Cash Assistance

Description of Indicator
This indicator determines the number and percentage of households receiving cash assistance. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau defined cash assistance as public assistance income. Households can become participants in cash assistance programs like the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

Why is it important?
Programs like TANF offer support to pregnant women and children who are dependent on parents or other family members. For a total of five years within their lifetime, households can utilize cash assistance for their specific needs, including rent, utilities, transportation, or education. Providing cash assistance to low-income families can diminish financial barriers, which can lead to a decrease in the number of residents living below the poverty level.

How is the region performing?
A small proportion of households received cash assistance across the three-county area and statewide, although the highest was during 2020 in Wayne County at 5.4 percent. This county dropped in the percentage of households using cash assistance to 3.7 percent in 2022. Over the periods analyzed, the percentage of households receiving cash assistance increased slightly.