Half Of Households Receive Some Government Benefit

According to the findings, these benefits came from a variety of programs, but Social Security and Medicare are the giants among these programs. 

The report claims that about 28.4 million households, or 24 percent of the U.S. total, received means-tested benefits – either cash or non cash – in an average month during the quarter. 

Medicaid (21.1 million), free or reduced-price school meals (11.5 million) and food stamps (9.3 million) were the most widely received such benefits. (Means-tested programs are those that provide cash or services to people who meet a test of need based on income and assets.)

However, it was two non-means-tested programs, Social Security and Medicare, which affected the largest number of households. There were 33.6 million receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits and 30.8 million receiving benefits from Medicare.

The percentage of households receiving any type of means-tested benefit climbed from 23.2 percent to 24.7 percent between May and November of that year, with the percentage receiving food stamps increasing from 7.6 percent to 8.8 percent and the share of those receiving Medicaid climbed from 17.5 percent to 18.5 percent.

“As the nation embarks on a new government program providing long-term care benefits the percentage who rely on taxpayer supported programs will likely increase,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.   Medicaid pays the largest share of long-term care costs according to the Association.  “The only alternative to a government program will be savings or private insurance,” Slome notes. 

Among the 67 percent of the working-age population engaging in some labor force activity, median monthly household cash income was $5,500; for those without labor force activity, such as retired people, this income was $2,979.

 On average, about 143 million of the 157 million people in the labor force had a job the entire month. Such individuals had an average median monthly household cash income of $5,751. For those with a job only part of the month, it was $4,001, while it was $2,510 for those without a job the entire month who were looking for work or who were laid off. 

Non cash means-tested benefits went to 28.2 million households in an average month. The majority of these households (54 percent) participated in two or more programs. A prevalent form of multiple recipiency (at least 4.6 million households) was the combination of food stamps and Medicaid coverage. 

Receiving means-tested government benefits was significantly more common among households with unemployed members or with no labor force participants than among those with job-holders only.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati

Tags: , , , ,