List of 80+ Federal Welfare Programs

Federal Welfare Programs

The means-tested welfare system consists of 80+ federal programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, social services, training, and targeted education aid to poor and low-income Americans.

Welfare programs are government subsidies to the poor. These programs represent “entitlements” to all Americans but benefits are only paid to those who work, but earn too little.

These means-tested welfare system consists of 80+ low-income programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and lower income Americans.

For instance, SNAP enables recipients to purchase more food, Medicaid provides people with health care coverage, and Pell grants make postsecondary education more affordable for students.

In 2022, federal spending on 13 largest of these low-income programs — which account for the bulk of welfare spending, totaled $1,285.4 billion with Medicaid accounted for almost half, followed in size by the refundable portion of the EITC, SNAP and SSI. 1

In total, these 4 programs — which account for the bulk of welfare spending — comprised almost 80% of total spending or about $1,060 billion.

Federal Welfare Spending (2022) #

Grants to States for Medicaid
EITC and Child Tax Credit 269.6
SNAP 148.5
Supplemental Security Income Program
Housing Assistance 80.7
Pell Grants
Student Financial Assistance
TANF 15.3
Child Nutrition 37.3
Head Start
Children and Families Services Programs
Employment & Training 8.8
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
Child Care
Payments to States for the Child Care and Development Block Grant + Child Care Entitlement to States
Total Welfare Spending 1,285.4


  1. The above 13 primary welfare programs are sourced from and retrieved on June 2023.

Here is a list of 83 federal welfare programs #

  1. Family Planning
  2. Consolidated Health Centers
  3. Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees
  4. State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  5. Voluntary Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit — Low Income Subsidy
  6. Medicaid
  7. Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
  8. Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection
  9. Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
  10. Indian Health Service
  11. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  12. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  13. Additional Child Tax Credit
  14. Earned Income Tax Credit (refundable component)
  15. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  16. School Breakfast Program (free/reduced price components)
  17. National School Lunch Program (free/reduced price components)
  18. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  19. Early Reading First
  20. Rural Education Achievement Program
  21. Mathematics and Science Partnerships
  22. Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
  23. Academic Competitiveness and Smart Grant Program
  24. Single-Family Rural Housing Loans
  25. Rural Rental Assistance Program
  26. Water and Waste Disposal for Rural Communities
  27. Public Works and Economic Development
  28. Supportive Housing for the Elderly
  29. Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  30. Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance
  31. Community Development Block Grants
  32. Homeless Assistance Grants
  33. Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
  34. Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
  35. Public Housing
  36. Indian Housing Block Grants
  37. Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
  38. Neighborhood Stabilization Program
  39. Weatherization Assistance Program
  40. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  41. Food Program Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico
  42. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
  43. Nutrition Program for the Elderly
  44. Child and Adult Care Food Program
  45. Summer Food Service Program
  46. Indian Education
  47. Adult Basic Education Grants to States
  48. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  49. Education for the Disadvantaged
  50. Grants to Local Educational Agencies (Title I-A)
  51. Title I Migrant Education Program
  52. Higher Education — Institutional Aid and Developing Institutions
  53. Federal Work-Study
  54. Federal TRIO Programs
  55. Federal Pell Grants
  56. Education for Homeless Children and Youth
  57. 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  58. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP)
  59. Child Support Enforcement
  60. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (social services)
  61. Community Services Block Grant
  62. Child Care and Development Fund
  63. Head Start HHS
  64. Developmental Disabilities Support and Advocacy Grants
  65. Foster Care
  66. Adoption Assistance
  67. Social Services Block Grant
  68. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
  69. Emergency Food and Shelter Program
  70. Legal Services Corporation
  71. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (employment and training component)
  72. Senior Community Service Employment Program
  73. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult Activities
  74. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Activities
  75. Social Services and Targeted Assistance for Refugees
  76. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (employment and training)
  77. Foster Grandparents
  78. Job Corps
  79. Grants to States for Low-Income Housing in Lieu of Low-Income Housing Credit Allocations
  80. Tax Credit Assistance Program
  81. Older Americans Act Grants for Supportive Services and Senior Centers
  82. Older Americans Act Family Caregiver Program
  83. Indian Human Services
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