Entitlement Programs Funded by Other Than 1-Year Appropriations

PAD-78-76A: Published: Feb 21, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1978.

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A study was performed on the period of availability of funds provided for entitlement programs in appropriation acts. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) and the Veterans Administration (VA) submitted explanations concerning why selected entitlement programs were financed by other than 1-year appropriations. No-year appropriations were established for three accounts funding VA programs--Veterans Insurance and Indemnities, Compensation and Pensions, and Readjustment Benefits--because no-year accounts reduce the need for supplemental appropriation requests, and it is difficult to estimate needs because of the rapidity of additions to VA benefit rolls and the effects of economic conditions on utilization of benefits. Five HEW programs--Public Assistance Grants, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, and Special Benefits for Disabled Coal Miners--were classified as funded by multiyear accounts with authority to draw down the next year's budget authority in the last quarter of the current year. Under the first three programs, funded from the "Public Assistance" account, the immediate needs of recipients make it inappropriate to wait until the first of a new fiscal year to process payments to States. HEW considers the other two accounts to be 1-year appropriations with draw-down authority. Funding needs of these programs may vary substantially from budget estimates. A joint resolution which provided for carryover into the next fiscal year of unobligated balances for certain accounts was an exception to the normal practice of 1-year appropriations.

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