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Pandemic TANF Assistance Act Will Provide Much-Needed Aid, Protections to Families With the Least

May 11, 2020

The health and economic burdens of COVID-19 are falling disproportionately on people of color and people with very low incomes — who faced significant economic and health challenges before the pandemic — and the new Pandemic TANF Assistance Act would provide financial assistance to many of these families and protection from the negative consequences of previous policies.

Past policy...

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State Emergency Assistance Fund Could Help Families Facing Significant Challenges Avoid Increased Hardship

May 4, 2020

Amid COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout, states will need additional resources to provide basic income assistance and emergency aid to families and individuals facing severe economic hardship. A flexible emergency fund targeted to families and individuals with the lowest incomes, modeled on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund during the Great Recession,...

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With Applications Soaring, TANF Needs More Funds, New Rules

April 14, 2020

The number of people in need who are applying for help under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is on track to grow quickly and dramatically during the economic downturn, early data suggest, and federal policymakers should take steps to ensure that TANF continues providing a lifeline to families during what will likely be a long economic recovery....

TANF Applications in Florida Have Risen Dramatically

Quality Work and Direct Financial Assistance, Not Work Requirements, Stabilize Families

August 28, 2019

As Labor Day approaches, now’s a good time to remember that most recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits are workers who turn to TANF when the low-wage labor market fails them: they don’t get enough hours, they...

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Evidence Counters CEA Claims on Work Requirements

July 30, 2018

Several recent studies counter the Council of Economic Advisers’ (CEA) recent claims that proposals to take away people’s SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, or housing assistance if they don’t meet rigid work requirements would “be a beneficial way to increase work...

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Farm Bill Funding for Work Programs Won’t Buy Much

April 16, 2018

Under the work requirement provisions in House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway’s farm bill, we estimate that states will need to provide employment assistance such as structured job search assistance, training, or volunteer work opportunities to 3 million people.  But the bill’s $1 billion per year in funding for work programs amounts to just $30 per person per month. That would...

Women filing application

Mandatory Work Programs Are Costly, Have Limited Long-Term Impact

April 12, 2018

President Trump and Republican lawmakers have argued that basing people’s eligibility for food, medical, and housing assistance on meeting rigid work requirements will set them on a path to a better future.  In his 2018 farm bill to reauthorize SNAP (formerly food stamps), for example, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway has proposed expensive, untested new work requirements...

Saw and Hearing Protection

Welfare to Work Project in Trump Budget Would Unravel Major Federal Programs

February 16, 2018

The “Welfare to Work Projects” proposal in President Trump’s budget would facilitate the unraveling of major federal programs that help low- and moderate-income people meet basic needs. It appears to let states and localities undertake a large-scale redesign of an unnamed number of basic assistance programs, with apparently few protections for individuals who need the assistance these programs...

Happy family

Work Requirements Don’t Work

January 10, 2018

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to announce this week that states may block some low-income adults from getting Medicaid coverage if they’re not working or participating in work-related activities. But evidence from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program — which policymakers are touting as a model for work requirements in other programs,...

Women filing application

Harmful Provisions Jeopardize Extension of Effective Home Visiting Programs

September 13, 2017

A nationwide federal-state partnership that supports family- and child-related home visiting programs is slated to expire October 1, threatening a host of programs that strengthen high-risk families and save money over the long run. Today, the House Ways and Means Committee will consider two bills that would extend the program for five years, but each comes with problems — one has a state...

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