Welfare and the Poverty Line Essay

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Welfare Paper According to the poverty guideline of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the poverty line in Texas for a family of four is $23,550 per year. Families below the poverty line are eligible to apply for welfare benefits through Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The two major welfare benefits that are available though HHSC are SNAP food benefits and Temporary assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The SNAP food benefits, which are also known as food stamps, provide food and nutritional support to qualifying low-income families. Most SNAP benefits last for 6-month period but can also range form a month to 3 years depending on the qualification and need of the family. The maximum monthly SNAP amount awarded to a family of four in Texas is $632. In addition to SNAP benefits, low income families below the poverty line can qualify for TANF, which provides monthly cash payments for necessities such as food, clothing, housing, utilities and such. TANF benefit usually last 6-month period but can be approved for renewal by applying to HHSC. The maximum monthly TANF payments for families depend on the type of household. Child-only cases that have family size of four can receive up to $228. A single parent family of four can receive up to $333. A family of four with two parents or caretakers can receive up to $341. Although welfare benefits such as TANF and SNAP food benefits exist to provide economic stability for low-income families, the assistance is not sufficient to cover the family’s expenses. According to Economic Policy Institute’s family budget calculator the total monthly economic cost for a family of four in most Texas cities exceeds $5000. Out of the total amount, childcare cost is on average $961 per month for two children. Therefore, financial assistance that families receive from welfare benefits does not come
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