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Benefits

Heroes Act Provides Much-Needed SNAP Boost

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 05/18/2020 - 1:08pm

The Heroes Act, which the House passed May 15, includes an important SNAP (food stamp) benefit increase that would help families put food on the table when many are struggling and provide stimulus for the economy when it’s most needed. We urge the Senate to quickly approve this SNAP boost.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 3:46pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the economy, state budgets and taxes, health, food assistance, housing, federal taxes, family income support, and Social Security.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Fiscal Relief Needed Now to Stop Massive State Job Loss From Becoming Permanent

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 2:22pm

The “wait and see” approach that Senator John Thune and some other Republicans recommend for providing more state and local fiscal relief is highly unwise. States and localities furloughed or laid off nearly a million workers last month, new data indicate, and reports of more furloughs this month are widespread.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Protecting Against Separate and Unequal K-12 Funding Amid COVID-19

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 1:17pm

Sixty-six years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision found racial segregation in schools unconstitutional, COVID-19 is presenting new challenges to families and education advocates who are still fighting to ensure that states uphold their education funding obligations.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Increasing FMAP Is Essential to Behavioral Health Care Access Amid COVID-19

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 11:07am

One of the best tools to protect access to urgently needed behavioral health care, including mental health and substance use services, is to raise the federal share of Medicaid costs (or “FMAP”). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new economic relief bill would do that by building on the modest, shorter-term FMAP increases that policymakers provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of March.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

More Federal Medicaid Funding Needed to Protect Home- and Community-Based Services

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 10:59am

To help prevent cuts to home- and community-based services (HCBS), policymakers should substantially raise the federal government’s share of state Medicaid costs (the “FMAP”), as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new economic relief proposal would do. The bill also includes an important, targeted FMAP increase for HCBS, and both policies are needed to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities can access these services.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Provisions: What They Mean for Access to SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 3:29pm
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In response to the COVID-19 public health and economic crises, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included three expansions of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits:

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Pelosi Bill Includes Much-Needed Medicaid Funding for States

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 5:43pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus relief bill provides a much-needed Medicaid funding boost to help states preserve health coverage and address massive state budget shortfalls stemming from the public health and economic crises.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid “Maintenance of Effort” Protections Crucial to Preserving Coverage

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 5:32pm

States received a temporary increase in federal Medicaid funding in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In exchange, they can’t impose new Medicaid eligibility restrictions or take away people’s coverage during the public health emergency — requirements referred to as “maintenance of effort” (MOE) protections.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

What the 2020 Trustees’ Report Shows About Social Security

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 5:07pm

Absent the COVID-19 pandemic, the near-term outlook for the Social Security trust funds would have changed very little in the past year.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Food Security Impacts on People of Color Highlight Need for Aid

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 1:41pm

The health risks and hardship due to rapidly rising food insecurity during the pandemic and economic crisis, which we discussed here, are falling disproportionately on people of color and people with low incomes.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

House Bill Provides Vital Housing Aid, But More Vouchers Needed

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 05/13/2020 - 12:55pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus relief bill includes urgently needed funds to help low-income people rent safe, stable housing during the pandemic and deep economic downturn. Without this aid, many could face eviction and homelessness, exposing them to hardship and health risks. The final bill that the President and Congress enact should include these rental assistance funds and add more resources for Housing Choice Vouchers to help more people with the lowest incomes.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Greenstein: Pelosi Package Would Provide Essential Support for Economy, Relief to Households

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 3:02pm

The severity and scope of the crisis require a robust response that matches the challenge. The Pelosi package, while not perfect, steps up to the plate and provides the type of response the nation needs.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Payroll Tax Cut Is Poor Stimulus

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 2:35pm

Other stimulus measures that would be highly effective, and for which there is great need, should not be held hostage to a poorly conceived payroll tax cut proposal.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

People Already Facing Opportunity Barriers Hit Hardest by Massive April Job Losses

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 10:06am

Most of the jobs lost in the first two months of the sharp economic downturn — most of which came in April — have occurred in industries that pay low average wages. As a result, the deep downturn has hit hardest at workers who already faced barriers to economic opportunity, including Latino and Black workers, workers without a bachelor’s degree, and immigrants, our analysis shows.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

COVID-19 Surveys Show Rapidly Rising Food Needs

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 2:19pm

Early data on rising food insecurity during the pandemic and deep economic crisis reveal how widespread the hardship is becoming, underscoring the need for a robust policy response — including raising maximum SNAP (food stamp) benefits and fixing SNAP limitations in the relief measures enacted thus far.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Pandemic TANF Assistance Act Will Provide Much-Needed Aid, Protections to Families With the Least

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 1:08pm

The health and economic burdens of COVID-19 are falling disproportionately on people of color and people with very low incomes — who faced significant economic and health challenges before the pandemic — and the new Pandemic TANF Assistance Act would provide financial assistance to many of these families and protection from the negative consequences of previous policies.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It ...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:47pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on COVID-19, the economy, immigration, and health.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Puerto Rico Needs More Food Aid to Better Respond to COVID-19

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:53pm

With millions of Americans struggling to meet their basic food needs in light of COVID-19, states are using new options to support households through SNAP (food stamps) and school meal replacement programs. But Puerto Rico — which was already at a relative disadvantage when the pandemic began — can’t use the same new tools and options.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Temporarily Expanding Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit Would Deliver Effective Stimulus, Help Avert Poverty Spike

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:33pm

The next fiscal stimulus package should include specific expansions of the CTC and EITC that would deliver well-timed, high “bang-for-the-buck” economic stimulus to millions of low-income households.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

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