The federal government administers security programs, also known as social assistance programs, to help low-income people and protect families from poverty. These programs offer government assistance, including subsidies from the Affordable Care Act. For more information on all of the benefit programs available to low-income families, check out 10 government programs for families.
Major government benefit programs
The federal government provides the funds for social assistance programs, while the states take care of and administer additional funds. Beneficiaries must demonstrate that their income is below a fixed amount, it is a percentage of the federal poverty level. Currently, that’s $ 24,858 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children).
There are six main benefit programs in the US They are food stamps, Medicaid, CHIP, housing assistance, supplemental security income, and temporary assistance for needy families.
1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)
SNAP or Food Stamps gives eligible people a benefit card, used as a debit card, to buy food at designated grocery stores and at farmers markets. The SNAP program delivers food stamps to 47.6 million people or 23 million households. They receive $ 133 a month on average.
In addition to SNAP, there is a food stamp program for breastfeeding mothers and young children called the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC provides food or coupons, education, and referrals to help feed pregnant women and children through age six. In 2017, 7.7 million people received WIC every month.
For school-age children, there is the Child Nutrition Program, which offers free or reduced-price lunches to 30 million children.
2. Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Through the Affordable Care Act, millions of people have gained access to health coverage through Medicaid and the Marketplace. Before the ACA, most states did not provide health coverage to childless adults, no matter how low their income was. The ACA also allows children to remain in their parents’ plan until age 26, giving access to more young adults who have been unable to pay for coverage on their own.
To make health coverage more affordable, the ACA includes two different subsidies for individuals and families. It also requires most health plans to cover preventive vaccinations, birth control, blood pressure tests, cancer screenings, and more, at no additional cost. An essential part of the ACA is that it protects people with pre-existing conditions so that they are not denied health insurance. Before ACA, insurance companies could deny anyone’s health due to pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer.
To find out if you are eligible to enroll outside of the Annual Open Enrollment period, you can use the HealthSherpa Assessment Tool.
Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program for low-income individuals and families. The program provides free or low-cost health benefits to adults, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The Medicaid program covers 1 in 5 people in the country, with a wide range of health services and limits the out-of-pocket costs of members.
Medicaid funds almost a fifth of all personal health care expenses in the US In 2016, Medicaid covered more than 76 million low-income Americans. Children make up 43%, or more than four in ten, of all enrolled in Medicaid, and the elderly and people with disabilities make up about one in four enrolled. About half of all births in the United States are paid for by Medicare.
The Affordable Care Act increased Medicaid coverage by 28 percent. Increased income level and allowed single adults to be eligible.
4. Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
CHIP offers free or low-cost medical and dental care for uninsured children up to age 19 whose family income is above the Medicaid limit but below their state’s CHIP limit. In addition to Medicaid, six million children received additional CHIP benefits. It covers hospital care, medical supplies, and tests. It also provides preventive care such as eye exams, dental care, and regular check-ups.
5. Subsidized housing, housing vouchers, and public housing programs
Housing Assistance helps low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities to obtain private or government-owned rental housing at reasonable prices. Provides 1.2 million units of public housing. The Housing Choice Voucher Program issues certificates for renting approved units. The subsidy allows beneficiaries to pay no more than 30 percent of their income. Local agencies administer it to 2.2 million tenants. This is the old Section 8 program. The Public Housing Agency allows some families to use the coupon to buy a modest home.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides energy assistance and weatherization programs. Provides $ 3.4 billion in block grants to states.
6. Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI)
The Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) provides cash to seniors and adults with disabilities. Help the elderly, blind and disabled buy food, clothing and shelter. On average, approximately 8.4 million people receive $ 536 per month. Of these, 7.3 million are blind or disabled.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
7. Welfare or TANF
These programs provide cash for a limited time to low-income families working for self-sufficiency. TANF may also offer non-cash benefits, such as childcare or job training.
TANF provided income to 2.5 million beneficiaries in 2017. Of these, 1.9 million were children. On average, a family of three received $ 447 per month. Despite this aid, they still live below the poverty line. Families receiving TANF must obtain employment within two years and may only receive this benefit for five years or less in some states. Also, they may not get more money if they have another child and cannot have more than $ 2,000 in total assets.
Additional federal programs for low-income families
In addition to major wellness programs, some benefits help individuals and families with income, education, and health.
8. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for families with at least one child. They must earn less than $ 51,567 a year to qualify. In 2012, more than 27 million received loans totaling $ 63 billion. That’s just over $ 2,335 per taxpayer. The EITC helped 6.5 million people out of poverty, half of whom were children. It costs only 1% of the amount paid to administer it.
9. Head Start
Head Start is a free or reduced-cost program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, healthy nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children, birth to age 5, and their families. In 2016, the program served nearly one million children and 1.4 million child care programs. Government also help low income families with a free cars, which a part of this program government free cars for needy and low income families are free and can be taken easily by contacting government agencies.
10 . Federal Pell Scholarship Program
The Department of Education administers the Federal Pell Grant Program to promote post secondary education (college and trade school) for students from low-income households. Scholarships are similar to a scholarship and do not need to be repaid. They are designed to go to undergraduate students based on factors such as cost of school attendance and expected family and student contribution. In 2017, there were approximately 4,800 participating post secondary institutions and grants were awarded in amounts between $ 592 and $ 5,920 with the total average award of $ 4,050 per recipient. If you or your family need help, visit the organization to ask if you are eligible for each benefit.