The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Removing Barriers to Access From Remote Identity Proofing

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 10:41am

Some states are adding unnecessary complexity to Medicaid and SNAP (formerly food stamps) online systems, blocking people from applying, reporting changes, and completing renewals through online portals. One way they do that is by requiring people to verify their identity through a process called Remote Identity Proofing (RIDP) before applying or transacting other business. RIDP is not required to determine eligibility for Medicaid, premium tax credits, or other safety net programs.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

IRS Deadlines Threaten Stimulus Payments for 1 Million Dependents

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 6:32pm

Roughly 1 million children may miss out this year on the $500 stimulus payment their parents or guardians are supposed to receive if the parents or guardians don’t complete an online IRS form by noon tomorrow, April 22. This deadline is unreasonable and unnecessary.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Greenstein: New COVID-19 Bill Helpful But Inadequate — More Needed for States and Localities, the Most Vulnerable, and the Economy

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 2:30pm

While providing needed support to small businesses and hospitals, the new COVID-19 package announced today falls short even as an interim measure, failing to deliver crucial state and local fiscal relief and food assistance.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Families First’s Medicaid Funding Boost a Useful First Step, But Far From Enough

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 10:40am

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s temporary Medicaid funding boost, if it remains in effect for all of 2020, will deliver about $40 billion in immediate, needed relief to states, which will face growing costs due to the virus and a deep economic downturn.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Commentary: Policymakers Should Expand Emergency Paid Leave in Next Coronavirus Package

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 11:23am

New benefits will help millions of workers, but there are large coverage gaps that leave out many who are at heightened risk of exposure to the virus.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 5:04pm

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Protections in Families First Act Critical to Protecting Health Coverage

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 10:55am

The Families First Act includes stronger MOE protections than FMAP increases enacted in prior recessions because the public health crisis makes it even more important that people have health coverage.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Fiscal Stimulus Needed to Fight Recessions

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 5:53pm

The last recession left key lessons for policymakers, who should now use a wide array of available policy tools to keep this and future downturns as short and shallow as possible.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

With Applications Soaring, TANF Needs More Funds, New Rules

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 10:08am

The number of people in need who are applying for help under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is on track to grow quickly and dramatically during the economic downturn, early data suggest, and federal policymakers should take steps to ensure that TANF continues providing a lifeline to families during what will likely be a long economic recovery.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Need Significantly More Fiscal Relief to Slow the Emerging Deep Recession

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 1:45pm

States appear on the brink of shortfalls that — based on historical patterns — could total more than $500 billion.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Labor Market Conditions Should Determine Duration, Size of COVID-19 Relief Measures

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:10am

Policymakers should use “triggers” based on job market conditions to determine when assistance would phase up or phase out.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Can Help Low-Income Children Get Enough to Eat During the Pandemic

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 3:14pm

States can use a new temporary program — Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) — to help get food to the nearly 30 million children in low-income families who can’t access their free or reduced-price school meals due to widespread school closures.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 2:08pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on COVID-19, the federal budget, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

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

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