What Is Entitlement Spending?

In the context of government spending, entitlement spending falls under mandatory spending that the government can spend without congressional approval. An example of entitlement spending in the United States would be Social Security payments, while an example of non-entitlement mandatory spending would be interest payments on national debt.

In the 2013 United States Federal Budget, mandatory spending made up 62 percent of the budget. The mandatory spending in the 2013 budget is largely made up of entitlement programs, with programs like Social Security and Medicare making up 88 percent of it. Funds that are distributed through the entitlement programs in the United States are only available to eligible citizens.