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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Medicaid: A Primer
This report describes the basic elements of Medicaid, focusing on federal rules governing who is eligible, what services are covered, how the program is financed and how beneficiaries share in the cost, how providers are paid, and the role of special waivers in expanding eligibility and modifying benefits. The recently passed Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 or DRA, as amended by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, included many provisions affecting Medicaid. DRA provides states with opportunities to make fundamental changes in Medicaid program design, including covered benefits and beneficiary cost-sharing. These and other major DRA changes are summarized here. Lastly, basic program statistics and citations to in-depth CRS reports on specific topics are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822687/
The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding
This report discusses the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides subsidies to assist low-income families in obtaining child care so that parents can work or participate in education or training activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821503/
Welfare Reauthorization: Overview of the Issues
The 109th Congress is reviewing a number of programs that aid poor and low-income families with children. These programs include the TANF and child care block grants, child support enforcement, abstinence education, transitional Medicaid (known as Transitional Medical Assistance), Head Start, and the Workforce Investment Act. Other potential policy initiatives, such as social security and tax reform, also would likely affect low-income families with children. This report focuses on programs and policy initiatives that are being raised in the context of reviewing and reauthorizing welfare programs: TANF, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Child Support Enforcement, Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA), Abstinence Education, initiatives to promote responsible fatherhood, and initiatives to promote rearing children in married-couple families. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822404/
Child Welfare: FY2013 Budget Request of the President and FY2013 Funding
This report begins with an overview of the purpose for which child welfare funds are appropriated. The report discusses FY2013 appropriations for those programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, know as sequestration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822421/
Child Support Enforcement: $25 Annual User Fee
This report discusses the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program, which was enacted in 1975 as a federal-state program to help strengthen families by securing financial support for children from their noncustodial parent on a consistent and continuing basis and by helping some families to remain self-sufficient and off public assistance by providing the requisite CSE services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821505/
Child Support Provisions Considered But Not Enacted During the 2002-2005 Welfare Reauthorization Debate
Although the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (enacted February 8, 2006) included significant changes to the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program, it did not include many of the child support provisions that had been considered during the preceding four-year debate within the context of welfare reauthorization. This report discusses 12 such provisions that were passed by either the House or the Senate Finance Committee (or both). The Administration has included several of these provisions in its FY2008 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821514/
Medicaid Issues for the 109th Congress
Medicaid is jointly financed by the federal and state governments, but each state designs and administers its own state program under broad federal guidelines. Accordingly, state variation in eligibility, covered services, and the delivery of, and reimbursement for, services is the rule rather than the exception. How is Congress to respond to the numerous proposals to move Medicaid forward into the near and long term? This report lays out some of these issues, explains the factors underlying them, and provides links to CRS products that can help Members of Congress and their staff prepare to discuss Medicaid’s role today and into the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820888/
The HUD Homeless Assistance Grants: Programs Authorized by the HEARTH Act
This report discusses the Homeless Assistance Grants, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The composition of the Homeless Assistance Grants changed when Congress enacted the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act as part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act in the 111th Congress (P.L. 111-22). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821529/
Child Care Reauthorization: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Child Care Provisions in House and Senate Versions of H.R. 4, S. 880, and Current Law
This report discuses the legislative action to reauthorize child care legislation that expired at the end of FY2002. The Child care reauthorization” is composed of two parts: legislation to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act and legislation to extend mandatory funding appropriated under Section 418 of the Social Security Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821532/
Medicaid: The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)
This report examines the formula that determines the federal government's share of Medicaid costs for most services, which is established in statute; states must contribute the remaining portion of costs in order to qualify for federal funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795540/
Need-Tested Benefits: Estimated Eligibility and Benefit Receipt by Families and Individuals
This report examines estimated benefit receipt by families from nine major need-tested benefit programs in 2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795897/
Child Welfare: The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
This report provides an overview of the bill Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (H.R. 6893). The report discusses many of the changes included in the new law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795355/
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds a wide range of benefits and services for low-income families with children. TANF was created in the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193). This report responds to some frequently asked questions about TANF; it does not describe TANF rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795354/
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This report provides background on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP), originally established in 1981 by Title XXVI of P.L. 97-35 and reauthorized several times. It is a block grant program under which the federal government gives states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and commonwealths, and Indian tribal organizations (referred to as grantees) annual grants to operate multi-component home energy assistance programs for needy households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795374/
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Financing Issues
This report discusses the financing of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It describes the national funding level, the distribution of funds among the states, and the basis for these funding levels; describes how states may use TANF funds; describes how states have actually used TANF funding; and discusses selected policy issues regarding TANF funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795456/
Troubled Asset Relief Program and Foreclosures
Increasing foreclosure rates and problems in financial markets are some of the issues addressed in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110 343), which created the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP). This report is concerned with Title II of the bill, which would require the Treasury to spend a minimum of $40 billion of the second $350 billion on foreclosure mitigation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795468/
Public Health Service Agencies: Overview and Funding (FY2010-FY2016)
This report gives a brief overview of the eight agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which are designated components of the U.S. Public Health Services (PHS), and summarizes its funding for FY2010 through FY2016. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795421/
Veterans and Homelessness
This report discusses the various aspects of the issue of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795706/
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795709/
Postage Subsidies for Periodicals: History and Recent Developments
This report describes and assesses the major federal policies that have subsidized postage for periodicals. These policies have been contentious because they involve disputed principles and vexing implementation issues. Some persons believe that periodicals provide important information about politics and government to U.S. citizens, which helps members of the public to discharge their civic duties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743589/
The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession
This report discusses the potential role that the block grant to states of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may play in mitigating the effects of the recession for poor families with children. It discusses the recession and the economic insecurity of disadvantaged families, the TANF block grand and potential role in the recession, as well as legislative issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743489/
The FHA Modernization Act of 2008
This report discusses the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act of 2008, which makes several amendments to the FHA program that insures loans on manufactured housing loan program under Title I of the National Housing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743534/
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information and data. This report does not provide information on TANF program rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700530/
TANF Reauthorization: Side-by-Side Comparison of Current Law, S. 667, and H.R. 240 (TANF Provisions)
This report discusses the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) re-authorization, and the debate over authorization for TANF and related programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700572/
Human Services Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
This report discusses provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) for selected human services programs. The selected programs generally are those that provide benefits and services to families with children, though some programs (e.g., the Community Services Block Grant) provide services to other families as well. All of the programs discussed in this report are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700552/
The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession
This report discusses the potential role that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to states may play in mitigating the effects of the recession for poor families with children. The TANF block grant is best known as a funding source for cash welfare. However, it also funds a wide range of benefits, services, and activities for disadvantaged families with children, as well as programs to achieve the goals of reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies and promoting two-parent families. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700744/
Poverty in the United States
This report provides a definition of poverty and discusses the trends in poverty, poverty among selected groups, and the geography of poverty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689123/
Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007
This report describes the income and poverty status of the 36.8 million Americans age 65 and older who were living in households in 2007. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689291/
Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008
This report describes the sources and amounts of income received by the 37.8 million Americans aged 65 and older who lived in non-institutional settings in 2008. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689422/
Veterans and Homelessness
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. This report discusses the various aspects of this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627178/
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues
This report provides background on U.S. public diplomacy, and discusses the United States information agency, current structure of public diplomacy within the Department of State, and the public diplomacy budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627029/
Child Welfare: Recent and Proposed Federal Funding
This report provides an overview of the FY2010 President's budget request, and it discusses share of child welfare funding by general purpose. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505600/
CHIP and the ACA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement: In Brief
This report discusses the Affordable Care Act (ACA) child maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement for children if federal CHIP funding expires. It begins with a brief background about CHIP, including information regarding program design and financing. The report then describes the ACA child MOE requirements for CHIP Medicaid expansion programs and for separate CHIP programs and discusses potential coverage implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503584/
LIHEAP: Program and Funding
This report discusses two types of formulas used to allocate funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through regular and contingency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503423/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report provides information on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which is the modern-day program that continues to fund this network of local antipoverty agencies. The report also describes several smaller related programs that are administered by the same federal office that currently oversees the CSBG. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503416/
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits
This report focuses on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility and the form and function of benefits. SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program, is designed primarily to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501950/
Domestic Food Assistance: Summary of Programs
This report gives an overview of the federal programs that provide food assistance within the United States and the territories, including a discussion of common concepts and themes across the network of domestic food assistance programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501974/
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501507/
Child Welfare: Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care and Related Federal Issues
The report begins with a discussion of major findings. It then briefly describes the foster care population and their unique health-related issues. Next is an overview of the federal programs and policies in three areas--child welfare, Medicaid, and private health insurance--that directly or indirectly address some of the health care needs of such children and young adults. The report concludes with a discussion of issues pertaining to these federal policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491290/
Child Welfare and Child Support: The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)
This report begins with an overview and topical summary of the provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980), which seeks to ensure that child welfare agencies are responsive to particular issues for children and youth in foster care or those who otherwise have contact with the child welfare system. The report follows this with a review of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for H.R. 4980 and the legislative origins of the enacted bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491200/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491209/
Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female- Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013
The report focuses on welfare dependency and work engagement among single mothers, a major dynamic that welfare reform and accompanying policy changes have attempted to affect. It also examines the role of programs other than Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in providing support to single female-headed families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491193/
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits
This report focuses on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility and the form and function of benefits. SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program, is designed primarily to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491506/
Veterans and Homelessness
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. This report discusses the various aspects of this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491421/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
This report describes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) as well as proposals to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491643/
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit available to eligible workers earning relatively low wages. This report provides an overview of the EITC, first discussing eligibility requirements for the credit, followed by how the credit is computed and paid. The report then provides data on the growth of the EITC since it was first enacted in 1975. Finally the report concludes with data on the EITC claimed on 2012 tax returns, examining EITC claims by number of qualifying children, income level, tax filing status, and location of residence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491354/
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends
This report deals with the four major federal means-tested benefit programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant programs, and Medicaid. It is organized into four main parts: an overview of existing eligibility law for the four programs and the policies that preceded the 1996 act; an overview of related immigrant policies affecting eligibility (specifically, the treatment of sponsored aliens); an analysis of trends in noncitizen poverty and benefit use; and a summary of the eligibility rules for aliens residing in the United States illegally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490965/
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: A Primer on TANF Financing and Federal Requirements
This report provides an overview of TANF financing and rules for state programs, describing federal TANF grants and state funds under a "maintenance-of-effort" (MOE) requirement; how states may use federal TANF and state MOE funds to help achieve the purpose and goals of the TANF block grant; rules that apply to states when they use TANF or MOE funds to provide cash welfare to needy families with children; rules that apply to states when they use TANF or MOE funds for benefits and services other than cash welfare; certain accountability requirements that apply to states, including requirements that states submit plans and report data to the federal government; and provisions of TANF law not directly related to grants to states, such as competitive grants for promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, tribal TANF provisions, and research funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462403/
Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery
This report briefly discusses the options for federal support and assistance for areas affected by wildfire disasters, including the period during wildfires, in the aftermath, and subsequently for preventing a recurrence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463426/
Child Support Enforcement: Program Basics
This report discusses the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program that was enacted in 1975 as a federal-state program (Title IV-D of the Social Security Act) to help strengthen families by securing financial support for children from their noncustodial parent on a consistent and continuing basis and by helping some families to remain self-sufficient and off public assistance by providing the requisite CSE services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462537/