University of Wisconsin–Madison

Means-Tested Programs

Means-tested programs limit eligibility to individuals and families whose incomes and or assets fall below a pre-determined threshold (means test). They are generally financed by tax revenues and may take the form of entitlements (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP/Food Stamps) or have spending caps (e.g., State Child Health Insurance Program, housing subsidies, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).