Some Statistics About Welfare

Welfare, including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, food stamps, cash benefits, and Social Security Income are some of the most heavily debated topics leading up to the presidential election. The general public is split into two different sections, one section that finds welfare as the best solution to low income workers and two the section that finds that the government chips in too much to help people out. In order to better understand what’s going on with the most basics forms of governmental assistance, it is necessary to understand the basic statistics about welfare.

More than 20% of the population correctly receives some sort of public assistance, which is equivalent to 52.2 million people a year. An estimated 15% of the population receive Medicaid, 13% receive food stamps, and only a mere 1% receive cash benefits through TANF or General Assistance. A separate report released by the Department of Health and Human Services established that in 2011, only 5.2% were receiving more than half of their total income in SSI, food stamps, and cash benefits. From 2009 to 2012, the number of people that participated in some form of governmental assistance rose 2.7% up to 21.3% in 2012. Yet, the increase in welfare has started to level off and become rather stagnant without a significant rise in enrollment in the year leading up to 2012.

An estimated 40% of children receive welfare benefits on an average month during the year 2012. Adults over the age of 18 received 29.6% of the benefits but only received $393 a month. Children received a little more than $50 a month more than the adults.

Over 40% of the people receiving benefits have been on the some form of welfare for 37 months to two years. Only a measly 30% were on welfare for less than a year. Some programs have longer participants than others, as such nearly half of the people on some sort of housing benefit program have been on it for at least three years.  Out of all the programs, cash assistance tends to last for the least amount of time. Either way, with the growing numbers of unemployed citizens and the rising cost of inflation, the governmental programs will become more of an expectation than a privilege to help those who cannot work for themselves.

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