This brief provides a graphical overview of selected state policy differences for TANF cash assistance. The Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a database maintained by the Urban Institute and funded by the OPRE and ACF, provides the information for this brief. The paper discusses policies related to initial eligibility, benefit amounts, and ongoing eligibility. Additional information about the resources the WRD offers is also included.
This report from the Urban Institute shares the experiences of women who have received TANF cash assistance for more than five years in the District of Columbia. Recently, the District changed their policy to do away with the five-year time limit for full benefits and as of April 1, 2018, those past the five- year limit will still receive full benefits. The report does not evaluate the DC TANF program but provides a picture in time of the participating women's experiences as DC embarks on services changes and improvements to their program.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 12th Report to Congress from the Office of Family Assistance provides data from the TANF program from fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It presents information on expenditures, caseloads, work participation, characteristics of TANF families, performance measures and other relevant metrics about the program. Data and information is also provided on state-specific provisions and Tribal TANF programs.
OFA published data on state implementation of the five-year time limit on federally-funded TANF assistance. By law, a state may not use TANF funds to provide assistance to a family that has an adult head-of-household who has received federal assistance for a total of five years (i.e., 60 cumulative months, whether or not consecutive).
Since the creation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in 1996, there has been concern about low-income individuals who may be eligible for TANF cash assistance but are neither receiving TANF nor working.
Almost half of TANF cases are "child-only" in which no adult is included in the benefit calculation. In about 4 out of 10 these cases, the children live with relatives or nonrelatives instead of their parents. The other 6 in 10 cases include parents not eligible for benefits because they receive federal disability payments, are sanctioned for failure to comply with some TANF regulation, exceeded their time limit, or they are undocumented immigrants.
This Urban Institute report details how state policy decisions affect TANF program administration in five states: California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and Washington. The authors examined both cash assistance and other aspects of the block grant, plus how states responded to the Deficit Reduction Act and the recession.
Question / Response(s)
A representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare/Bureau of Employment and Training Programs would like to know what other States expect of TANF recipients who claim to have a medical exemption that prevents them from participation in work activities. For example, what forms do States use for medical assessment? Can the clients family doctor complete the form, or is the form completed by an independent exam? What activities and hourly requirements are expected?
In this paper, we examine how policy and structural changes states made in response to the DRA may influence the level and composition of the TANF caseload. This paper grew out of a 50-state survey Mathematica Policy Research conducted on diversion programs which revealed that states were providing cash assistance to some families with children outside of their TANF programs in order to meet the higher effective work participation rates established by the DRA (Rosenberg et al. 2008).
This report provides an overview of the likely effects of increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies in California on the welfare caseload, the state’s work participation rate, and the economic circumstances of vulnerable families. Researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California find that, as a result of such policies, the state’s caseload would be lower and the work participation rate higher, if the state adopted stricter sanction policies for adults who fail to meet work requirements.