How Are Welfare Programs Funded in the United States?

In the United States, the various programs comprising the country’s welfare system are primarily funded by the federal government. The six main programs of the U.S. social welfare structure include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, the Food Stamp Program, Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid and Housing Assistance.

The term “welfare” refers to the monetary assistance of a government to its citizens who lack self-sufficiency. In the U.S., the welfare system was established in the aftermath of the Great Depression. The burgeoning unemployment rate prompted the government to provide financial aid to alleviate the poor living conditions of the American people. Although mainly funded by the federal administration, some welfare programs are financed by state governments.