Washington, D.C. — The Trump administration, Congress, and state governments have been engaged in ongoing attacks on crucial public programs that provide vital support to people in need. Key benefits such as nutrition and housing assistance, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits are threatened at the federal and state levels by funding cuts or harsh so-called work requirements that would put these benefits out of reach for those who need them most.
LGBTQ people and their families are particularly at risk. A survey conducted by the Center for American Progress found that LGBTQ people and their families are more likely to participate in public assistance programs than non-LGBTQ people and their families.
“Cuts to these programs would devastate support systems for millions of Americans, but they are likely to hit the LGBTQ community even harder,” said Caitlin Rooney, co-author of the report.
For example, 20.9 percent of LGBTQ people and their families receive health care from Medicaid, while only 12.9 percent of non-LGBTQ people and their families do. This disparity is even larger when it comes to nutrition assistance: LGBTQ people and their families receive help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at more than twice the rate of non-LGBTQ people and their families.
Highlights of the survey’s findings include:
- LGBTQ people with disabilities and their families would be especially harmed by benefit cuts. About 41 percent of LGBTQ people with disabilities reported that they or their family received SNAP benefits, compared with 16 percent of LGBTQ people without disabilities.
- LGBTQ women in particular depend on benefits programs to make ends meet. About 26 percent of LGBTQ women receive SNAP benefits, while 9.7 percent of non-LGBTQ women do.
- Transgender individuals and their families would also be hit hard. According to the survey, transgender people and their families are five times more likely to receive public housing assistance than cisgender people and their families.
Read the report: “Protecting Basic Living Standards for LGBTQ People,” by Caitlin Rooney, Charlie Whittington, and Laura E. Durso
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