Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) Block Grant
The new welfare reform law, as amended by the Balanced Budget
Act, block grants AFDC, Emergency Assistance (EA), and JOBS into a single capped entitlement to
states -- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). More information on TANF can be found on
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Welfare Reform Page.
The welfare reform law contains strong work requirements for individuals, along with
strong incentives and penalties for states to move welfare recipients into work. For more information,
see the ACF Welfare Reform Page. In
addition, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 contained $3 billion for Welfare-to-Work grants to help
states and local communities move long-term, hard to employ welfare recipients into lasting,
unsubsidized jobs. For more information, see the Department of
Labor's Welfare-to-Work Page
Other initiatives to help individuals make a
successful transition from welfare to work include:
The Balanced Budget Act
extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and authorized a new Welfare-to-Work Tax
Credit to give employers an added incentive to hire long-term welfare recipients. For more
information, see the Department of Labor's Work
Opportunity Tax Credit page
At the President's urging, the Welfare to Work
Partnership was launched in May 1997 to lead the national business effort to hire people from
the welfare rolls. The Partnership is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides technical
assistance and support to businesses around the country. For more information, see the Partnership's Web site.
The Vice President created the
Welfare to Work Coalition to Sustain Success to mobilize civic, religious, and non-profit groups
to help welfare recipients succeed in the workforce through mentoring and other support
services. For more information, see the Vice President's Welfare to Work
The Federal government is also doing our fair share through the
Federal government hiring initiative, overseen by the Vice President. For more information,
see "Welfare to Work: The Federal Government --
Working To Do Its Share".
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
authorized $750 million over five years for the President's welfare-to-work transportation
initiative and reverse commute grants. See the Department of
Transportation's Welfare to Work Transportation page.
The President worked
with Congress to secure nearly 200,000 housing
vouchers to subsidize the rent of low-income Americans, including
welfare recipients who need housing assistance in order to get or keep a job. The Department of
Housing and Urban Development also has several ongoing efforts linking housing and welfare reform. For
more information, see HUD's Welfare Reform
The Small Business Administration is helping to connect small
businesses with work-ready welfare recipients and to support welfare recipients who are
interested in starting their own small businesses. For more information, see SBA's Welfare to Work Page.
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) assists low-income families and
those transitioning off welfare to obtain child care so they can work or attend training/education. For
more information, see the HHS Child Care Bureau's
Home Page and the ACF Welfare Reform Page.
Child Support Enforcement
The welfare reform law contains
child support enforcement (CSE) provisions and requires states to initiate numerous new
enforcement techniques. For more information, see the HHS Child Support Home Page and the ACF Welfare Reform Page.
Benefits for Legal Immigrants
The welfare reform law limits welfare and public benefits for
certain immigrants. The President worked to fix several provisions in the law that had nothing to
do with moving people from welfare to work. For more information, see the Welfare Reform pages of
the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS),
Social Security Administration (SSA), ACF, Medicaid, and USDA.
The welfare reform
law retains prior Medicaid eligibility rules for families on welfare. The Balanced Budget Act
ensured that disabled children losing SSI because of the new tighter eligibility criteria
keep their Medicaid coverage. For more information, see the HHS Medicaid Bureau Welfare Reform Page.
The welfare reform law limits receipt of food stamp benefits for
able-bodied adults who are not working or participating in a work program or in workfare. The
Balanced Budget Act restores some food stamp funding, provides additional funding for work programs,
and allows certain exemptions to the food stamp work requirements. For more information, see the
USDA Welfare Reform Page.
See the President's
Guidance on the Family Violence Provisions in the new welfare law. For more general information on
Domestic Violence issues, see the Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office and the Community Checklist Page.
Several provisions in the new welfare reform law affect Social
Security Administration (SSA) including, limited SSI eligibility for noncitizens and changes in SSI
childhood disability criteria. See the SSA Welfare
Reform Page for more information.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
welfare reform law contains a number of provisions to prevent out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies and to
assure that communities engage in local efforts to prevent teenage pregnancy. Under TANF,
unmarried minor parents must stay in school and live at home or in a supervised setting. For more
information, see ACF's Welfare Reform Page.
In January 1997, the President announced a National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy . In
addition, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a private nonprofit organization, was formed
in response to the President's call in the 1995 State of the Union. For more information, see the
National Campaign's web site.