ERIC Number: ED392972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb-7
Reference Count: 0
Means-Tested Programs. An Overview, Problems, and Issues. Statement of Jane L. Ross, Director, Income Security Issues, Health, Education, and Human Services Division. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Nutrition and Foreign Agriculture, Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Nearly 80 means-tested programs for low-income persons and families have been created by the federal government to help meet the needs of various groups. In fiscal year 1992, the federal government spent about $208 billion through these programs. Evaluation of these programs was based on reports by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and others. Most of the cost comes from the largest programs--Aid for Families with Dependent Children, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Supplementary Security Income, with additional means-tested aid going for housing and energy assistance, aid to veterans, and other means-tested programs. The study found that the means-tested programs can be costly and difficult to administer. They sometimes overlap one another or are so narrowly focused that they create gaps in services that hinder clients. The study also found that technology to run the programs is not being effectively developed and used and that many of these programs are inherently vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse. Finally, the study showed that the system is often difficult for clients to navigate and that, despite many years of experience with these programs, very little is known about how well they are working. (The report contains lists of estimated expenditures for various programs, a list of 29 GAO reports on related topics, and charts and tables showing participation in and expenditures for means-tested programs.) (KC)
Descriptors: Eligibility, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs, Poverty Programs, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Program Implementation, Public Housing, Welfare Agencies, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 (first copy free; additional copies $2 each; 100 or more: 25% discount).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Identifiers: Aid to Families with Dependent Children; Food Stamp Program; Medicaid; Supplemental Security Income Program