As millions wait on food stamp approvals, feds tell states to speed it up

To adequately staff safety net programs, some states are boosting workforce funding, and others are investing in new computer systems to speed up claims processing. But food security advocates say recent backlogs are a symptom of long-term disinvestment.

Halfway through ‘unwinding,’ Medicaid enrollment is down about 10 million

While many beneficiaries no longer qualify because their incomes rose, millions of people have been dropped from the rolls for procedural reasons like failing to respond to notices or return paperwork.

Mayors, feds bemoan immigration ‘paralysis’

City leaders overwhelmed by the influx of migrants joined federal officials in strongly urging Congress to address the crisis at the southern border.

Congress averts shutdown for third time in four months

A short-term spending deal was passed on a bipartisan vote in both the House and Senate. But, as some hoped, it does not provide additional funding for two critical programs helping low-income Americans.

A short-term spending deal has been reached that would keep the government open until March

The deal, though, doesn’t include funding for two critical programs for low-income people.

Which states will join the new summer meal program for low-income kids? Here’s the list.

Thirty-five states are participating in the 2024 launch of a program that will provide low-income families $40 per child for groceries during the summer months when schools are not in session.

WIC program on pace to fall $1B short, says agriculture secretary

Unless Congress budgets more, the program will run out of money in mid-August, forcing states to waitlist those seeking help.

Most people dropped in Medicaid ‘unwinding’ never tried to renew coverage, Utah finds

Medicaid officials in Utah conducted a survey to answer a burning question in health policy: What happened to people dropped from the program in the post-pandemic "unwinding"?

States and localities in 2023: A look at the top stories of the year

The first half of the year was marked by the end of pandemic-era benefits. The second half was dominated by the shutdown. All the while, leaders were preoccupied with infrastructure, technology and flags.

Feds consider limiting how states can use welfare funds

The Biden administration says that the 1996 welfare reforms gave states too much spending flexibility. Now, it wants to claw back back some of those freedoms.

GSA partners with state, local governments on text alert service

The pilot program helps state and local governments notify residents of critical deadlines. Norfolk, Virginia, has already been using the service to remind people about Medicaid reenrollment.

2 million women, children risk losing WIC food assistance, study says

Unless Congress increases funding for the program by $1 billion, states will have to start turning people away around March.

WIC applications are up in many states

But a new study reveals that despite increasing demand, states are already struggling to reach all the women, children and infants eligible for the program.

1 in 3 people dropped by Utah Medicaid left uninsured, a ‘concerning’ sign for nation

Without Medicaid coverage, more individuals nationwide are left without uninsured. Observers warn people may delay seeking needed care or be left with unaffordable bills when they get it without access to health insurance coverage.

New health care grants look to reform how hospitals are paid

The program wants to increase primary care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients while reducing hospital and emergency room visits.

States expect ‘big jump’ in Medicaid spending

As pandemic-era federal funding support winds down, state Medicaid directors said in a survey that they anticipate their share of the costs to increase even as enrollment declines.

Feds calls on states to reevaluate unemployment benefit accessibility

Access to unemployment has been declining and differs drastically across demographic groups. The Labor Department is urging states and territories to do something about it in new guidance.

Shutdown appears averted as House passes ‘laddered’ proposal

The continuing resolution extends SNAP through September, ensures other benefit programs are funded into early 2024 and avoids millions of workers being furloughed.

AI could ease the ‘administrative muck’ delaying SNAP and other benefits

President Biden’s recent executive order specifically called for guidance in the emerging technology’s use in assistance programs. But experts warn that AI isn’t a silver bullet.

With a shutdown looming, states and localities ready plans

Officials say they could see an uptick in unemployment insurance claims, have trouble feeding low-income families and experience disruptions to air travel, among other things.

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