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The Social Security Administration pays benefits to eligible people who are unable to work due to disability. State agencies review claims for disability benefits, and use "consultants" (physicians) to determine if claimants are medically eligible.
Treasury's Fiscal Service issues debt to borrow money for federal operations, and reports the debt on financial statements called the Schedules of Federal Debt.
As of Sept. 30, 2021, the federal debt was $28.4 trillion—up $1.5 trillion from 2020, due largely to the pandemic response.
The Election Assistance Commission was established in 2002 to serve as an information clearinghouse on election administration, among other things. It administered $400 million in grants to help states conduct elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress created the Opportunity Zones incentive to spur investment in distressed communities. Taxpayers who invest in Qualified Opportunity Funds—which invest in zones—can get significant tax benefits.
To promote transparency in federal government spending, the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget are responsible for ensuring that federal spending information reported by federal agencies and published on USAspending.gov is accurate and complete.
This Spotlight examines evolving solar cell technology. Most electricity-generating solar cells are made with crystalline silicon in a process that is complex, expensive, and energy-intensive. Alternative materials may perform better and be easier and cheaper to make.
When COVID-19 vaccines became available, the federal government sent most doses to states to distribute but also set up its own vaccine distribution programs.
State and local health officials said the federal programs helped higher-risk groups get vaccinated.
Research shows that violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women in the U.S. is a crisis. Cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women persist nationwide, but without more comprehensive case data in federal databases, the full extent of the problem is unknown.