Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF is a block grant program to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance. Under the welfare reform legislation of 1996, TANF replaced the old welfare programs known as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program, and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program. The law ended Federal entitlement to assistance and instead created TANF as a block grant that provides States, Territories, and Tribes Federal funds each year. These funds cover benefits and services targeted to needy families. More>>
Additional Funding Available
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of up to an additional $5 billion in emergency funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This new Emergency Fund, established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help states serve more families seeking employment opportunities and other forms of assistance during the economic downturn.
The Emergency Fund is intended to build upon and renew the principles of work and responsibility that underlie successful welfare reform initiatives. Like other provisions of the Recovery Act, the Emergency Fund provides resources to States, Territories, and Tribes to support work and families during this difficult economic period.
The same financial and programmatic rules pertaining to the appropriate use of the jurisdiction’s Federal TANF block grant funds also apply when using the emergency funds. This also means that all TANF requirements, including work participation requirements and time limits, apply to families receiving assistance with emergency funds exactly as they do to families receiving other Federal TANF-funded assistance.
States, Territories, and Tribes will submit estimated caseloads and expenditures when applying for emergency funding. At the end of the fiscal year, they will be required to reconcile their submitted estimates with actual expenditure data, and we will review these figures to ensure the jurisdiction received the proper amount of funding. States, Territories, and Tribes are also required to report all expenditures of emergency funds after the end of each quarter, and these expenditure amounts will be reviewed at the end of each fiscal year. Further, reported expenditure data will be subject to review under the single state audit.
The Office of Family Assistance administers the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting States the Federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs.
Recovery Act Implementation Plans