U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2020

§ 19.2 - Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

Beneficiary means an individual recipient of goods or services provided as part of a social service program specifically supported by Federal financial assistance. “Beneficiary” does not mean an individual who may incidentally benefit from Federal financial assistance provided to a State, local, or Tribal government, or a private nonprofit organization. Except where expressly noted or where inapplicable, “beneficiary” includes a prospective beneficiary.

Direct Federal financial assistance or Federal financial assistance provided directly means that the government or an intermediary (e.g., State, local, or Tribal government, or nongovernmental organization) selects the provider and either purchases services from that provider (e.g., via a contract) or awards funds to that provider to carry out a service (e.g., through a grant or cooperative agreement). In general, Federal financial assistance shall be treated as direct, unless it meets the definition of “indirect Federal financial assistance” or “Federal financial assistance provided indirectly”.

Explicitly religious activities include activities that involve overt religious content such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. An activity is not explicitly religious merely because it is motivated by religious faith.

Financial assistance means assistance that non-Federal entities receive or administer in the form of grants, sub-grants, contracts, subcontracts, prime awards, loans, loan guarantees, property, cooperative agreements, food, direct appropriations, or other assistance, including materiel for emergency response and incident management. Financial assistance includes assistance provided by DHS, its component organizations, regional offices, and DHS financial assistance administered by intermediaries such as State, local, and Tribal governments, such as formula or block grants.

Indirect Federal financial assistance or Federal financial assistance provided indirectly means that the choice of the service provider is placed in the hands of the beneficiary, and the cost of that service is paid through a voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment. For purposes of this part, sub-grant recipients that receive Federal financial assistance through State-administered programs are not considered recipients of “indirect Federal financial assistance.” Federal financial assistance provided to an organization is considered “indirect” within the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when:

(1) The government program through which the beneficiary receives the voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment is neutral toward religion;

(2) The organization receives the assistance as a result of a decision of the beneficiary, not a decision of the government; and

(3) The beneficiary has at least one adequate secular option for the use of the voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment.

Intermediary means an entity, including a non-governmental organization, acting under a contract, grant, or other agreement with the Federal government or with a State or local government, that accepts Federal financial assistance and distributes that assistance to other organizations that, in turn, provide government-funded social services. If an intermediary, acting under a contract, grant, or other agreement with the Federal government or with a State or local government that is administering a program supported by Federal financial assistance, is given the authority under the contract, grant, or agreement to select non-governmental organizations to provide services supported by the Federal government, the intermediary must ensure compliance with the provisions of Executive Order 13559 and any implementing rules or guidance by the recipient of a contract, grant or agreement. If the intermediary is a non-governmental organization, it retains all other rights of a non-governmental organization under the program's statutory and regulatory provisions.

Social service program means a program that is administered by the Federal government, or by a State or local government using Federal financial assistance, and that provides services directed at reducing poverty, improving opportunities for low-income children, revitalizing low-income communities, empowering low-income families and low-income individuals to become self-sufficient, or otherwise helping people in need. Such programs include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Child care services, protective services for children and adults, services for children and adults in foster care, adoption services, services related to the management and maintenance of the home, day care services for adults, and services to meet the special needs of children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities (including physical, mental, or emotional disabilities);

(2) Transportation services;

(3) Job training and related services, and employment services;

(4) Information, referral, and counseling services;

(5) The preparation and delivery of meals and services related to soup kitchens or food banks;

(6) Health support services;

(7) Literacy and mentoring programs;

(8) Services for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and substance abuse, services for the prevention of crime and the provision of assistance to the victims and the families of criminal offenders, and services related to intervention in, and prevention of, domestic violence; and

(9) Services related to the provision of assistance for housing under Federal law.