The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Temporary SNAP Benefit Bump a No-Brainer for More Economic Stimulus

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 4:47pm

Policymakers are appropriately considering additional stimulus measures in the face of mounting job losses and other dire economic signs due to COVID-19, and a top item on their list should be raising SNAP (food stamp) benefits as a way of injecting fast, high “bang-for-the-buck” stimulus into the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Streamlining Medicaid Enrollment During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 1:59pm

States facing increased demands on their Medicaid programs due to COVID-19 should streamline enrollment to expedite coverage for eligible families and minimize administrative burden for overwhelmed eligibility workers.  

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 3:00pm

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

How Much Will States Receive Through the Education Stabilization Fund in the CARES Act?

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:56am

One important form of the CARES Act’s aid for states is the Education Stabilization Fund, which provides them with $30.75 billion to support their K-12 and higher education systems in the coming months.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Next Step on Stimulus Rebates: Automatic Delivery for People Receiving SSI and Veterans’ Benefits

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 2:45pm

It’s welcome news that Treasury and the IRS will use the authority that Congress gave them to automatically provide stimulus payments to Social Security and railroad retirement beneficiaries who do not usually file a tax return, instead of making them file one.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Start Grappling With Hit to Tax Collections

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:12am

COVID-19 has triggered a state budget crisis. States, tribes, and local governments are incurring huge new costs as they seek to contain and treat the coronavirus and respond to the virus-induced spike in joblessness and related human needs. At the same time, they are projecting sharply lower tax revenues due to the widespread collapse of economic activity brought about by the virus’ spread and needed containment activities.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Unemployed Workers Can Get SNAP During Health Emergency

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:02am

There’s confusion about whether unemployed workers not raising minor children in their home can get SNAP, given Trump Administration efforts to tighten a rule limiting them to three months of benefits and a new law temporarily suspending that rule due to the coronavirus emergency. Fortunately, the temporary suspension means they can get SNAP throughout the current health emergency.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Tribal Nations — Highly Vulnerable to COVID-19 — Need More Federal Relief

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 1:24pm

By providing $8 billion for 574 federally recognized tribes in its $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for tribal, state, local, and territorial governments, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act marked a historic federal recognition of tribes — contrasting sharply with the 2009 Recovery Act, which excluded tribes from its major state fiscal relief.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Social Security Beneficiaries Shouldn’t Have to File a Tax Return to Get Stimulus Rebate

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:53pm

The Secretary of the Treasury and IRS Commissioner should make a clear public statement that seniors and people with disabilities who receive Social Security won’t have to file a tax return to receive their stimulus rebate.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Most States Are Easing SNAP Participation Rules; Many Have Opted to Provide Added Benefits

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:11pm

SNAP is essential to helping low-income households put food on the table.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Despite COVID-19, Some States Still Blocking Medicaid Expansion, Seeking Other Restrictions

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:20am

While some states have responded to COVID-19 by quickly using Medicaid’s flexibilities to help people maintain their coverage and remove barriers to care, others are instead restricting Medicaid.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Congress Should Reject Attempts to Weaken Medicaid Protections Enacted in Bipartisan COVID-19 Response Bill

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:36am

States received a significant temporary increase in federal Medicaid funding in the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18. In exchange for this increase in federal funding, they can’t impose new Medicaid eligibility restrictions, or take away people’s coverage, during the public health emergency.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

How Will States and Localities Divide the Fiscal Relief in the Coronavirus Relief Fund?

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 5:28pm

The new bipartisan economic stimulus legislation — known as the CARES Act — contains significant new resources to help states address massive, immediate budget problems due to COVID-19, though states will almost certainly need more aid in coming months.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

CARES Act Includes Essential Measures to Respond to Public Health, Economic Crises, But More Will Be Needed

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 4:39pm

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which has passed both the Senate and the House, includes important provisions to mitigate the sharp economic decline already unfolding. But policymakers’ efforts should not end with this bill. They will need to do substantially more in subsequent bills to address urgent needs in areas like health coverage, food assistance for struggling families, and state fiscal relief.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 4:02pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the economy, state budgets and taxes, health, food assistance, and the federal budget.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Latest Coronavirus Response Package Doesn’t Boost SNAP — the Next One Should

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 3:06pm

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which President Trump is expected to sign soon, doesn’t expand benefits or eligibility under SNAP (food stamps). Policymakers must address this limitation in their next stimulus measure, both to help the growing number of families struggling to afford food in the pandemic and because SNAP is one of the fastest, most effective forms of economic stimulus.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

How Much Each State Will Receive From the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 3:19pm

The new bipartisan economic stimulus legislation — known as the CARES Act — contains significant new resources to help states address their massive, immediate budget problems due to COVID-19, though states will almost certainly need more aid in coming months.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Greenstein: Relief Package Includes Important Aid, But More Needed to Meet Urgent Needs

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 1:24pm

The bipartisan Senate COVID-19 package includes important provisions that will help mitigate the sharp economic decline now starting. The House should pass it and then Congress should begin work on another bill to address critical missing pieces.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Bipartisan Stimulus Agreement Contains Significant Funds for States

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 7:08pm

The emerging bipartisan agreement on the Senate’s economic emergency legislation contains very significant new resources to help states address their massive, immediate budget problems due to COVID-19, though it almost certainly doesn’t go far enough. Congress will need to come back and provide more help to states and families affected by the crisis, as some policymakers have already called for.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

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