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Covering Kids & Families

Supporting Families

Child Care/Early Education

Southern Business Leadership Council

Carolina Nutrition Alliance


2004 Chartbook of Major Indicators



The Southern Regional Initiative to Improve Access to Benefits for Low Income Families With Children



Determined by federal and state statutes and regulations, asset limitations govern the maximum amount of assets a person can own and still qualify for benefits. When asset tests are used in the eligibility process, states typically test for liquid assets and vehicles.

Federal Poverty Level

Each year the United States Department of Health and Health Services updates and publishes the federal poverty income guidelines that are used in determining eligibility for specific Medicaid programs and other benefit programs. The federal poverty level varies by family size. In 1997, the federal poverty level for a family of three was $13,330 annual income.


Medicaid is a jointly-funded, federal-state health insurance program for certain low-income and needy people. It covers approximately 36 million individuals including children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled.

Poverty Related Children

Medicaid has an eligibility category for children which is based on a percentage of the federal poverty level. This report refers to this category as poverty related children or poverty related Medicaid for children.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The purpose of the program is to provide states with federal funding on a federal-state matching basis to provide more low income, uninsured children with health coverage through expansions and outreach. States can choose to expand coverage through Medicaid, create a separate health coverage program or implement a combined strategy.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program became effective July 1, 1997, and replaced what was then commonly known as welfare, or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) programs. TANF provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting states the federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs. Each state sets its own eligibility levels. TANF recipients are not automatically provided Medicaid coverage as they were with AFDC.