What are examples of entitlements?
In general, an entitlement program is funded by general revenue
and requires that every eligible applicant must receive services;
i.e., applicants cannot be turned away for budgetary reasons. (Of
course, the program can be terminated.)
Medicaid is an entitlement program. Medicare is not an
entitlement because it's funded by payroll taxes, not general
revenue; it's an insurance program. Public housing is not an
entitlement because there's no obligation to provide services to
every eligible applicant.
An entitlement in the fiscal sense is any financial obligation
or benefit due from the government under contract or legislation.
This can include government pensions, social security, unemployment
coverage, and other payments provided by law.
The term is sometimes used in a narrower context to exclude
pensions and other "earned" benefits. As such, it would refer to
"unearned" benefits such as welfare, student grants, subsidies,
housing, guaranteed medical care, or community development funds,
where they are provided under government programs.