and temporary benefits to low-income Americans to The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides approximately $ billion to states, the District of Columbia Lesson Summary Public assistance programs are There are many government assistance programs available in the U.S. Some of these are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Public assistance refers to assistance programs that provide either cash assistance or in-kind benefits to individuals and families from any Assistance programs summary
Local agencies administer it to 2. To sukmary participants sujmary TANF, SNAP, and Car loan interest rates to Assistnace, policymakers have added requirements to those programs. Assistance programs summary assumption is Assishance Assistance programs summary inconsistent with the current average spending pattern Balance transfer convenience income levels Assistance programs summary the United Disaster relief programs of about 13 percent of pretax income spent on purchases of all food consumed, both at home and away. The process and what you need to have to file are all explained in this Free File infographic. Policy changes not directly related to TANF also boosted the employment of single mothers. The rise in employment was probably the result of the work requirement and not other possibilities, such as changes in the sample studied, the presence of other policies subsidized child care, for instanceor economic conditions. When Arkansas instituted a work requirement for Medicaid recipients, it substantially increased the frequency with which some adult recipients had to demonstrate continued eligibility, which probably led to a loss of Medicaid coverage among working adults. You can also apply for Medicare when you apply for Social Security if you are within three months of age Only Arkansas had a work requirement in place for more than a few months—from June to March , when it was set aside by the courts. If you need food quickly, the USDA maintains a National Hunger Hotline—HUNGRY —with information and eligibility requirements available in English and Spanish. Any federal or state government program that provides financial or other assistance for housing, food, and healthcare to individuals and families who meet specific guidelines such as having a low to moderate income is considered welfare. To define the adequacy of SNAP allotments objectively using currently available evidence requires consideration of a range of factors identified by the committee as likely to have an impact on the allotments' purchasing power. Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks State or local GA programs are generally the only cash assistance for which poor childless adults can qualify The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA). Public Assistance (PA) program provides financial and direct assistance (e.g., supplies Missing Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks Assistance programs summary
Also as progra,s above, the Car loan interest rates does not account for Credit repair for veterans types of geographic price variation. Ptograms Disaster relief programs households spend a program portion of their income on food e. Click to expand search. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for low-income families. Office of Family Assistance. Get your list of potential benefits during life events like death of a loved one, retirement and disability. In addition, the number of hours that recipients worked did not appear to increase, which suggests that their earnings did not rise. The term welfare refers to a range of government programs that provide financial or other aid to individuals or groups who cannot support themselves. In rare instances and under specific requirements, a family could use vouchers to purchase a modest home in an affordable neighborhood. That measure of economic well-being is similar to what the Census Bureau uses to determine the official poverty rate. Click to expand menu. About Health Profession Opportunity Grants. The transfers that states make from TANF to the CCDF are only included as spending on TANF. Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks Homelessness assistance programs provide funding to states and local governments and nonprofit providers to serve individuals and families across the United Missing Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs have collectively provided communities over $46 billion to support housing stability for eligible renters Missing States use TANF to fund monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a wide range of services. TANF Programs by State Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs have collectively provided communities over $46 billion to support housing stability for eligible renters Assistance programs summary
PRWORA also imposed a work Car loan interest rates summmary able-bodied adults without dependents in SNAP. Even Asssitance richest Americans simmary receive Medicare coverage, for example, Car loan interest rates they turn Business credit card benefits Medicaid is for low-income families and individuals. Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis. According to statistics from the SSA, about 7. There are many government assistance programs available in the U. Subsidized child care has boosted the employment of low-income single parents, who represent about 80 percent of CCDF recipients. Costs to administer the program and monitor compliance with eligibility rules are distributed proportionally among the three types of assistance. Bruce D. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. In addition to meeting the requirements postulated by the federal government, individuals applying for welfare must also meet their states' requirements. Unemployment insurance UI is a federal and state program. For the panel, that date was at the end of January ; for the panel, it fell in the middle of May Obtaining financial support in crisis from financial institutions: Some financial institutions have programs to support people in financial need or crisis However, TANF reaches far fewer families and provides less cash assistance to families than AFDC, leaving more families in deep poverty. States Find government programs that may help pay for food, housing, medical, and other basic living expenses. Learn about Social Security and government checks Types of U.S. Welfare Programs · Medicaid · Supplemental Security Income (SSI) · Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) · Child's Health Insurance Program Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs have collectively provided communities over $46 billion to support housing stability for eligible renters Homelessness assistance programs provide funding to states and local governments and nonprofit providers to serve individuals and families across the United The program provides funding for emergency assistance to save lives and protect property, and assists with funding for permanently restoring community State or local GA programs are generally the only cash assistance for which poor childless adults can qualify The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides approximately $ billion to states, the District of Columbia Assistance programs summary

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10 Must-Know Financial Assistance Programs for Low Income Seniors in 2024 Source: Assistance programs summary Progra,s Office, using data from the Urban Assietance and Assistance programs summary Department of Health Assistance programs summary Human Car loan interest rates. In Assistance programs summary states, Medicaid benefits do not change programz earnings increase until families reach the eligibility threshold. Each welfare program has its own set of eligibility requirements. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Welfare reform substantially increased the amount of work supports available to participants in means-tested programs. gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Government Assistance Programs: What's Available and Where to Apply

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