Study shows more Americans rely on social programs
Data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) shows that since the economic downturn in 2008, more American households rely on government benefit programs. Both means-tested programs where income is a qualifier, such as food assistance and Medicaid, and non-means-tested programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, saw increases in need.
However, means-tested programs saw greater participation rates. Between 2008 and 2011 the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) saw a 40 percent increase and Medicaid saw a 14 percent increase.