Sunday, April 6, 2008

Public Assistance in Westbrook: January 2008, Part One

According to a Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) report, Westbrook had 240 Parents as Scholars (PaS) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cases in January 2008. The total cost for these benefits was $94,831. 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 240 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 230 cases.
The number of cases and the total cost of the benefits in January 2007 were 243 and $91,264, respectively.

In January 2006, there were 226 total cases in Westbrook (11 PaS and 215 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $90,600. In December 2005, there were 233 total PaS and TANF cases in Westbrook (11 PaS and 222 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $91,450.

To put these numbers in some context, there were 186 cases (11 PaS, 175 TANF) in South Portland (estimated 2006 population: 23,784), and the total cost was $67,110 in January 2008. And in Windham (estimated 2006 population: 16,546), there were 103 cases (4 PaS, 99 TANF) that cost $38,046 in January 2008. 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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