Thousands of DC Residents Kept Out of Poverty by Economic Recovery Act

Along with boosting the economy and saving and creating jobs, seven provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  of 2009 (ARRA) passed in February also are protecting about 12,000 DC residents from living in poverty this year according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The study looked at the Recovery Act’s increase in food stamp benefits, expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, its new Making Work Pay tax credit for workers, two forms of help for unemployed workers (extra weeks of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and an additional $25 per week of jobless benefits), and its one-time payment to many elderly people, veterans, and people with disabilities.

In addition, ARRA-funded services are providing help to 113,000 poor DC residents.  Even though these residents remain in poverty, the Recovery Act is easing some of the challenges they currently are facing.

The Recovery Act as a whole is likely keeping many more DC residents out of poverty, since these seven provisions account for only about one-fourth of the act’s total funding.

These findings offer good news that the Recovery Act is working as intended to help cushion the impact of the recession on families and individuals.