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Social Welfare

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The Social Welfare Policy deals with three areas Income security, heath care and public education. "Income security programs protect people against loss of income because of retirement, disability, unemployment or death or absence of the family breadwinner. " (O'Connor, Sabato 630) There are two categories of income security programs, one being non-mean-based programs which provide money to those who qualify. An example of this would be Social Security. The other being means-tested programs which require that people have to have a income below a set level to be eligible for the benefits. An example of this would be food stamps.

Under the non-mean- based programs, there are policies that help the elderly and unemployed. Social Security includes a tax that employees pay on wages and salaries earned and then later become the income of the elderly after they retire. Unemployment insurance covers those without work or who may have lost there job. "The program pays benefits to workers who are covered by the government plan and are unemployed through the fault of their own." (O'Connor, Sabato 633) This insurance only covers those who are full time employees or employers of 4 or more people. "Means-tested income security programs are intended to help the needy, that is, individuals or families whose incomes fall below specified levels, such as a percentage of the official poverty line." (O'Connor, Sabato 634) Under this is a supplemental security income which helps the needy, elderly or totally disabled. This is a grant system funded by the national government, with many eligibility requirements. Also, family and child support falls under this program which is also funded by the national government, which gives funds to those with dependent children who have only one parent or guardian or for two-parent families where the breadwinner was unemployed. There is also the earned income tax credit program which helps the working poor, and food stamps and several other food programs; these provide the equivalent of money to purchase the necessities.

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