AP Gov Key Terms - Chapter 15

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equality of opportunity

a universally shared American ideal, according to which all have the freedom to use whatever talents and wealth they posses to reach their full potential

contributory programs

social programs financed in whole or in part by taxation or other mandatory contributions by their present or future recipients. The most important example is Social Security, which is financed by a payroll tax

Social Security

a contributory welfare program in which working American place a percentage of their wages and from which they receive cash benefits after retirement

indexing

the process of periodically adjusting social benefits or wages to account for increases in the cost of living

Medicare

National health insurance for the elderly and disabled

noncontributory programs

social programs that assist people based on demonstrated need rather than contributions they have made; also known as public assistance programs

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

Federal funds for children in families that fall below state standards of need. In 1996, Congress abolished AFDC, the largest federal cash transfer program, and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant

means testing

a procedure that determines eligibility for government public assistance programs. A potential beneficiary must show a need and an inability to provide that need

Medicaid

a federally financed state-operated program for medical services to low-income people

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

a program providing a minimum monthly income to people who pass a means test and are sixty-five years old or older, blind, or disabled. Financed from general revenues that are not Social Security contributions

Food Stamps

the largest in-kind benefits program, administered by the Department of Agriculture, providing coupons to individuals and families who satisfy a means test. Food Stamps can be exchanged for food at most grocery stores

in-kind benefits

Goods and services provided to needy individuals and families bu the federal government, as contrasted with cash benefits. The largest in-kind federal welfare program is Food Stamps

entitlement

the elegibility for benefits by virtue of a category defined by law. Categories can be changed only by legislation; deprivation of individual benefits can be determined only through due process in court

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