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The Policy Rules Database

The Policy Rules Database (PRD) is an open-source repository that contains up-to-date program rules and provisions for all major federal and state public assistance programs, tax provisions, and tax credits in a single easy-to-use database.


The key purpose of the PRD is to address the complexity of programs’ eligibility rules by creating a common structure and terminology. For each program, the PRD provides one tab of an Excel spreadsheet with the program rules and a user guide  explaining how the program works.

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Public Assistance Programs Included in the PRD

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), National School Breakfast and Lunch Program (NSLP and NSBP),  Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), Child Care and Development Fund Subsidies (CCDF), Head Start/Early Head Start, Voluntary Prekindergarten (Pre-K), Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Health Insurance Marketplace Subsidies, Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Taxes and Tax Credits Included in the PRD

Federal personal income tax, state personal income tax, Federal Insurance Contribution Tax Act (FICA), state sales tax, federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC),  federal Child Tax Credit (CTC), state Child Tax Credit (CTC),  federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), state Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC)

The PRD Dashboard

To simplify the task of understanding the US social safety net, we have created the PRD Dashboard, a visualization tool that shows how public assistance programs and tax credits in the PRD intersect and how they affect almost any type of family in any county in the United States.


The PRD Dashboard shows the expected dollar amount of public assistance and tax credits a family is eligible for at different levels of employment income. Using dropdown menus, users can select any public assistance program, tax credit, location, and family type, and then visualize how benefit values change with income.

PU Figure 1.png

To illustrate how the PRD Dashboard work, let's consider an example of a single adult without children living in a Fulton County, GA. Let's suppose that the family receives Health Insurance Marketplace Subsidy, Section 8 Housing Voucher, SNAP, and EITC. Chart to the left illustrates how dollar value of public assistance changes as family's income rises.

Families with dependents are typically eligible for a larger set and greater amount of public assistance than childless households. Second example illustrates a single adult with a young child age 4. Chart to the right visualizes how the composition and dollar value of this family's public assistance phases-out with income.

Pu Figure 2.png
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