Lost Benefits Cost San Diego County $1 Billion

It’s a pretty easy billion too.

The problem is the county’s under-enrollment in various government benefit programs.

In a report from the Center on Policy Initiatives, three programs in particular are CalFresh, CalWORKS, and Medi-Cal. The available benefits from those three alone total $714 million in direct assistance which would have translated into approximately $905 million in local economic activity.

San Diego County has been increasing enrollment in the programs since 2007 and continues to work with community organizations to continue enrolling those eligible.

In the Center’s report, they point out the $2.6 billion that the county has in reserve that could have potentially been put toward enrolling residents and reaping that near $1 billion return on investment. The county said that some of the reserve money is obligated to other expenses.

More on San Diego County’s under-enrollment can be found here.