1 1 (April 1, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govcrzx0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









               Researh Sevice






COVID-19: The Potential Role of TANF in

Addressing the Economic Effects



Updated April 1, 2020
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides grants to the 50 states,
District of Columbia, American Indian tribes, and certain territories with the broad purpose of
ameliorating and addressing root causes of childhood economic disadvantage. Some of the flexibility the
block grant affords to states has been used, and augmented by federal legislation, to address the fallout
from Hurricane Katrina and the deep economic recession of 2007-2009.

Overview of TANF
TANF was created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
(PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) and is best known as funding for state programs that provide monthly
assistance to needy families with children. PRWORA placed work requirements on states and time limits
on families that receive this assistance. TANF funds a wide range of benefits and services-including
what are known as non-recurrent short-term benefits, which are defined as aid that addresses a specific
episode of need and does not exceed four months. The receipt of a nonrecurrent short-term benefit does
not count toward a family's time limit, nor other requirements such as those related to work, assigning
child support to the state, and state reporting of detailed characteristics. In crafting a response to
Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Congress enacted special rules to permit states to tap an existing fund to pay
nonrecurrent short-term benefits to families evacuated from their homes because of Hurricane Katrina.
In terms of addressing unemployment related to a recession, TANF can also fund employment services
and subsidized employment. If an individual is in subsidized employment, the requirements of assistance
(e.g., time limits) also do not count.

TANF Funding

The basic TANF block grant provided to states was established in PRWORA in 1996, based on spending
in its predecessor programs in the early 1990s. The basic block grant has not been adjusted for inflation or
changes in other circumstances (e.g., population growths and shifts among the states). It represents the
bulk of funding available to the states under TANF. Nationally, the assistance caseload is about 25%. of
what it was in the 1990s, and states have shifted TANF funds to a wide range of activities.

                                                               Congressional Research Service
                                                                 https://crsreports.congress.gov
                                                                                     IN11241

CRS INSIGHT
Prepaed for Membei's and
Cornm ittees  o4 Corqress  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?