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Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts About Health Insurance and the Uninsured in America

December 19, 2014 Comments off

The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts About Health Insurance and the Uninsured in America
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Millions of people in the United States go without health insurance each year. Because nearly all of the elderly are insured by Medicare, most uninsured Americans are nonelderly (below age 65). A majority of the nonelderly receive their health insurance as a job benefit, but not everyone has access to or can afford this type of coverage. Together, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fill in gaps in the availability of coverage for millions of low-income people, in particular, children. However, Medicaid eligibility for adults remains limited in some states, and few people can afford to purchase coverage on their own without financial assistance.

The gaps in our health insurance system affect people of all ages, races and ethnicities, and income levels; however, those with the lowest incomes face the greatest risk of being uninsured. Being uninsured affects people’s access to needed medical care and their financial security. The access barriers facing uninsured people mean they are less likely to receive preventive care, are more likely to be hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented, and are more likely to die in the hospital than those with insurance. The financial impact also can be severe. Uninsured families struggle financially to meet basic needs, and medical bills can quickly lead to medical debt.

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At risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28: More than 120 million persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013

December 12, 2014 Comments off

At risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28: More than 120 million persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013 (PDF)
Source: Eurostat

In 2013, 122.6 million people, or 24.5% of the population, in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that these people were in at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived2 or living in households with very low work intensity2. The proportion of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28 in 2013 (24.5%) has slightly decreased compared with 2012 (24.8%), but is higher than in 2008 (23.8%). The reduction of the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is one of the key targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.

EU — Poverty risk, inequality and social exclusion

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Poverty risk, inequality and social exclusion
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The distribution of poverty, inequality and social exclusion varies significantly across EU Member States. Based on 2013 data, this infographic shows who is at risk, how equally disposable income is distributed,and how much EU countries spend on specific measures to combat poverty and social exclusion.

Earned Income Tax Credit Claiming Across Zip Codes

December 5, 2014 Comments off

EITC Claiming Across Zip Codes
Source: Brookings Institution

This brief provides a fresh look at the role of the EITC by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. In the following sections, we focus on the relationship between EITC claiming rates (i.e., the percent of tax returns receiving the EITC) and poverty rates, the demographic characteristics of zip codes with high EITC claiming rates, and the variation in EITC claiming rates and average EITC amount cross counties.

UK — Financial Literacy and Over-Indebtedness in Low-Income Households

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Financial Literacy and Over-Indebtedness in Low-Income Households
Source: Social Science Research Network

Households in Northern Ireland have an increased risk of financial vulnerability compared to the UK as a whole. Financial literacy can explain a significant proportion of wealth inequality. Among the key components of financial literacy are financial numeracy and money management skills. Our study examines the relative importance of these components in the determination of consumer debt and household net worth among credit union members in socially disadvantaged areas. The main finding from our analysis is that money management skills are important determinants of consumer debt behaviour and household net worth but that financial numeracy has almost no role to play. These findings are found to be robust when the sample is reduced to only those who have a clear role in household financial decision-making and also when controlling for potential endogeneity. These results indicate that credit unions could structure an effective programme targeted at those in financial difficulties by promoting awareness of their financial situation, by encouraging them to manage bills more effectively and by improving budgeting skills. Our findings have policy implications throughout the UK where the role of credit unions in providing financial services to the socially disadvantaged is being strongly promoted by the government and the Church of England.

CRS — The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview (October 22, 2014)

December 1, 2014 Comments off

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) began in 1975 as a temporary program to return a portion of the Social Security tax paid by lower-income taxpayers (the credit was, and remains, calculated as a percentage of earned income, with no direct link to Social Security taxes paid by the tax filer), and was made permanent in 1978. In the 1990s, the program became a major component of federal efforts to reduce poverty, and is now the largest need-tested, anti-poverty cash entitlement program. Childless adults in 2011 (the latest year for which data are available) received an average EITC of $264, families with one child received an average EITC of $2,199, families with two children received an average EITC of $3,469, and families with three or more children received an average EITC of $3,750.

See also:
Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions (“Extenders”): In Brief (October 17, 2014)
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief (October 17, 2014)

Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach

November 29, 2014 Comments off

Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach
Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Nearly half of the nation’s families with young children struggle to make ends meet. A new KIDS COUNT policy report makes the case for creating opportunity for families by addressing the needs of parents and their children simultaneously. Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach describes a new approach to reducing poverty, which calls for connecting low-income families with early childhood education, job training and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty — and recommends ways to help equip parents and children with what they need to thrive.

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