Street Law: A Course in Practical Law

Chapter 35: Government Support for Families and Individuals

Cases and Resources

Economic Benefits for Individuals and Families
Health Benefits
Educational Benefits

Economic Benefits for Individuals and Families
This site, from the United States Census, offers extensive information and statistics on the American poor. Who are the poor in this country?

Understanding Social Security
Read this explanation of the Social Security program. Who does Social Security help? How does it work?

Social Security Reform
Have you ever heard someone on the news talk about “saving” Social Security? There is a concern among many people that the program needs changes. Read this report on Social Security and what experts have to say. It is very important to understand this issue, because it affects all of us!

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
Read this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on PRWORA. What are the law’s primary effects?

Learn about Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and what this program means for families in need of financial help.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Formerly called "food stamps," the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides electronic benefits (that look like a debit or credit card) to low-income families who can then use the benefits like cash at most grocery stores. Take a closer look at who qualifies for this assistance and how it is distributed.

Earned Income Tax Credits
Another method to help low-income families is through taxes. The government gives tax advantages to poor families in an effort to encourage them to work instead of collect welfare. Do you think this program is a good one?

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
This federal government agency works to provide housing to the homeless and poor families of this country. Read about the types of housing assistance that low-income families can apply for to help with housing needs.

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Health Benefits
The Uninsured
Millions of Americans do not have health insurance. This is a problem because, without insurance, the cost of obtaining appropriate medical care can be too high for many people. Learn more about the uninsured in this country.

Learn what Medicare is, who is eligible for Medicare, and what the program offers.

Take a closer look at what Medicaid is, who is eligible for Medicaid, and what the program offers. Read how Medicaid benefits may vary from state to state.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Read the text of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law helps parents who want to stay home with new babies or need to care for aging or sick relatives. If you are having trouble understanding the text of the act, explore a fact sheet to understand the most important elements of the law.

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Educational Benefits
Local and Federal Government Funding
The federal and state governments spend billions of dollars a year on education. Look at this chart and compare the rates of funding over the years.

Federal Student Aid
There are many government and private aid programs for education. Read about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—FAFSA—the first step for many students seeking financial aid at colleges and universities.

The Debate Over School Vouchers
The government can also offer state grants for education in districts where the educational systems are failing. Read about this debate and decide if the government is violating the Constitution by offering grants that may be used in religiously-affiliated schools.

School Financing
The equality, or lack of equality, in funding public schools is addressed in this article that explores the financing of public schools in different states as well as in neighborhoods within each state.

The U.S. Department of Education
The federal government's Department of Education is the agency in charge of public education policy in the United States. Browse through the site and read articles on how to improve education, the agency's position on controversial issues, and profiles of schools around the nation.

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