Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Means-tested programs provide cash and services to people whose income and other financial assets fall below a certain level. Individuals in need must meet certain requirements to receive benefits. Along with monetary restrictions, means-tested programs may also include nonfinancial categories of eligibility such as pregnant women, children, parents with dependent children, individuals with disabilities, and the aged. Although state and local entities administer some programs, the majority of and most comprehensive means-tested programs come from the federal government. The initiation and management of these programs fall under numerous federal departments: Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Labor, Education, and Treasury. Among the most well-known means-tested programs are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); food stamps; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Medicaid; public housing or Section 8; Women, Infants & Children (WIC); school lunches; job training; home energy assistance; Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and special Social ...