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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: December 3, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female- Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013

Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female- Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013

Date: November 21, 2014
Creator: Gabe, Thomas
Description: 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.
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Veterans and Homelessness

Veterans and Homelessness

Date: November 13, 2014
Creator: Perl, Libby
Description: 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.
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An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

An Introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Date: November 7, 2014
Creator: Keightley, Mark P. & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities.
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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: October 22, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits

Date: October 20, 2014
Creator: Aussenberg, Randy A.
Description: 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.
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Child Welfare and Child Support: The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)

Child Welfare and Child Support: The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)

Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Stoltzfus, Emilie; Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L. & Solomon-Fears, Carmen
Description: 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.
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Child Welfare: Profiles of Current and Former Older Foster Youth Based on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)

Child Welfare: Profiles of Current and Former Older Foster Youth Based on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)

Date: October 6, 2014
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: This report provides summary and detailed data about current and former foster youth, as reported by states to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).
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Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends

Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends

Date: September 24, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. 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.
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The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

Date: September 23, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Poverty: Major Themes in Past Debates and Current Proposals

Poverty: Major Themes in Past Debates and Current Proposals

Date: September 18, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene & Spar, Karen
Description: This report begins with an overview of trends affecting both the incidence of poverty and characteristics of the population, and highlights changing perceptions of the poor and causes of poverty. The report then provides a short history of key federal policies enacted over the past century to address poverty. To provide a framework for analyzing current and future proposals, the report then presents several overarching themes that have recurred in poverty policy debates over the course of this history.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding

The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding

Date: September 17, 2014
Creator: Lynch, Karen E.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding

Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding

Date: September 16, 2014
Creator: Stoltzfus, Emilie
Description: This report begins with a review of federal appropriations activity in FY2014 as it relates to child welfare programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The bulk of the report provides a short description of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2012-FY2014) funding levels.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act

Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act

Date: August 7, 2014
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Size and Characteristics of the Cash Assistance Caseload

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Size and Characteristics of the Cash Assistance Caseload

Date: August 5, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report examines the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance caseload, focusing on how the composition and characteristics of families receiving assistance have changed over time.
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Child Welfare: Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care and Related Federal Issues

Child Welfare: Health Care Needs of Children in Foster Care and Related Federal Issues

Date: July 24, 2014
Creator: Baumrucker, Evelyne P.; Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.; Stoltzfus, Emilie & Fernandez, Bernadette
Description: 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.
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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Eligibility and Benefit Amounts in State TANF Cash Assistance Programs

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Eligibility and Benefit Amounts in State TANF Cash Assistance Programs

Date: July 22, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report describes state the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) financial eligibility rules and maximum benefit amounts. The report discusses cash assistance benefit amounts for needy families that are not automatically adjusted for inflation by the states, and have lost considerable value in terms of their purchasing power over time.
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Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding

Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding

Date: July 16, 2014
Creator: Stoltzfus, Emilie
Description: This report begins with a review of federal appropriations activity in FY2014 as it relates to child welfare programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The report provides a short description of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2012-FY2014) funding levels.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act

Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act

Date: May 22, 2014
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The LIHEAP Formula

The LIHEAP Formula

Date: May 21, 2014
Creator: Perl, Libby
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Low-Income Assistance Programs: Trends in Federal Spending

Low-Income Assistance Programs: Trends in Federal Spending

Date: May 7, 2014
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report examines the spending trends of 10 major need-tested benefit programs or groups of programs: (1) health care from Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); (2) the refundable portion of the health insurance tax credit enacted in the 2010 health care reform law; (3) the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); (4) assisted housing; (5) financial assistance for post-secondary students (Pell Grants); (6) compensatory education grants to school districts; (7) the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); (8) the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC); (9) Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and (10) Family Support Payments.
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Overview of Federal Housing Assistance Programs and Policy

Overview of Federal Housing Assistance Programs and Policy

Date: April 15, 2014
Creator: McCarty, Maggie; Perl, Libby & Jones, Katie
Description: This report provides an overview of the history and evolution of federal housing assistance policy, a description of today's major federal housing assistance programs, and a discussion of issues and trends in federal housing assistance policy.
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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview

Date: April 3, 2014
Creator: Scott, Christine & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Date: April 1, 2014
Creator: Spar, Karen
Description: This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. It includes program data, funding activity for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and proposals for FY2015.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department