Welfare Basics Glossary
U.S. Department of Labor,
Constitution Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20210, U.S.A.
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Administration for Children
and Families (ACF) - Branch of the Department
of Health and Human Services that administers TANF
Aid to Families with Dependent
Children (AFDC) – Aid to Families with Dependent
Children (AFDC) is an outdated federal assistance
program replaced by TANF.
Block Grant - A financing
mechanism that allocates funds based on a formula
that uses statistical factors, like population. Block
grants limit the amount of federal spending in advance
and do not require a state match.
Child-Only Cases -
TANF cases in which payment is being made to support
the child(ren) only, including citizen children of
Department of Social Services
(DSS) - State department administrating welfare,
social services, community care licensing and disability
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- The EITC is a subsidy to low-wage workers. This
policy essentially makes a minimum wage job paying
$4.25 worth $6.00 an hour for a family with two or
more children. Together with food stamps, the expanded
EITC can lift families with full-time workers out
Emergency Assistance (EA)
- Provides assistance to families with children in
order to cover emergency needs including homelessness,
eviction or utility shut-off.
Entitlement - An
individual entitilement means that any person or family
that meets specified eligibility requirements is eligible
Food Stamps - With
benefits that are entirely federally funded, the food
stamp program provides vouchers to purchase food to
people who meet income and assets guidelines.
Health and Human Services
- United States government's principal agency for
protecting the health of all Americans and providing
essential human services.
Job Opportunity and Basic
Skills (JOBS) Program - Administered by the
Department of Health and Human Services, JOBS is the
centerpiece of the 1988 Family Support Act. Its primary
objective is to enroll welfare recipients in education
and training programs.
Medicaid - The federally
funded and state-administered program that provides
medical benefits for certain low-income people in
need of health and medical care.
- People with a significantly sub-average general
intellectual functioning that is accompanied by significant
limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two
of the following skills areas: communication, self
care, home living, social or interpersonal skills,
use of community resources, self direction, functional
academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety.
Mental Disorder -
Clinically significant behavioral or psychological
syndrome that occurs in an individual and is associated
with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or
disability(i.e., impairment in one or more important
areas of functioning)with a significantly increased
risk of suffering death, pain, disability or an important
loss of freedom.
Personal Responsibility and
Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)
- The Welfare Reform Law of August 22, 1996. The law
converted the old AFDC system to one that gives block
grants to states for their welfare programs. It also
included new laws for child support enforcement and
Safety Net - The
concept that the federal government should unconditionally
provide for and take care of the poor.
- The ultimate objective of social development is
to bring about sustained improvement in the well-being
of the individual, family, community and society at
large. The reduction or eradication of mass poverty,
inequality and conditions of underdevelopment are
widely accepted indicators of social progress. The
dimensions of social development are: social welfare;
health; education; housing; urban and rural development;
and land reform.
Social Relief - Measures
taken by welfare agencies for rendering temporary
material assistance to individuals or families in
crisis until they regain their independence.
Social Security -
Policies that ensure that all people have adequate
economic and social protection during unemployment,
ill health, maternity, child rearing, widowhood, disability
and old age, by means of contributory schemes for
providing for their basic needs.
Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) - Provides cash benefits to low-income
elderly people and low-income people with disabilities
Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) - TANF is the state-level,
time-limited program for welfare families. It replaced
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and
emphasizes moving recipients off welfare rolls through
rapid entry into the work force.
Time Limits - Time
limits are designed to convert welfare into a transitional
system designed to provide short-term financial, educational,
and social support for families in need of such assistance
and minimum-wage jobs for families who exhausted their
Transitional Benefits -
Transitional benefits provide continued support after
cash assistance ends.
Welfare to Work -
A national strategy focused on engaging community
leaders to assist in the local transformation of the
old welfare system of dependence to a new system of
coordinated services, job opportunities, personal
responsibility and strong connections between community
development and business development goals.
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