urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

Urban Institute experts examine the effectiveness of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and provide evidence for future policy decisions.

TANF DEFINED

A federal block grant to states, territories and tribes to cover benefits, administration and services targeted to needy families with children. TANF emphasizes self sufficiency through work participation requirements, benefit time limits, and initiatives to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

Featured Topics

LESSONS LEARNED

FAMILIES AND WELFARE

STATE WELFARE POLICIES

COMMENTARIES

SAFETY NET PROGRAMS AND ISSUES

 
 
Viewing 1-8 of 304. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

Welfare Rules Databook: State TANF Policies as of July 2013 (Research Report)
Erika Huber, David Kassabian, Elissa Cohen

The Welfare Rules Databook provides tables containing key Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) policies for each state as of July 2013, as well as longitudinal tables describing selected state policies from 1996 through 2013. The tables are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database tracking state cash assistance policies over time and across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Databook summarizes a subset of the information in the WRD. Users interested in a greater level of detail are encouraged to use the full database, available at http://anfdata.urban.org/wrd.

Posted to Web: August 21, 2014Publication Date: August 21, 2014

Literature Review: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the ACA—Background and Implications for Evaluating HPOG (Research Report)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Erin McDonald

This report reviews the literature on the policy context of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program, and the challenges and opportunities related to developing healthcare occupational training and support programs. It discusses the structure of the healthcare industry and trends in healthcare employment, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training programs. The report was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.

Posted to Web: June 12, 2014Publication Date: March 01, 2014

Understanding the Dynamics of Disconnection from Employment and Assistance (Research Report)
Heather Sandstrom, Kristin S. Seefeldt, Sandra Huerta, Pamela J. Loprest

Low-income individuals who are not employed or receiving TANF are often referred to as “disconnected.” This study uses interview data from a sample of 51 disconnected, unmarried mothers from Southeast Michigan and Los Angeles, California to learn about their experiences related to work and benefit receipt. In Michigan, many women had hit the TANF time limit but could not find employment. In Los Angeles, some women preferred to stay home to care for young children, but others lacked child care and work experience. Immigrant mothers struggled without working papers. Despite receiving assistance from different sources, material hardship was quite common.

Read executive summary

Posted to Web: June 02, 2014Publication Date: June 02, 2014

Executive Summary: Understanding the Dynamics of Disconnection from Employment and Assistance (Summary)
Heather Sandstrom, Kristin S. Seefeldt, Sandra Huerta, Pamela J. Loprest

Low-income individuals who are not employed or receiving TANF are often referred to as “disconnected.” This study uses interview data from a sample of 51 disconnected, unmarried mothers from Southeast Michigan and Los Angeles, California to learn about their experiences related to work and benefit receipt. In Michigan, many women had hit the TANF time limit but could not find employment. In Los Angeles, some women preferred to stay home to care for young children, but others lacked child care and work experience. Immigrant mothers struggled without working papers. Despite receiving assistance from different sources, material hardship was quite common.

Read the full report

Posted to Web: June 02, 2014Publication Date: June 02, 2014

Public Supports When Parents Lose Work: A Fact Sheet (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Julia Isaacs, Olivia Healy

This fact sheet summarizes a paper that uses Current Population Survey data to track how seven public benefit programs responded to the increased needs of families during the Great Recession, focusing on support available to children whose parents were both unemployed and low-income. Public benefit programs-particularly unemployment insurance and SNAP-expanded rapidly during the recession, providing important supports to families. However, unemployment insurance provides relatively low coverage rates, particularly for low-wage workers, leaving many families dependent on SNAP and other safety-net programs during times of unemployment. The analysis concludes with policy implications for unemployment insurance, TANF and SNAP.

Posted to Web: May 08, 2014Publication Date: May 08, 2014

Public Supports When Parents Lose Work (Research Brief)
Julia Isaacs, Olivia Healy

This brief tracks how seven public benefit programs responded to the increased needs of families during the Great Recession, with a focus on the types of support available to children whose parents were both unemployed and low-income. Public benefit programs-particularly unemployment and SNAP benefits-expanded rapidly, providing important supports to families. However, unemployment insurance provides relatively low coverage rates, particularly for low-wage workers, leaving many families dependent on more traditional safety net programs during times of unemployment. The analysis relies on data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.

Posted to Web: May 08, 2014Publication Date: May 08, 2014

Mixed Results from Public Supports for Low-Income, Unemployed Parents (Press Release)
Urban Institute

How effectively do federal supports help children and families, especially low-income ones, during times of parental unemployment? A new report looked for answers by tracking seven programs during the Great Recession and beyond.

Posted to Web: May 08, 2014Publication Date: May 08, 2014

Addressing the "Benefits Cliff" and Encouraging Work for Welfare Recipients (Testimony)
Heather Hahn

In this testimony before the State of Vermont House Committee on Human Resources, Heather Hahn discusses proposed changes to Vermont's TANF program, and more generally, the "benefits cliff" and work incentives that participants experience as they strive for self-sufficiency. Hahn explains how the key policy levers - asset tests and the earned income disregards - affect the benefits cliff and work incentives. She also places Vermont's Reach Up rules in the context of other states' TANF rules and discusses other important issues to consider in conjunction with changes in these rules.

Posted to Web: February 26, 2014Publication Date: February 26, 2014

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