Entitlement Authority (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Entitlement Authority

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A provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility requirements established by such law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the federal government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Entitlement legislation requires annual appropriations unless the existing appropriation is permanent.

Authority to make payments (including loans and grants) for which budget authority is not provided in advance by appropriation acts to any person or government if, under the provisions of the law containing such authority, the U.S. government is legally required to make the payments to persons or governments that meet the requirements established by law (2 U.S.C. § 622(9)).

Under the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA), new entitlement authority was defined as direct spending and was subject to the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) provisions.

Examples of entitlement programs are Social Security benefits and veterans’ compensation. (See also Appropriated Entitlement; Authorizing Legislation; Backdoor Authority/Backdoor Spending; Budget Enforcement Act; Mandatory; Pay-as-You-Go.)




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