Research Publication

How Hispanic Parents Perceive Their Need and Eligibility for Public Assistance

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Public assistance programs aim to provide support to low-income children and families, and help them attain or regain economic self-sufficiency. Despite high levels of poverty, Hispanics/Latinos are less likely than members of other racial/ethnic groups to participate in some public assistance programs. Although the reasons for this are not fully understood, we do know that Hispanic families, and particularly immigrant families, face a number of unique obstacles to accessing public assistance. Using national data, this brief describes reasons low- to middle-income Hispanic parents reported for not applying for public assistance or, for those already receiving assistance, not applying for additional assistance.

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