The Leftist’s Guide to Actually Existing Welfare

The purpose of this guide is to provide committed leftists with a baseline understanding of the US welfare-state as it exists today in order to facilitate mobilization for or against policies that affect the American working class. An overview of general information relating to welfare programs will be provided, followed by a discussion of individual programs organized by administering agency

While I am hosting this guide, not all individual articles are my work.

This guide is a work in progress, and cataloging the entire welfare system in brief is a task that is likely to result in errors or omissions. Please alert me if I have omitted anything, you would like something clarified or added, or if you have any corrections to anything I have written.

Thank you!


  • 09.26.2016 Energy Assistance (LIHEAP and WAP) section added.
  • 08.18.2016 Social Security (OASI) section added.
  • 08.04.2016 Food Distribution section added.
  • 07.22.2016 Child Nutrition section added.
  • 07.08.2016 SNAP section added.
  • 07.06.2016 Overview and landing page added.

1. Overview

1.1 Funding

1.2 Administration

1.3 Eligibility and the FPL

1.4 Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

1.5 The Political Welfare-Subject

2. Department of Agriculture

2.1 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

2.2 Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

2.3 Child Nutrition Programs (CN)

2.3.1 National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

2.3.2 School Breakfast Program (SBP)

2.3.3 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

2.3.4 Special Milk Program (SMP)

2.3.5 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP)

2.4 Food Distribution Programs

2.4.1 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

2.4.2 Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

2.4.3 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

2.4.4 Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

2.4.5 Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA)

 3. Department of Energy

3.1 Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

4. Department of Health and Human Services

4.1 Medicare

4.1.1 Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

4.1.2 Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

4.1.3 Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)

4.2 Medicaid

4.2.1 Medicaid

4.2.2 Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

4.2.3 Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)

4.3 Health Insurance Marketplace Subsidies

4.4 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

4.5 Child Care Development Fund (CCDF)

4.6 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

5. Department of Housing and Urban Development

5.1 Public Housing

5.2 Housing Choice Vouchers

5.2.1 Section 8

5.2.2 Moving to Opportunity

6. Internal Revenue Service

6.1 Earned Income Tax Credit

6.2 Child Tax Credit

6.3 Other Tax Deductions

7. Social Security Administration

7.1 Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI)

7.2 Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

7.3 Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

7.4 Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help)

8. Other

8.1 General Assistance to Indians

8.2 Lifeline

8.3 Pell Grants

8.4 Unemployment Insurance

8.5  Workers Compensation