Welfare in Puerto Rico
Public welfare in Puerto Rico is a system of nutrition assistance, public health, education, and subsidized public housing, among others, provided to the impoverished population of the island. It is mainly funded by United States Federal assistance and by local government funds.
Puerto Rico received more than $6.5 billion annually in federal aid from the United States. A substantial portion of this amount is earmarked for public welfare, including funding educational programs (such as Head Start), subsidized housing programs (such as (Section 8 and public housing projects), and a food stamp system called the Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico program.
The following programs are provided by the U.S. Federal government in Puerto Rico:
- Head Start Program
- Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico (Programa de Asistencia Nutricional)
- Section 8 (housing)
- Community Development Block Grant
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Puerto Rico $7.25 Employers covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are subject only to the federal minimum wage and all applicable regulations. Employers not covered by the FLSA will be subject to a minimum wage that is at least 70 percent of the federal minimum wage or the applicable mandatory decree rate, whichever is higher. The Secretary of Labor and Human Resources may authorize a rate based on a lower percentage for any employer who can show that implementation of the 70 percent rate would substantially curtail employment in that business. Puerto Rico also has minimum wage rates that vary according to the industry. These rates range from a minimum of $5.08 to $7.25 per hour.
- Puerto Rico Government homepage
- GovBenefits.gov Benefits Report on Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico.
- Social Security Administration webpage with information on SSI
- The Social Security Act
- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2012; pg. 41; Statement of Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balances
- Congressional Budget Office report for Senate Finance Committee, on "the Effects of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage Versus Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit" (January 9, 2007)
- The Earned Income Tax Credit at Age 30: What We Know, Steve Holt, the Brookings Institution