Overview

The Department of Health and Human Services awards approximately 60% of the federal government's grant dollars. HHS awards two types of grants: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory grants are those that a federal agency is required by statute to award if the recipient, usually a state, submits an acceptable state plan or application, and meets the eligibility and compliance requirements of the statutory and regulatory provisions of the grant program. Discretionary grants are those that permit the federal government, according to specific authorizing legislation, to exercise judgment, or “discretion,” in selecting the applicant/recipient organization, through a competitive grant process.

Pie Chart comparing 2008 HHS and Other Federal Dollars

Bar Chart comparing HHS Mandatory and Discretionary Dollars for 2003-2008

Over three quarters of HHS’s budget is comprised of mandatory programs. Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are the largest HHS mandatory programs, providing a total of approximately $600 billion annually to support health care and human services to over 80 million Americans. Medicare and Medicaid are the nation’s largest health insurance programs assisting states, healthcare providers, and individuals in the provision of adequate health care for those in need. Although Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs, Medicare is directly administered by HHS and state governments. TAGGS does not track such direct payments; thus, they are not included in this report.

Other HHS health programs encompass biomedical research, training of biomedical research scientists and health professionals, support of health professional schools, development and delivery of health services, disease prevention and health promotion programs, and construction of research, educational, and health facilities.

HHS social service programs provide support to every group of Americans, including children, youth, families, and the elderly. As a social service program, TANF provides block grants to states to provide benefits and services to low income families with children. In addition to providing cash benefits to needy families, states use TANF to provide a wide range of benefits such as child care and transportation aid; activities to help reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and support for forming and maintaining two-parent families. Other HHS social service programs to improve the social and economic well being of those in need include refugee assistance, enforcement of child support orders, foster care and adoption, prevention of child abuse and neglect, Indian tribal services, Head Start programs, youth at-risk prevention, and other programs and initiatives targeted toward improving the social and economic well being of those in need. Other HHS social service programs to improve the social and economic well being of those in need include refugee assistance, enforcement of child support orders, foster care and adoption, prevention of child abuse and neglect, Indian tribal services, Head Start programs, youth at-risk prevention, and other programs and initiatives targeted toward improving the social and economic well being of those in need.

The following HHS OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs administer and manage over 300 grant programs which are described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. In this report, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry awards are included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funding data.

HHS Grant-Making Operating Divisions (OPDIVs)
Abbreviation OPDIV
ACF Administration for Children and Families
AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
AoA Administration on Aging
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CMS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
FDA Food and Drug Administration
HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
IHS Indian Health Service
NIH National Institutes of Health
OS/ASPE Office of the Secretary/Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
OS/ASPR Office of the Secretary/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
OS/OGHA Office of the Secretary/Office of Global Health Affairs
OS/OPHS Office of the Secretary/Office of Public Health and Science
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration