Sunday, January 27, 2008

Public Assistance in Westbrook: December 2007, Part One

According to a Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) report, Westbrook had 248 Parents as Scholars (PaS) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cases in December 2007. The total cost for these benefits was $95,124. The number of cases and the total cost of the benefits in October 2007 were 256 and $94,319, respectively.

PaS, a program in which parents involved in a two-year or four-year post-secondary education receive a monthly benefit based on guidelines for the TANF program, accounted for 10 of the 248 total cases. And TANF, which is described by DHHS as a program providing temporary help for children and their parents while the family works toward becoming self-supporting, accounted for the remaining 238 cases.

In December 2006, there were 243 total cases in Westbrook (8 PaS and 235 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $96,778. In December 2005, there were 228 total PaS and TANF cases in Westbrook (11 PaS and 217 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $87,576.

To put these numbers in some context, there were 178 cases (12 PaS, 166 TANF in South Portland (estimated 2006 population: 23,784), and the total cost was $63,794 in December 2007. And in Windham (estimated 2006 population: 16,546), there were 102 cases (4 PaS, 98 TANF) that cost $36,241 in December 2007. Westbrook's estimated 2006 population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was 16,201.

For a list of monthly DHHS Geographic and Distbribution of Programs and Benefits reports dating back to January 2005, click here.

- John C.L. Morgan

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