Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

To provide grants to States, Territories, the District of Columbia and federally recognized Indian Tribes operating their own Tribal TANF programs 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.


Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - States, Territories, and Tribes should contact the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA) Regional TANF Program Managers.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog under Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.)


Program Accomplishments

Grants were made to 50 States, the District of Columbia, 3 territories, and 55 tribal plans in fiscal year 2007. While the number of grants to States, the District of Columbia, and the territories remains constant, the number of tribal plans has increased each fiscal year. It is estimated that the number of tribal plans will increase to 60 during FY 2008 and to 65 in FY 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

States (including the District of Columbia), Territories, or and Federally-recognized Indian Tribes operating their own TANF programs 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 then 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 Contingency Funds.

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.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication 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.

Tribes should contact the OFA Regional TANF Program Manager for Tribal plan submittal procedures.

For Contingency Funds, each State must request these funds monthly for each month they meet either the unemployment or food stamp triggers.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

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

Award Procedures

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 Fund awards will be made monthly.

Deadlines

Please contact program office for application deadline. Tribal programs do not face a specific application deadline. For Contingency Funds, requests must be submitted 15 days after eligibility has been determined.

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; Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), Public Law 109-171.

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 the 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 and Territories must periodically (every 2 or 3 years) renew their funding status by submitting their TANF plan. Tribes must renew their funding status every 3 years. 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. Beginning in late August 2005, access to the Contingency Fund was expanded for a one year period, through August 2006, to States that provided short term non-recurring cash benefits to evacuee families that traveled from the hurricane impacted States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, or Mississippi to another State as a result of the hurricane.

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 States meeting the eligibility criteria stipulated under Section 101.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

States, Territories, the District of Columbia and federally recognized Indian Tribes operating their own Tribal TANF programs 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.

Obigations

(State and Tribal Family Assistance Grants): FY 07 $16,479,811,000; FY 08 $16,488,667,000; and FY 09 est $16,488,667,000. (Territory Assistance Grants and Matching Grants): FY 07 $77,229,000; FY 08 $92,875,000; and FY 09 est $92,875,000. (Supplemental Grants for Population Increases): FY 07 $319,450,000; FY 08 $319,450,000; and FY 09 est $319,450,000. (Contingency Funds--estimated ending balance) FY 07 $1,747,489,000; FY 08 $1,489,636,000; and FY 09 est $1,216,784,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

State Family Assistance Grants are from $21,781,446 to $3,733,817,784. Tribal Family Assistance Grants range from $77,195 to $31,174,026.

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

States, Territories, and Tribes should contact the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA) Regional TANF Program Managers. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog under Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.)

Headquarters Office

For all grants: Office of the Director, Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 5th Floor, Aerospace Building, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-9275.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.



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