Block Grant

A block grant is a type of grant program transferring federal funding to state or local governments to be used for a broadly defined function. Unlike entitlements, which use a combination of state and federal dollars to administer a range of safety net programs to anyone who qualifies, block grants are capped amounts of federal money. 

While block grants provide state and local governments greater latitude in how to allocate federal funds than do entitlement programs, critics points out that block grants​ don’t respond to need and commonly do not increase at all year to year or do not increase as quickly as costs. Consequently, they can leav​e states on the hook for a​n increasing share of ​the funding for programs.