Monday, June 15, 2015
WHO RELIES ON FOOD STAMPS?
In reality, Americans who need government aid are a shifting population. Who's poor changes with time and circumstance. A parent who loses a job — and the health care that came with it — may temporarily need to rely on Medicaid. A college graduate who can find only part-time work right out of school may need food stamps until she gets a full-time job. This point is clear in a new Census Bureau report on who participated in the country's major means-tested programs like Medicaid, SNAP, and Section 8 housing assistance from 2009 to 2012. It reveals that most people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families—about 63%—participated for less than 12 months; less than 10% were enrolled for most of those 4 years. Similarly, about a third of people using SNAP and Medicaid were what the Census considers "short-term program participants"; the same is true of about 25% of people getting housing assistance.