There are a number of different federal health and human service programs providing a range of benefits to individuals across the U.S.
Federal programs help to provide medical assistance and access to mental health and substance abuse services. Federal programs also support states in providing cash assistance, energy assistance, and workforce development and help provide access to nutritional assistance or food supplements. Federal funding supports the development of affordable housing, and also provides housing supports and rental assistance for millions of families.
In all, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has estimated that there are over 80 federal programs that provide aid to people with low incomes. While each of these programs serve a vital need, they often do not provide for much programmatic flexibility, are administratively burdensome to administer and report on, and are often not aligned with respect to eligibility or desired outcomes.
In the following sections, we describe many of the federally mandated reporting requirements and variations in eligibility between programs.