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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.558 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

FEDERAL AGENCY:

ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AUTHORIZATION:

Social Security Act, Title IV, Part A, as amended; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193; Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Public Law 105-33.
OBJECTIVES: Click here for help!
To provide grants to States, Territories, or Tribes to assist needy families with children so that children can be cared for in their own homes; to reduce dependency by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; to reduce and prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Formula Grants.
Place Cursor Here for Definition

USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

States, Territories, or Tribes have broad flexibility to use the grant funds in any manner that meets the purposes of the program (including providing low-income households with assistance in meeting home heating and cooling costs) and in ways that the State, Territory and Tribe was authorized to use funds received under the predecessor Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) and Emergency Assistance (EA) programs. States and Territories may also transfer a limited portion of their assistance grant funds to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Programs. Not more than 15 percent of any State grant may be spent on administrative costs, exclusive of certain computerization and information technology expenses. Cash grants, work opportunities and other services are made directly to needy families with children. For Tribal programs, ACF will negotiate a limitation on administrative costs for the first year of the program's operation not to exceed 35 percent, for the second year of the program's operation not to exceed 30 percent, and the for the third and subsequent years of the program's operation not to exceed 25 percent.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   In general, all States, Territories, the District of Columbia, and all federally-recognized Tribes in the lower 48 States and 13 specified entities in Alaska are eligible. State and local agencies and Tribes that operate TANF programs must do so under plans determined to be complete or approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). For contingency funds, all States and the District of Columbia are eligible if they are determined to be a "needy State" by satisfying either an unemployment trigger or a food stamp trigger. Territories and Tribes are not eligible for Supplemental funds. Eligibility for the High Performance Bonus is based on performance in certain criteria as determined by the Secretary. Eligibility for the Decrease in Illegitimacy Bonus is based on available statistical data.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Needy families with children, as determined eligible by the State, Territory or Tribe in accordance with the State or Tribal plan submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Credentials/Documentation:   Federal funds go to the State, Territory or Tribal agency certified by the Chief Executive Officer. Needy families must meet State or Tribal eligibility requirements.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   Each State and Territory must develop a State plan. Applicants must consult with local governments and private organizations and provide them 45 days to comment on the plan. Tribes may apply to the Secretary to receive funds and to administer the TANF block grant. Tribes would submit a 3-year family assistance plan. The Secretary, in consultation with the Tribe, would set program requirements and time-limits for receipt of welfare-related services, consistent with the purposes of the program and economic conditions/resources of each tribe. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Each State plan, including the certifications signed by the Executive Officer (Governor), must be submitted to the Secretary of HHS. Tribes should contact the ACF Regional Administrators for Tribal plan submittal procedures. For Contingency Funds, each State must request contingency funds monthly for each month they meet either the unemployment or food stamp triggers.

Award Procedure:   Once a plan is determined complete, or in the case of a Tribe the plan is approved, by the DHHS, Family Assistance Grants are awarded in quarterly payments. Contingency awards will be made monthly.

Deadlines:   A State must have implemented a TANF program by July 1, 1997. Tribal programs do not face a specific application deadline. For contingency funds, requests must be submitted 15 days after eligibility has been determined.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   States, Territories and Tribes implement their assistance programs according to their State and Tribal plans. The Secretary does not have authority to approve or disapprove a State plan, only to determine its completeness. Tribal plans are subject to approval by the Secretary. For Contingency funds, approval/disapproval will be from 30 to 60 days after receipt of request for funds.

Appeals:   States, Territories and Tribes facing an adverse action by the Secretary may appeal under both administrative and judicial procedures. States and Tribes must provide opportunities for recipients who have been adversely affected to be heard in a State and Tribal administrative or appeal process.

Renewals:   States, Territories and Tribes must submit a plan (after the necessary consultation and comment period) at least every 2 years (States and Territories) and 3 years (Tribes). For Contingency funds, requests for additional funding must be made monthly.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   The TANF block grant program has an annual cost-sharing requirement known as "maintenance-of-effort" (MOE). This basically means that every fiscal year, each State receiving Federal TANF funds must spend an applicable percentage of its own money to help eligible families in ways that are consistent with the purposes of the TANF program. The applicable percentage depends on whether the State meets the minimum work participation rate requirements for that fiscal year. If the State does not meet the work participation rates, then it must spend 80 percent of the amount it spent for fiscal year 1994 on AFDC and AFDC-related programs. If the State meets the work participation rates, then the applicable percentage is 75 percent of the amount it spent for fiscal year 1994 on AFDC and AFDC-related programs. Tribes that receive Federal TANF funds to operate their own approved Tribal TANF program have no matching or maintenance-of-effort requirement. In addition to the TANF funds States receive to operate their TANF programs, needy States may request and receive funds from the Contingency Fund. The Contingency Fund was established for periods when unfavorable economic conditions threaten a State's ability to operate its TANF program. To qualify for contingency funds, a State must meet and exceed the Contingency Fund MOE requirement. Under the Contingency Fund MOE requirement, a State must spend 100 percent of the amount it spent for fiscal year 1994 on AFDC and AFDC-related programs. This amount must be spent in the TANF program to help eligible families. (Some of the State funds spent to meet the TANF MOE requirement may also count toward the Contingency Fund MOE requirement.) Federal Contingency Funds are then available to match (at the applicable Federal Medical Assistance Percentage rate, or FMAP) expenditures made in excess of the Contingency Fund MOE requirement. The State's Federal TANF grant for a fiscal year may be reduced for failure to meet any of 14 different program and fiscal requirements. Most of these penalties may be waived either for reasonable cause or, absent reasonable cause, when the State has an approved corrective compliance plan and the State completely corrects or discontinues, as appropriate, the violation within the period covered by the plan.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   States, Territories and Tribes are awarded their assistance grants in quarterly payments. They may reserve grant moneys, without fiscal year limitation, for providing assistance. With certain exceptions, most families are limited to no more than 5 years of assistance under the Federal grant. Tribes have the flexibility to establish time limits on receipt of assistance. For contingency funds, grant awards are issued monthly to eligible States and families no longer receiving assistance. Bonuses are awarded once a year.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   States, Territories and Tribes are required to collect and report to the Secretary on a quarterly basis case record information on the families receiving assistance. States, Territories and Tribes are also required to report administrative costs and overhead expenditures on programs for needy families, participation by noncustodial parents in work activities, and transitional services provided to former recipients. States and Territories must report child poverty information annually in accordance with a methodology established by the Secretary.

Audits:   Audits shall be conducted by the Inspector General under Chapter 75 of Title 31, United States Code. If a State or Territory is found to have used funds from the State Family Assistance Grant in violation of the Statute, the Secretary shall reduce the grant payable to the State for the immediately succeeding fiscal year by that same amount. For Tribes, the Secretary will have the ability to maintain program funding accountability consistent with generally accepted accounting principles and the requirements of the Single Audit Act of 1984 and OMB Circular A-133.

Records:   States, Territories and Tribes must maintain records containing information the Secretary may require by regulation.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:   75-1552-0-1-609.

Obligations:   State and Tribal Family Assistance Grants): FY 01 $16,488,667,000; FY 02 est $16,488,667,000; and FY 03 est. $16,488,667,000. (Territory Assistance Grants and Matching Grants): FY 01 $79,267,938; FY 02 est $92,875,000; and FY 03 est $92,875,000; (Supplemental Grants for Population Increases): FY 01 $319,450,000; FY 02 est $319,450,000; and FY 03 est $319,450,000; (Contingency Funds): FY 01 $1,958,868,000; FY 02 est $1,958,868,000; and FY 03 est $2,000,000,000; (High Performance Bonus): FY 01 $200,000,000; FY 02 est $200,000,000; and FY 03 est $400,000,000; (Decrease in Illegitimacy Bonus): FY 01 $75,000,000; FY 02 est $100,000,000; and FY 03 est $0; (Tribal Work Program) FY 01 $7,633,000; FY 02 est $7,633,000; and FY 03 est $7,633,000; (TANF Research, Demonstration and Technical Assistance Activities) FY 03 est $100,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
State and Tribal Family Assistance grants are estimated from $77,195 to $3,653,771,968 with an average of $134,687,331.21.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Grants were made to 50 States, the District of Columbia, three territories, and 34 tribal plans in fiscal year 2001. It is estimated that grants will be made to 50 States, the District of Columbia, three territories, and 37 tribal plans in fiscal year 2002. It is estimated that grants will be made to 50 States, the District of Columbia, three territories, and 37 tribal planss in fiscal year 2003.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on April 12, 1999 (Vol. 64. No. 69). Program rules for State programs can be found at 45 CFR Parts 260 through 265. The Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2000 (Vol. 65, No. 34). Tribal rules can be found at 45 CFR Part 286. The regulations governing bonuses for high performance and reductions in out-of-wedlock child bearing may be found at CFR Part 270 and Part 283, respectively.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:  
See Regional Agency Offices.

Region I (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT): Carol Monteiro, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Boston Regional Office, JFK Building, Rm. 2000, Boston, MA 02203. Telephone: (617) 565-2462.

Region II (NJ, NY, PR, VI): Frank Ceruto, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, New York Regional Office, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 4114, New York, NY 10278. Telephone: (212) 264-2890, ext. 133.

Region III (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV): Eileen Friedman, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Philadelphia Regional Office, 150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 864, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3499. Telephone: (215) 861-4058.

Region IV (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN): LaMonica Shelton, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Atlanta Regional Office, 61 Forsyth Street, Suite 4M60, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Telephone: (404) 562-2938.

Region V (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI): Thomas Schindler, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Chicago Regional Office, 233 N. Michigan Ave. - Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 886-9540.

Region VI (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX): Larry Brendel, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Dallas Regional Office, 1301 Young Street, Room 945, Dallas, TX 75202. Telephone: (214) 767-6236.

Region VII (IA, KS, MO, NE): Gary Allen, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Kansas City Regional Office, Rm. 349, 601 E 12 St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Telephone: (816) 426-2236.

Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY): Kisha Russell, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Denver Regional Office, Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building, 1961 Stout Street, Ninth Floor, Denver, CO 80294. Telephone: 303-844-1483.

Region IX (AZ, CA, GU, HI, NV): Julie Fong, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, San Francisco Regional Office, 90 7th Street, Ninth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103. Telephone: (415) 437-7579.

Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA): Frank Shields, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Seattle Regional Office, 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1500, M/S 71, Seattle, WA 98104. Telephone (206) 615-2569.

Headquarters Office:  
Susan Golonka Office of the Director, Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 3rd Floor, 330 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20201, Washington, District of Columbia 20447 Email: Susan.Golonka@acf.hhs.gov Phone: 202-401-4731 Fax: 202-205-5887

Web Site Address:  
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Not applicable.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Not applicable.

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