Oct 23, 2009
Federal and state policies have traditionally discouraged low-income and low-resource families from saving and accumulating assets. Though programs have shown greater recognition of the importance of asset accumulation in recent years, eligibility rules still hamper the ability of families to save for the future needs of children. Most means-tested public assistance programs have asset and income limits which are intended to ensure that assistance is targeted to the neediest individuals or families. For some programs, such as Food Stamps and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the federal government sets the asset limits, while for others, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, states may set the asset limit and even have the flexibility to eliminate asset tests entirely.