This entry explores the current public assistance policies in Brazil, their structure, and effects. A majority of these policies have been developed and implemented gradually in response to the mandated universalization of social security in Brazil's 1988 Federal Constitution. Especially since 2000, Brazil achieved significant success in combating poverty and reducing inequality. This is due, in large part, to its strong economic growth, but analysts also point to the significant role of its social assistance policies in contributing to this transformation. Chief among these policies are Brazil's much named Bolsa Família Program and its basic social pension program for the elderly and handicapped (the Benefício de Prestação Continuada). These programs aid some 50 million Brazilians, a quarter of the Brazilian population, living in poverty and social vulnerability. Despite the programs’ enormous breadth and their contribution to combating poverty, Brazilian social assistance programs consume but a small fraction of the country's GDP and federal budget. The success of these programs in alleviating poverty is attributed in large part to their efficient targeting of the poorest sectors of Brazilian society and their low degree of leakage. Here, we present a selective snapshot of several of these programs.