Friday, February 20, 2009

Public Assistance in Westbrook: January 2009, 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 January 2009. The total cost for these benefits was $94,642.

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.

For historical context, the number of cases and the total cost of the benefits in January 2008 were 240 (10 PaS and 230 TANF) and $94,831, respectively. In January 2007, there were 243 total cases in Westbrook (9 PaS and 234 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $91,264. In January 2006, there were 226 total PaS and TANF cases in Westbrook (11 PaS and 215 TANF), and the total benefit cost was $90,600.

And for geographical context, there were 174 cases (9 PaS, 165 TANF) in South Portland (estimated 2006 population: 23,784), and the total cost was $67,078 in January 2009. And in Windham (estimated 2006 population: 16,546), there were 104 cases (2 PaS, 102 TANF) that cost $41,206 in January 2009.

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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