Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Gene Falk Specialist in Social Policy October 2, 2012 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R42768 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Summary One of the central features of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant is promoting work and job preparation for parents (mostly single mothers) in families that receive cash assistance. TANF was created in the 1996 welfare law, which was the culmination of a decades-long evolution from providing single mothers “pensions” to permit them to stay home and raise children to a program focused on work. State TANF programs were influenced by research conducted during a period of much experimentation on welfare-to-work initiatives in the 1980s and early 1990s, which found that mandatory work requirements could reduce welfare receipt and increase employment among single mothers. TANF aids some of the most disadvantaged families with children. These families are in a wide range of circumstances, and some of them are not subject to state welfare-to-work efforts. In FY2009, about 6 in 10 TANF assistance families had “work-eligible” individuals. TANF workeligible individuals comprise in great part single mothers with young children. In FY2009, about a third of TANF work-eligible mothers were young (under the age of 24). Additionally, 43% of all work-eligible women lacked a high school diploma or the equivalent. As a block grant to the states, TANF sets federal goals such as ending dependence of needy parents on government through work and job preparation, gives states flexibility in program design to achieve those goals, and measures the performance of states. The work requirements that actually apply to recipients are determined by the states, not by federal rules. In FY2009, a monthly average of 42% of all work-eligible adults were either working or engaged in a job preparation activity. The most common activity was working in a job while remaining on the rolls. This was followed in turn by job search and vocational educational training as the second and third most common activities. While state rules—not federal rules—determine work requirements for individual TANF recipients, federal TANF law establishes work participation standards that apply to the states and influence state program designs. The federal work standards are performance measures used to assess state TANF welfare-to-work efforts. The federal TANF work standards set target participation rates, specify activities that can be counted toward meeting the standards, and set minimum hours of engagement per week in a month for a recipient to be considered engaged in countable activities. The target participation rates vary by state: the statute sets a 50% standard for all families, but the standard is reduced by credits states may earn for caseload reduction. In FY2009, the official TANF work participation rate was 29.4%; however, all but eight states met their work standard. The TANF work standards date back to the 1996 law, and reflect the policy concerns and the research on welfare-to-work programs of the time. Research on new welfare-to-work models since the 1996 law have yielded mixed and very limited results. However, some innovations in workforce and education programs have yet to be tested within a welfare-to-work context. Policymakers also face questions about whether the sole focus of the assessment of TANF’s success ought to be welfare-to-work. TANF has evolved into a program where cash assistance represents less than 30% of its funds. Policymakers thus face questions of whether consideration might be given to developing measures and assessment of how well TANF does in meeting other goals related to improving the circumstances of families with children. Congressional Research Service Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Contents Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1 Brief History: Work Requirements and Cash Aid for Needy Families with Children..................... 2 Welfare Reform and Research on Welfare, Dependency, and Work................................................ 6 Research on the Duration of Welfare Receipt ........................................................................... 6 Pre-1996 Welfare-to-Work Experiments ................................................................................... 7 GAIN—Riverside (California)............................................................................................ 7 The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) .................................. 8 Earnings Supplement Programs .......................................................................................... 9 New Hope............................................................................................................................ 9 Post-Welfare Reform Research................................................................................................ 10 Welfare “Leaver” Studies.................................................................................................. 10 Experimental Studies......................................................................................................... 11 TANF Welfare-to-Work Provisions ............................................................................................... 12 TANF Work-Eligible Individuals................................................................................................... 14 Who Is a TANF Work-Eligible Individual?............................................................................. 14 TANF Assistance Families With and Without Work-Eligible Individuals .............................. 14 Characteristics of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals ............................................................... 15 TANF’s Work Requirements for Work-Eligible Individuals ......................................................... 18 Federal Requirements that Apply to Individual Recipients..................................................... 18 Employability Assessment ................................................................................................ 18 Work Within Two Years .................................................................................................... 18 Sanctions for Failure to Comply with Work Requirements .............................................. 18 Activities of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals........................................................................ 19 Working While on the TANF Assistance Rolls ....................................................................... 21 Participation of Work-Eligible Individuals by Selected Characteristics: FY2009 .................. 21 Trends in Work Activity .......................................................................................................... 23 The TANF Work Participation Standard: Measuring the Performance of State Welfare-toWork Efforts ............................................................................................................................... 23 The Numerical Participation Standard..................................................................................... 24 The Caseload Reduction and “Excess MOE” Credits ............................................................. 25 Official Participation Rates for FY2009.................................................................................. 25 A Note on the Two-Parent Family Standard............................................................................ 28 Implications of Failing Work Participation Standards............................................................. 29 The Work Participation Rate ................................................................................................... 29 Families Included in the TANF Work Participation Rate.................................................. 29 Engaged in Work: Countable Activities ............................................................................ 32 Engaged in Work: Hours of Participation.......................................................................... 36 Trends in “Effective” Work Standards and Rates, FY2002-FY2009....................................... 43 Trends in “Effective” Work Standards .............................................................................. 44 Trends in Work Participation Rates................................................................................... 45 Sanctions........................................................................................................................................ 47 The 2002-2005 TANF Reauthorization Debate ............................................................................. 51 Looking Ahead: Welfare-to-Work Issues for Congress ................................................................. 52 Changing Employment Patterns (Again)? The Case of Youth ................................................ 52 Congressional Research Service Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Subsidized Employment .......................................................................................................... 54 Policy Innovation..................................................................................................................... 55 Measuring State Performance.................................................................................................. 56 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 60 Figures Figure 1. Types of Families Receiving TANF Assistance ............................................................. 15 Figure 2. Work Participation of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals: FY2009................................. 20 Figure 3. Families Receiving TANF Assistance, FY2009 ............................................................. 30 Figure 4. Percentage of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals in Families Included in the Participation Rate in TANF Work Activities: FY2009 ............................................................... 34 Figure 5. TANF Families Included in the Work Participation Rate, by Family Type.................... 38 Figure 6. Hours of Participation in TANF Work Activities for Single-Parent Families Included in the Participation Rate, By Family Type, FY2009.................................................... 40 Figure 7. Hours of Participation in TANF Activities by Two-Parent Families Included in the Participation Rate Calculation, FY2009 ............................................................................... 41 Figure 8. Percentage of Individuals Included in the Work Participation Rate who Participated in Work- and Education-Related Activities ............................................................ 43 Figure 9. National Average TANF Work Participation Rate: for All Families FY2002-FY2009......................................................................................................................... 47 Figure 10. Most Severe Sanction Policy for Noncompliance with Work Requirements for Single-Parent Family Adults, 1996-2009 (July), By Number of States (including the District of Columbia).................................................................................................................. 49 Figure 11. TANF Job Entry and Work Participation Rates: FY2001-FY2010 .............................. 58 Figure 12. TANF Job Entry Rate and the Unemployment Rate: FY2001-FY2010....................... 59 Tables Table 1. Summary Characteristics of Work-Eligible Individuals: FY2009 ................................... 16 Table 2. TANF Work-Eligible Individuals Employed or Participating in a Work or Job Preparation Activity: by Characteristic, FY2009 ................................................................. 22 Table 3. Percentage of Cash Assistance Adults and Teen Parents Employed or Engaged in a Work or Job Preparation Activity............................................................................................. 23 Table 4. TANF Effective Work Participation Standards and Work Participation Rates: FY2009 ....................................................................................................................................... 26 Table 5. TANF Families Receiving Assistance by Status Relating to the TANF Work Participation Rate: FY2009.................................................................................... 31 Table 6. Countable TANF Work Activities and Their Definitions................................................. 32 Table 7. TANF Hours Requirements for the All-Family Rate and the Two-Parent Family Rate (Excludes Special Rule for Teen Parents), by Family Type ............................................... 37 Congressional Research Service Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table 8. TANF Work Participation Among Teen Parents Without a High School Diploma, by Age, FY2009.......................................................................................................................... 39 Table 9. TANF “Core” and “Supplemental” Work Activities ........................................................ 42 Table 10. Effective TANF Work Participation Standards for All Families: FY2002-FY2009......................................................................................................................... 45 Table 11. Sanctions for Work, Educational, or Activity Requirements: FY2001-FY2009............ 50 Table 12. Employment Status of Young Adults (Aged 20 to 24), Selected Years 1994-2011........................................................................................................... 53 Table 13. Enrollment in Educational Programs of Young Adults (Aged 20 to 24), Selected Years 1994-2010 ......................................................................................................................... 54 Table A-1. Effective TANF Work Participation Standards for all Families by State: FY2002-FY2009......................................................................................................................... 62 Table A-2. TANF Work Participation Rates by State: Official Rates (Including Grandfathered Waivers): FY2002-FY2009 ................................................................................ 64 Table A-3. TANF Work Participation Rates for All Families Excluding the Effect of Grandfathered Waivers by State: FY2002-FY2009.................................................................... 66 Table A-4. TANF Families Receiving Assistance, by Type of Family and State: FY2009 ........... 68 Table A-5. TANF Families Receiving Assistance, by Work Participation Rate Status and State: FY2009 ............................................................................................................................. 70 Table A-6. TANF Families Included in the Work Participation Rate, by Family Type and State, FY2009 ............................................................................................................................. 72 Table A-7. TANF Sanctions and Sanction Rates by State: FY2009 .............................................. 74 Appendixes Appendix A. Additional Tables...................................................................................................... 62 Appendix B. Methodological Notes .............................................................................................. 76 Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 76 Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 77 Congressional Research Service Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Introduction One of the central features of the 1996 welfare reform law (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) was its focus on requiring and promoting work and job preparation for parents (mostly single mothers) in needy families with children. That law created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, and completed a decades-long evolution in policy, from one where cash assistance was provided to families headed by single mothers to permit them to stay at home and care for their children to one of encouraging and ultimately requiring work. It is sometimes said that TANF requires adult recipients to work in exchange for their family’s cash assistance. However, this is not what federal law says. In any given month, many recipients work or are engaged in work-related activities; however, many are not so engaged. TANF establishes numerical work participation performance standards that apply to a state’s total caseload, not individual recipients, and leaves to states the decision about how to meet those standards. It is the states that determine who is required to work or participate in activities. It is also the states that determine the activities that meet an individual recipient’s work requirements. TANF’s work rules generally date back to the 1996 welfare reform law, which was enacted following a period of growth in the welfare rolls. Cash assistance caseloads increased greatly from 1960 through the mid-1970s, ushering in a period of debate about “welfare reform.” The caseloads again began to increase in the very late 1980s, reaching a peak of 5.1 million families on the rolls in March 1994. Discussion of TANF work rules today is in a very different context than occurred in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The cash assistance rolls diminished greatly, and stood at 1.8 million families in FY2009. In any given month in FY2009, state TANF welfare-towork efforts could touch a small population of only about 1.2 million adults. This report examines the work participation standards and requirements for cash assistance recipients of the TANF block grant, which was created in the 1996 welfare reform law. This report • provides a short history of work requirements in programs that provide cash assistance to needy families with children; • reviews the major studies that contribute to the knowledge of what types of welfare-to-work programs are effective; • discusses the TANF work provisions that apply directly to individuals and analyzes FY2009 data on engagement in work and work-related activities of adults in TANF households; • discusses the TANF work participation standards that apply to states and analyzes FY2009 data on participation as they relate to those standards; and • discusses some issues that Congress might consider in the future, such as how the work standards can address changing circumstances and the difficulties of measuring the performance of states in the context of a block grant. Congressional Research Service 1 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Brief History: Work Requirements and Cash Aid for Needy Families with Children In the early 20th century, prior to the enactment of a federal cash-in-aid program for families caring for dependent children in their own homes, many states had laws providing aid to mothers with dependent children, often called “mothers’ pensions.”1 The general purpose of these pensions was summarized by a 1914 report published by the then-newly created Children’s Bureau (then operating under the U.S. Department of Labor), which described the basic function of the various state pension laws as “preventing the breaking up of the home when on account of death or disability the support of the natural breadwinner of the family is removed.”2 By 1921, 40 states and the then-territories of Alaska and Hawaii had laws providing support for children in their own homes.3 The intended recipients were, for the most part, widows and women whose husbands were disabled, were imprisoned, or had deserted the family. However, restrictions on eligibility varied by state and in some cases only widows were eligible.4 Limited state budgets meant that in many cases these early programs operated only partially or not at all. A Missouri law of 1911 applied only to Kansas City and limited expenditures for all pensions to $12,000 annually. In cases where funds were insufficient, a juvenile court would select “the most urgent cases” to receive pensions.5 The Great Depression exacerbated the degree to which counties dropped or downsized their programs, and by 1935 the number of families eligible for such aid under state laws was three times greater than the number of families actually receiving it.6, 7 Concern over the lack of sufficient support under state programs, as well as an increase in demand for financial help as a result of the Great Depression, prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish by Executive Order the Committee on Economic Security in 1934 to serve the broader purpose of “[providing] at once security against several of the great disturbing factors in life.” Within six months, the Committee on Economic Security (CES) had designed a proposal for the nation’s first comprehensive federal social insurance program, which included aid to “children deprived of 1 Prior to “mothers’ pensions” (the first of which was enacted in 1911), the most common way care was provided for needy, dependent children was in institutions. Public sentiment began to shift toward the idea that children should be cared for in their own homes following the first White House Conference on Dependent Children in 1909. See Jo Anne B. Ross, Fifty Years of Service to Children and Their Families, Social Security Bulletin, October 1985/Vol. 48, No. 10., http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v48n10/v48n10p5.pdf. 2 U.S. Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau, Laws Relating to “Mothers’ Pensions” in the United States, Denmark, and New Zealand, Dependent Children Series, No. 1. Bureau Publication No. 7 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1914). 3 Joanne L. Goodwin, ‘Employable Mothers’ and ‘Suitable Work’: A Re-Evaluation of Welfare and Wage-Earning for Women in the Twentieth-Century United States, Journal of Social History , Vol. 29, No. 2 (Winter 1995), pp. 253-274. 4 U.S. Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau, Laws Relating to “Mothers’ Pensions” in the United States, Denmark, and New Zealand, Dependent Children Series, No. 1. Bureau Publication No. 7 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1914). 5 Ethel Cleland, Pensions for Mothers, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 7, No. 1 (February 1913), pp. 9698. 6 Joanne L. Goodwin, ‘Employable Mothers’ and ‘Suitable Work’: A Re-Evaluation of Welfare and Wage-Earning for Women in the Twentieth-Century United States, Journal of Social History , Vol. 29, No. 2 (Winter 1995), pp. 253-274. 7 See the Report of the Committee on Ways and Means, United States House of Representatives, 74th Congress, 1st Session on H.R. 7260, printed April 5, 1935, http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/35housereport.html. Congressional Research Service 2 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited a father’s support.” In their report to the President in January 1935, the CES urged the creation of federal grants-in-aid to release from the wage-earning role the person whose natural function is to give her children the physical and affectionate guardianship necessary not alone to keep them from falling into social misfortune, but more affirmatively to rear them into citizens capable of contributing to society.8 In essence, the committee was proposing a program to provide mothers with the financial assistance necessary to remain at home with their children. Later that year, following the recommendations of the CES, the Aid to Dependent Children program (ADC) was established as a federal grant-in-aid program to states to help them fund cash assistance to needy families with children. Authorized under the Social Security Act of 1935 (P.L. 74-271; H.R. 7260), ADC grants provided assistance to children under the age of 16 who had “been deprived of parental support or care by reason of death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent.” Cash benefits provided under ADC were primarily intended to enable mothers (typically widows) to stay at home and rear children. Echoing the sentiment voiced in the CES report to the President, the House Report accompanying H.R. 7260 stated that these benefits were to assist in aiding the families on relief who were “without a potential breadwinner other than a mother whose time might best be devoted to the care of her young children.”9 Over the coming decades, the demography of ADC recipients began to change. Some of this change reflects changing demographics in the general population, such as the increase in femaleheaded families headed by divorced, separated, or never-married mothers as opposed to widows. Also affecting the demography of the ADC caseload was Social Security policy changes. At the program’s onset, the most common ADC family was headed by a widow. Social Security benefits to widows, widowers, and child survivors were created in the Social Security Amendments of 1939, and those receiving ADC increasingly were families where the father was alive but absent. By 1942, the proportion of ADC families with women who were divorced, separated, or unmarried was about equal to the proportion of women who were widows. The caseload also became increasingly nonwhite.10 Though federal policy documents connected with the establishment of ADC stressed child-rearing as the policy rationale for providing aid, the expectations for work among low-income women 8 See the Report of the Committee on Economic Security to the President, transmitted to the President on January 15, 1935. 9 See the Report of the Committee on Ways and Means, United States House of Representatives, 74th Congress, 1st Session, on H.R. 7260, printed April 5, 1935, http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/35housereport.html. 10 Studies of the characteristics of the cash assistance caseload have measured race and ethnicity differently over time, precluding a precise analysis of the change in the racial/ethnic makeup of the caseload. However, there is enough evidence to point to the changing racial and ethnic makeup of the caseload. The Social Security Administration published a report on changes in the ADC caseload from 1942 to 1948 in 16 states. Over this period, the percent of recipient children who were non-white grew from 21.4% to 30.2%. By 1956, 40% of the caseload was classified as nonwhite. In 1973, data on whether or not a recipient was Hispanic became available. In that year, it was reported that white non-Hispanic heads accounted for a minority (38%) of all AFDC families. Blacks headed 43% of all AFDC families and Hispanics headed 13.4% of all AFDC families in 1973. These data are from various reports showing the characteristics of AFDC families over the years. Congressional Research Service 3 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited may have differed at the state level. Some states adopted rules barring “employable” mothers from aid.11 Additionally, in the last half of the 20th Century, female participation in the workforce was on the rise, as norms for middle-class mothers changed with respect to child-rearing and work.12 The assumption that women should remain in the home with their children began to diminish.13 The 1950s ushered in an increased focus on the self-sufficiency and rehabilitation of public aid recipients, and amendments to the ADC law began to reflect this reorientation. In 1956, the law (P.L. 84-880; H.R. 7225) was amended to include the provision that its purpose was to not only provide financial assistance to needy families with children, but also “to help such parents or relatives to attain the maximum self-support and personal independence consistent with the maintenance of continuing parental care and protection.” The Senate Finance Committee Report accompanying H.R. 7225 further explained that “[s]ervices that assist families and individuals to attain the maximum economic and personal independence of which they are capable provide a more satisfactory way of living for the recipients affected.”14 The 1956 amendments also added Disability Insurance to the Social Security program, again potentially aiding some families that might otherwise rely on ADC for benefits. With the advent of the 1960s, the focus on self-sufficiency progressed from symbolic statements and funding for services to actual federal program requirements. At first, however, these requirements focused on men when cash assistance was extended to families with two ablebodied parents with one unemployed. In 1961, in the midst of a recession and high unemployment, President Kennedy called on Congress to amend the ADC program to include the children of the unemployed.15 That year, the law was changed to temporarily extend eligibility for ADC to dependent children of unemployed parents. For a state to provide assistance to families on the basis of unemployment, they were required to include in their state plan provisions for ensuring that the unemployed parent was registered for job placement services. If the parent refused to accept employment without “good cause” (as determined by the state), the state was required to halt assistance to the family.16 For the first time since the program’s inception, ADC now had the beginnings of federally mandated work requirements for families receiving assistance. Continuing in this vein of promoting self-sufficiency, President Kennedy’s speech to Congress the next year emphasized a shift toward favoring services over cash assistance. Public welfare, he stated, “must be directed increasingly toward prevention and rehabilitation ... we must place more stress on services instead of relief.”17 Also in 1962, the name of the program was 11 Joanne L. Goodwin, ‘Employable Mothers’ and ‘Suitable Work’: A Re-Evaluation of Welfare and Wage-Earning for Women in the Twentieth-Century United States, Journal of Social History , Vol. 29, No. 2 (Winter 1995), p. 262 12 Joanne L. Goodwin, ‘Employable Mothers’ and ‘Suitable Work’: A Re-Evaluation of Welfare and Wage-Earning for Women in the Twentieth-Century United States, Journal of Social History , Vol. 29, No. 2 (Winter 1995), p. 262. 13 Susan W. Blank and Barbara B. Blum, A Brief History of Work Expectations for Welfare Mothers, The Future of Children, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 1997). 14 Report of the Senate Finance Committee, United States Senate, 84th Congress, 2nd Session, on H.R. 7225, printed June 5, 1956. 15 Special Message to the Congress: Program for Economic Recovery and Growth, Speech delivered by President John F. Kennedy, February 2, 1961, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=8111#axzz1rH0u7Ceg. 16 See P.L. 87-31 (H.R. 4884). 17 Special Message to the Congress on Public Welfare Programs, President Kennedy, February 1, 1962, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=8111#axzz1rH0u7Ceg. Congressional Research Service 4 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited changed to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to reflect the enlarged focus of the program and to emphasize the maintenance of two-parent families.18 The Social Security Amendments of 1967 (P.L. 90-248) enacted both financial incentives for adult recipients to work and, for the first time, requirements for AFDC mothers to work. These amendments required states to disregard from a family’s countable income some earnings when determining its “need” and benefits.19 They also created the first work program under AFDC—the Work Incentive Program (WIN). WIN was compulsory for fathers, and states could determine whether it would be compulsory or voluntary for mothers. In practice, two-thirds of participants in the WIN program between 1968 and 1971 were mothers. In 1971, the federal rules changed to require all parents to enroll in WIN, with the exception of mothers with children under the age of six.20 AFDC work requirements continued to evolve in the 1980s. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35) gave states the option to require “workfare” (unpaid work in exchange for cash assistance) through Community Work Experience Programs (CWEP). The Family Support Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-485) ended WIN, replacing it with the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program. It was designed to provide AFDC recipients either job training and education or the quick acquisition of a job.21 It also removed the participation exemption for many single parents by lowering the age-of-youngest-child exemption from six to three years (at state option, this could be lowered further to one year), while also increasing funding for child care. Significantly, JOBS legislated minimum participation rates for states in order to be eligible for their full federal fund allotment.22 The program also placed an increased focus on education, as evidenced by the requirement that states offer education to any adult lacking a high school diploma and the provision of federal funding for such activities.23 The progression of welfare from a cash assistance-based program to one of work incentives, requirements, and supports culminated in the mid-1990s with welfare reform. With the signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193), AFDC was replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF). TANF instituted a range of work-related requirements that apply to both states and recipients. These requirements, and the extent to which they are being met, will be discussed below. 18 A concern at the time was that the program’s benefits and eligibility standards discouraged marriage. The program was thus renamed to indicate that its purpose was to provide assistance to families. Susan W. Blank and Barbara B. Blum, A Brief History of Work Expectations for Welfare Mothers, The Future of Children, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 1997). 19 An enrollee would receive $30 a month while in training, plus an allowance for child care and other work-related expenses. If they became employed, the first $30 of earnings plus one-third of subsequent earnings would not be taken into account when calculating the family’s AFDC grant. 20 William J. Reid and Audrey D. Smith, AFDC Mothers View the Work Incentive Program, Social Service Review, Vol. 46, No. 3 (September 1972), pp. 347-362. 21 Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS), ChildTrends 2003, http://www.childtrends.org/ lifecourse/programs/JOBS.htm. 22 Daniel Friedlander and Gary Burtless, Five Years After: The Long-Term Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1995. 23 Judith M. Gueron and Edward Pauly, From Welfare to Work, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1991. Congressional Research Service 5 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Welfare Reform and Research on Welfare, Dependency, and Work Welfare was the subject of a great deal of research from the 1960s through the 1990s. Economic theory suggested that providing assistance without work reduces work effort, and a fairly large number of empirical studies supported that contention.24 Additionally, proposals to replace the existing welfare system with a negative income tax (with a minimum guaranteed income) was the subject of some of the first large-scale social experiments beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s. These experiments found that such policies reduced work effort and potentially even led to an increase in marital dissolutions.25 The negative income tax with an income guarantee was offered as welfare reform during the Nixon and Carter administrations, but not thereafter.26 TANF was influenced by two major types of research published in the 1980s and early 1990s. The first was analyses of how long families remained on welfare. The second was a series of experimental evaluations of welfare-to-work initiatives: programs that offered employment services and education or training that encouraged participation, required participation, or did a combination of both. Research on the Duration of Welfare Receipt Beginning in the 1980s, research began to examine how long families remained on the rolls based on data that permitted examination of an individual’s program receipt over time. A study conducted by Mary Jo Bane and David Ellwood prepared for HHS concluded that while most periods of welfare receipt are short, some families stay on the rolls for a long period of time.27 Subsequent studies generally confirmed the basic findings of Bane’s and Ellwood’s initial report. Additionally, some recipients experienced multiple periods of benefit receipt. In a subsequent study, Ellwood found that close to one-fourth of those who ever come on to the welfare rolls would receive benefits for 10 years or more in their lifetime.28 Long-term benefit receipt raised concerns about welfare dependency. That is, there was concern that for some families, receipt of welfare had essentially become a way of life rather than a shortterm means of coping with events such as job loss or marital dissolution. 24 Robert Moffitt, “Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review,” Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 30, no. 1 (March 1992), pp. 1-61. 25 Alicia H. Munnell, ed., Lessons from the Income Maintenance Experiments, Proceedings from a Conference Held in September 1986, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 1986. 26 For a discussions of the welfare reform proposals offered during the Nixon Administration, see Vincent J. Burke and Vee Burke, Nixon’s Good Deed: Welfare Reform (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974); and Daniel P. Moynihan, The Politics of a Guaranteed Income, the Nixon Administration and the Family Assistance Plan (New York: Vintage Books, 1973). 27 Mary Jo Bane and David T. Ellwood, Transitions from Welfare to Work, Urban Systems and Engineering Inc., Cambridge, MA, 1983. 28 David T. Ellwood, Targeting “Would-Be” Long-Term Recipients of AFDC, Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ, 1986. Congressional Research Service 6 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Pre-1996 Welfare-to-Work Experiments29 The 1980s also saw welfare-to-work programs evaluated using random-assignment “social experiments” to test whether there were effective programs to move recipients from welfare to work. Early studies focused on whether mandatory, relatively low-cost programs could affect the behavior of cash welfare recipients. The evaluations found that such programs that require mandatory participation can have positive impacts.30 Most of these programs emphasized job search. Evaluated unpaid work experience programs (e.g., “workfare”) tended to produce little in the way of positive employment impacts or reductions in welfare receipt, though the activity itself had value in providing services to the public at large.31 The period between the enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988 and PRWORA in 1996 saw a surge in experimentation on welfare-to-work approaches. In addition to authorizing the JOBS program itself, the Family Support Act of 1988 also authorized the study that would examine the impact of 11 mandatory welfare-to-work programs operating in seven sites. This major, eightyear study would come to be known as the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS). NEWWS studied the impact on welfare recipients and their children of these programs that took different approaches to getting recipients into work. In addition to NEWWS, a number of states conducted evaluations of their own initiatives. These evaluations were a condition of states receiving “waivers” under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The key initiatives that influenced welfare reform and the design of state TANF programs were waiver programs that allowed recipients who went to work at low-paying jobs to remain on the rolls and supplement their earnings with a reduced welfare benefit, restricted the period of time families could receive benefits (time limits), and enhanced sanctions for those who failed to comply with program requirements. These “waiver” programs often became the basis for states’ post-1996 TANF cash assistance programs. GAIN—Riverside (California) An early, influential set of welfare-to-work experiments was conducted on California’s GAIN (Greater Avenues of Independence) program.32 The GAIN program was evaluated in six counties, one of which was Riverside. The evaluation studied recipients who entered the GAIN program between 1988 and mid-1990. Like other counties’ GAIN programs, Riverside placed a heavy emphasis on skill-building services—about 60% of participants entered an education or training activity—but also maintained a strong focus on employment. Among the findings for each of the six counties, 29 This section discusses the most influential studies of the pre 1996 period. It is based on more comprehensive reviews published in the 2000 and 2004 GreenBooks published by the House Ways and Means Committee. 30 Judith M. Gueron and Edward Pauly, From Welfare to Work, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1991; and Daniel Friedlander and Gary Burtless, Five Years After. The Long-Term Effects of Welfare-to-Work Programs, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1995. 31 See Thomas Brock, David Butler, and David Long, Unpaid Work Experience for Welfare Recipients: Findings and Lessons from MDRC Research, MDRC, MDRC Working Papers, New York, NY, September 1993. 32 James Riccio, Daniel Friedlander, and Stephen Freedman, GAIN: Benefits, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of a Welfare-to-Work Program. California’s Greater Avenues for Independence Program, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, September 1994. Congressional Research Service 7 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Riverside’s program was the least costly to operate and generated the largest return for taxpayers. Over the three-year period in which it operated, Riverside’s program increased the experimental group’s earnings by an average of $3,113—a 49% gain over the control group average. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) The NEWWS evaluation studied impacts for those who entered its programs from mid-1991 through the end of 1994. The overall results of the NEWWS evaluations showed that mandatory participation in work or job preparation activities was likely to increase the amount of work recipients participated in and reduce the amount of welfare they received.33 However, the requirements alone were not likely to raise incomes. A key feature of NEWWS was its evaluation of different types of welfare-to-work strategies. In three locations—Atlanta, GA, Grand Rapids, MI, and Riverside, CA—programs based on job search, known as labor force attachment programs, were tested “head-to-head” against programs that provided more long-term education. In each location, both the labor force attachment and the education-focused programs produced positive impacts. Both types of programs raised employment and reduced welfare receipt. However, when impacts are compared over a relatively long period (five years), the labor force attachment programs produced some larger impacts than the education-focused programs. This was particularly true for those without a high school diploma, as the labor force attachment programs increased employment rates more than the education-focused program in this subgroup over five years. A separate analysis of NEWWS adult basic education activities, such as adult basic skills courses, pursuit of the General Educational Development (GED) credential, high school completion programs, and English as a Second Language (ESL), was published. In general, participation in these activities did not yield positive employment impacts. That study found that the programs attended by recipients of cash assistance often were not modified to account for the specific needs of students, and most participants failed to actually receive a GED. However, some positive impacts were found for the few who did go on to post-secondary education after receiving a GED.34 The program with the largest impacts in the NEWWS evaluation was the one operated in Portland, OR. That program was referred to as a “mixed” program model. It emphasized employment as a goal, but also permitted caseworkers the discretion to assign participants to education if warranted. Further, Portland’s program emphasized finding a “good job,” not just any job, and permitted extended job search. While NEWWS included programs that were successful in raising employment rates and earnings and reducing welfare receipt, none—even the program with the largest positive impacts in 33 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies: How Effective are Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches? Five Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs, 2001. 34 Johannes M. Bos, Susan Scrivener, and Jason Snipes, et al., National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies. Improving Basic Skills: the Effects of Adult Education on Welfare-to-Work Programs, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002. Congressional Research Service 8 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Portland—succeeded in raising incomes. That is, increased earnings from work offset, but did not exceed, reductions in cash welfare and food assistance. Mandatory work requirements alone could increase work—but not necessarily the income of adult recipients and their children. Earnings Supplement Programs Several programs tested in the 1990s combined mandatory work participation with a policy that allowed recipients who went to work to remain on the rolls at higher levels of earnings or for longer periods of time than allowed under regular pre-1996 welfare law. This was seen as increasing financial incentives to work. One program—Minnesota’s Family Investment Program or MFIP—also regarded this approach as a way to increase incomes and reduce poverty.35 The earnings supplement programs were generally successful in increasing work and raising incomes.36 The MFIP program also examined the impact of being in the program on various measures of child development. It found some positive impacts in that domain as well. However, the increased income and positive child impacts came at a cost—the budget cost of additional welfare payments that supplemented earnings. New Hope The New Hope program was conducted in Milwaukee, WI, and existed from 1994 through 1998. It was available to adults living in one of two targeted neighborhoods who had a household income at or below 150% of the poverty line (it was the only program that did not limit participation to adults with children). The evaluators of New Hope described the program’s philosophy: Four principles underlie the New Hope program: (1) that people who are willing and able to work full time should be assured the opportunity to do so; (2) that people who work full time should not be poor; (3) that people who work more hours should take home more pay; and (4) for those eligible for public assistance, that full-time work should make people better off financially than they would be on welfare. These principles are realized by providing four benefits and services to participants who are willing to work an average of at least 30 hours per week: help in obtaining a job (including access to a CSJ [Community Service Job] if fulltime employment is not otherwise available), an earnings supplement to bring low-wage workers’ income above the poverty level, subsidized health insurance, and subsidized child care.37 Participants were expected to work at least 30 hours per week, and the program provided a twopart income supplement—the first part was based on the number of children in the family, and the second was based on the participant’s earnings. The program also supported work by including health benefits and child care assistance. 35 The MFIP program was established under waivers granted under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and a separate provision of what was then Food Stamp law. In addition, several states evaluated enhanced earnings disregards under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Vermont, and Virginia. 36 For a synthesis of the research finding for these programs, see Gordon L. Berlin, Encouraging Work, Reducing Poverty: The Impact of Work Incentive Programs, MDRC, March 2000. 37 Thomas Brock, Fred Doolittle, and Veronica Fellerath, et al., Implementation of a Program to Reduce Poverty and Reform Welfare, MDRC, October 1997. Congressional Research Service 9 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Additionally, New Hope offered unemployed recipients the opportunity to apply for a community service job in a nonprofit organization. These jobs paid the minimum wage, and allowed participants to also receive federal and Wisconsin earned income tax credits. The New Hope evaluation program found that, after two years, the program increased earnings and employment for those who were not working full-time when they entered the program. It also resulted in a modest increase in income during the first two years. The increase in income was also accompanied by some positive impacts on the development of the children of participants. The evaluation also found that subsidized community service employment played a central role in New Hope. After New Hope ended, participants still experienced reduced poverty at five years after having entered the program, though impacts had faded by eight years after a recipient entered the program. New Hope was a far broader program than merely a welfare-to-work program, and many of its features are reflected in the broader changes in low-income assistance that took place in the mid1990s. TANF and welfare reform were a part of a series of changes to low-income assistance programs that expanded earnings supplements to “make work pay” through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), increased funding for subsidized child care, and expanded health insurance coverage through the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997 and ultimately the Affordable Care Act of 2010.38 However, the current system of aid to low-income families lacks several elements of New Hope. One such element is the emphasis on full-time work. Another element the current system has generally lacked is publically-funded community services jobs when other jobs are not available—except for a brief period when extra TANF funds were available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5). (Subsidized employment under ARRA is discussed later in this report.) The system lacks such publically-funded community service jobs even though TANF funds may be used for them. Post-Welfare Reform Research The years immediately after the enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law saw a continuation of a high volume of research about cash assistance and its recipients. With the rapid decline in the cash assistance caseload, states examined the circumstances of those who left the rolls. Additionally, HHS continued to fund a series of experimental studies examining program innovations aimed at improving the impact of welfare-to-work programs on participants’ employment and well-being. Welfare “Leaver” Studies Welfare “leaver” studies examined the circumstances of those who left the rolls: to what extent were they working, what were they earning, what other types of government benefits did they receive, and did they come back to the assistance rolls. A large number of these studies were conducted by the states using varying methodologies. Congress provided special funding to study 38 For a discussion of this restructuring of low-income assistance programs and federal spending trends on low-income aid, see CRS Report R41823, Low-Income Assistance Programs: Trends in Federal Spending, by Gene Falk. Congressional Research Service 10 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited the effects of welfare reform, and HHS used these funds to award grants to states and counties to conduct a set of studies using more consistent research methods. A synthesis of the HHS leaver studies generally confirmed what had been found in the statedeveloped leaver studies:39 • The majority of those who leave welfare do so for work. Among the 15 states and localities examined in the HHS leaver studies, the “median study”—the midpoint of the ranking of all 15 studies—showed 57% of its leavers employed in the first quarter after exiting the rolls. Employment rates tended to remain fairly constant when examining the second, third, and fourth quarters after exit. • Though most work after leaving the rolls, most studies report that only between 30% and 40% of those who left the welfare rolls worked in all four quarters after leaving welfare. • Because not all welfare leavers find work or steady work, some of those who exit the rolls return to welfare. In the fourth quarter after leaving welfare, many of the states and localities reported that about one-fifth (20%) of their leavers had returned to the rolls. Experimental Studies Follow-up studies to the welfare-to-work experiments of the 1980s and 1990s have yielded mixed results on new initiatives to improve program impacts. HHS launched four multi-site experimental studies to examine additional program approaches for the cash assistance population. Two of these studies are complete, with two studies currently underway (with results forthcoming). The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project: 1998-2011 The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project sought to build on the knowledge of how to move welfare recipients into jobs by testing initiatives to improve impacts by increasing employment stability and advancement.40 It provided some additional evidence that providing earnings supplements combined with employment services could result in positive earning impacts, including employment retention. ERA also produced some evidence that communitybased organizations or for-profit providers of employment services could also produce positive employment impacts. ERA also tested programs that combined work with education for those on the rolls. Those programs did not produce positive employment impacts. 39 Gregory Acs, Pamela Loprest, and Tracy Roberts, Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE’s “Leavers” Grants, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistance Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, December 2001. 40 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, Increasing Employment Stability and Earnings for Low-Wage Workers, Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project, OPRE Report 2012-19, April 2012.. Congressional Research Service 11 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited The Hard-to-Serve: 2001-2012 Several ERA sites, as well as sites in a second experimental study, focused on populations that were hard to serve. 41 Some of these programs were not geared to the TANF cash assistance population, but rather, other disadvantaged groups (e.g., those leaving prison—who tended to be men). Programs that tested approaches such as subsidized “transitional jobs” provided both income boosts and employment to participants while they were in subsidized jobs, but there were no long-term impacts from program participation on employment or earnings. A program in New York City that focused on those with cash assistance recipients who had limiting disabilities found positive earnings impacts and reduced cash assistance. However, employment rates for those in that program were below those in the general cash assistance population, and evaluators attributed much of the reduction in cash assistance to a high rate of sanctioning in the program. Current Experimental Evaluations HHS is fielding two additional experimental studies that at least partially focus on TANF assistance recipients or related populations that have yet to yield impact findings. The Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency Project (ISSIS) will test the “career pathways” model that seeks to move participants into better paying jobs within a sector through combining work and training. The Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) examines subsidized employment models. TANF Welfare-to-Work Provisions TANF was created by the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, P.L. 104-193). On the eve of that law’s enactment, federal law already had in place rules requiring mandatory participation in welfare-to-work activities for some recipients. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) required certain recipients to participate in activities, and it had a sanction for those who failed to participate.42 States were also subject to participation standards. Many states had already gone further than federal law in requiring work of more recipients, increasing sanctions for noncompliance, and fashioning their own welfare-to-work approaches under “waivers” of AFDC federal rules. The Clinton Administration granted welfare waivers to 43 states.43 Thus, though ending AFDC and creating TANF was a major change in social policy, the welfare-to-work aspects of TANF represent a step in the evolution of welfare-to-work policies. 41 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families, What Strategies Work for the Hard-to-Employ? Final Results of the Hard-toEmploy Demonstration and Evaluation Project and Selected Sites from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project, OPRE Report 2012-08, March 2012. 42 The AFDC sanction was the removal of the noncomplying adult from the assistance unit, a reduction in the family’s benefit. 43 For a description of these waivers, see U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Setting the Baseline: A Report on State Welfare Waivers, June 1997, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/isp/waiver2/title.htm. Congressional Research Service 12 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited TANF is a broad-based block grant that provides funds to states, the territories, and Indian tribes to help them finance cash welfare programs for needy families with children as well as provide a wide range of other benefits and services to either ameliorate the effects or address the root causes of child poverty. The basic federal block grant for the 50 states and District of Columbia is funded at a total of $16.5 billion per year. States are required, under a provision known as the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement, to expend from their own funds a minimum total of $10.4 billion per year in addition to federal funds on TANF or TANF-related programs. The statutory purpose of TANF is to increase state flexibility to achieve the following goals: 1. provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; 2. end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; 3. prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and 4. encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Though the block grant is a set amount, states may use TANF funds to finance any activity “reasonably calculated” to achieve any of these four TANF goals. This gives states broad leeway in spending TANF funds. In general, state MOE funds can be used for these same activities (there are some technical differences in the use of federal and state funds). States determine the size of TANF benefits, and there is a wide range of benefit amounts among the states. In July 2009, the maximum monthly benefit for a family of three varied from $721 per month in New York City to $170 in Mississippi. In New York, this represented 47% of povertylevel income. In Mississippi this represented 11% of poverty-level income. (States also determined the size of AFDC benefits and there was wide variation in benefit amounts before the 1996 law as well.) TANF has a five-year time limit on receipt of cash assistance financed by federal funds. Recipients of cash assistance also must cooperate in having their children’s paternity established and other requirements relating to enforcement of child support orders. TANF funds may be used to support work in various ways, including through helping states finance tax credits for low-income working families, providing assistance with transportation, and funding child care. TANF funds may supplement those from a separate child care block grant as TANF funds may be transferred to the child care block grant or spent within TANF itself on child care.44 Cash welfare itself accounted for less than 30% of all TANF and MOE funds in FY2009. The cash welfare rolls and the amount of funds spent on cash assistance have declined substantially since the creation of TANF. In 1994, the combined federal and state expenditures on AFDC cash 44 See CRS Report RL30785, The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding, by Karen E. Lynch. Congressional Research Service 13 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited assistance were $22.7 billion. By FY2009, this had declined to $9.3 billion. The decline would be even steeper in inflation-adjusted dollars. In FY2009, TANF cash assistance was received by 1.8 million families per month. Within these families, there were 4.3 million recipients—1.0 million adults and 3.2 million children (detail does not add to total because of rounding). TANF’s work provisions are focused on the adult portion of the cash assistance caseload. The next several sections of this report • provide a description of TANF work-eligible adults; • briefly discuss TANF’s work requirements as they apply directly to work-eligible individuals; and • discuss the TANF work participation standards—the main performance measure for TANF that assesses state welfare-to-work efforts. TANF Work-Eligible Individuals Who Is a TANF Work-Eligible Individual? Under TANF, work-eligible persons are either adult recipients of cash assistance or certain nonrecipient parents of children receiving assistance who are expected to work. The following adults in TANF or MOE-funded households are not considered work-eligible: • adult non-recipients who are non-parent caretakers (e.g., grandparent, aunt, uncle); • ineligible noncitizen parents; • at state option, adults receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI);45 • parents who are needed in the home to care for disabled family members; • at state option, parents who are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients; and • at state option, a parent who became eligible for SSI during the fiscal year. TANF Assistance Families With and Without Work-Eligible Individuals Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the types of families that received TANF assistance in FY2009. It shows that of all families receiving assistance, 59% included a work-eligible individual. Almost 45 Before October 1, 2006, all families without an adult recipient were excluded from the work participation rate calculation. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) required HHS to issue regulations to determine the circumstances under which a family with a non-recipient parent must be included in the work participation rate calculation. The HHS regulations generally require that states include the following types of families without an adult recipient in the work participation rate calculation: (1) except for three months in a 12-month period, families subject to a sanction that removes the adult from the TANF assistance unit; and (2) families that reach state time limits that remove the adult from the TANF assistance unit but continue aid on behalf of the family’s children. Congressional Research Service 14 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited 41% of all families did not include a work-eligible individual. Most TANF families with a workeligible individual are single-parent families. In FY2009, single-parent families with a workeligible individual comprised 54% of all TANF families; two-parent families with work-eligible individuals comprised 5% of all TANF families. Figure 1. Types of Families Receiving TANF Assistance FY2009 Families with a work-eligible individual Two Parent Family 5% No Work-Eligible Individual 41% Single Parent Family 54% Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Characteristics of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals TANF provides assistance to some of the most disadvantaged families with children. These are families that are not aided by the larger, more widely received social insurance programs such as Social Security Survivors, Social Security Disability, or Unemployment Insurance. In FY2009, two-thirds of TANF cash assistance families with a work-eligible individual reported no other source of cash income. Even with the TANF benefit, 76% of these families had cash incomes below 50% of the poverty line. The demographic characteristics of work-eligible individuals reflect those often associated with economic disadvantage. Most are single mothers, many with young children. Many of the mothers themselves are also young, either teen parents or young adults (under age 25) who might be considered “youths” in other contexts and programs. TANF work-eligible individuals also tend Congressional Research Service 15 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited to have lower educational attainment than the population as a whole, with 43% lacking a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, two-thirds of work-eligible individuals are minorities: African-Americans are 33.9% and Hispanics 25.5% of all TANF work-eligible individuals. Table 1 shows the summary characteristics of work-eligible individuals in FY2009. In that year, 85% of work-eligible individuals were women and 15% were men. Most of the women were not married, and 73% of them had never married. A little more than one-third of the women who were work-eligible were under the age of 25. Men who were TANF work-eligible were more likely to be married and living with a spouse (that is, in two-parent families) and also tended to be slightly older. A large share of TANF work-eligible individuals had failed to complete high school. For comparison with the general population, 40% of TANF work-eligible women who were 25 and older did not complete high school, while 43% of TANF work-eligible men did not complete high school. Among all women age 25 and older in 2009, 13% lacked a high school diploma or equivalent; among all men age 25 and older in 2009, 14% lacked a high school diploma or equivalent.46 Table 1. Summary Characteristics of Work-Eligible Individuals: FY2009 (By gender) Women Men Totals 85.2% 14.8% 100.0% Single, never married 73.1 46.6 69.2 Married, living with spouse 10.0 43.1 14.9 Married, living apart from spouse 10.5 4.6 9.6 Widowed (er) 0.4 0.5 0.4 Divorced 6.0 5.2 5.9 Under Age 20 7.3 4.1 6.9 20-24 27.3 13.5 25.3 25-29 22.7 16.3 21.8 30-34 15.6 15.6 15.6 35-44 20.8 31.9 22.4 6.2 18.7 8.0 Gender (%) Marital Status Age Age 45 and older 46 This is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. See detailed data tables at http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/ education/data/cps/2011/tables.html. Congressional Research Service 16 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Women Men Totals Infant 20.7 17.2 20.2 1 to 3 37.5 32.5 36.8 4 to 5 11.6 10.1 11.4 6 to 12 20.5 24.4 21.1 9.7 15.8 10.6 White Non-Hispanic 32.8 39.4 33.7 African-American 36.3 20.3 33.9 Hispanic 25.1 27.9 25.5 American Indian/Alaskan Native 1.4 1.9 1.5 Asian/Pacific Islander 2.8 8.0 3.6 Other/unknown 1.6 2.5 1.8 Less than high school 42.8 45.8 43.2 High school diploma 51.2 45.0 50.3 College 4.4 5.0 4.5 Unknown 1.6 4.2 2.0 40.2 43.3 40.8 Age of Youngest Child In Household Age 13 and older Race/Ethnicity Educational Attainment Percent age 25 and older without a high school Diploma Source: Congressional Research Service tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. The TANF national data files do not contain information necessary to examine the incidence of many “barriers” to employment. For example, they do not contain information on whether a work-eligible individual has a physical or mental impairment, substance abuse issues, or a criminal record.47 47 Such barriers were examined in Susan Hauan and Sara Douglas, Potential Employment Liabilities Among TANF Recipients: A Synthesis of Data from Six State TANF Caseload Studies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, October 2004. Congressional Research Service 17 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited TANF’s Work Requirements for Work-Eligible Individuals All TANF’s work requirements are actually requirements on states as conditions of receiving federal block grant funds. There are essentially two sets of work requirements: (1) those that require states to have certain program rules that apply directly to recipients, which are described in the following sections; and (2) numerical performance standards computed in the aggregate for each state. This second set of work requirements is discussed later in the report. Federal Requirements that Apply to Individual Recipients Federal TANF law has three work-related requirements that states must apply to each adult or teen parent recipient: employability assessment, a requirement that all parents and caretakers be engaged in work within 24 months, and sanctions for refusal to comply with work requirements. Employability Assessment States are required to assess each adult recipient’s or teen parent’s skills, work experience, and employability. The assessment is required to be made within 90 days of determination of the recipient’s eligibility for assistance. States may use this assessment to develop an Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) that sets forth employment goals and obligations of the recipient and describes the services the state will provide to the individual. The IRP is an option for the states; it is not required by federal law. States may sanction families for failure to comply with IRPs.48 Work Within Two Years States are required to engage each parent or caretaker adult in “work,” as defined by the state, within 24 months of his or her coming on the rolls. For this requirement, the state is free to determine what constitutes being engaged in work; it need not follow the federal rules for the activities and hours that determine whether the family is counted as a participant toward the work participation performance standard (this standard is discussed later). This requirement is a part of the TANF state plan, and there is no specific penalty for a state that fails to engage a parent or caretaker in work by the 24-month deadline. Sanctions for Failure to Comply with Work Requirements States are required to sanction a family with a member who refuses to comply with its work requirements without “good cause.” States are free to determine the sanction amount, and whether to reduce benefits or terminate benefits for families that fail to comply with work requirements (a full-family sanction). States also determine what constitutes good cause for not complying with work requirements. Under TANF, sanctions have become a more integral part of 48 CRS Report RL32748, The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: A Primer on TANF Financing and Federal Requirements, by Gene Falk. Congressional Research Service 18 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited state programs and can sometimes result in the suspension or termination of the entire family grant. States are prohibited from sanctioning a family with a single parent with a child under the age of six if he or she refuses to comply with work requirements because of an inability to find affordable child care. The parent must demonstrate to a state that the inability to find affordable child care is because (1) appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from the parent’s work or home is unavailable, (2) informal child care by a relative or other arrangement is unavailable or unsuitable, and (3) appropriate and affordable child care is otherwise unavailable. The incidence of sanctioning in TANF assistance programs is discussed in the “Sanctions” section later in this report. Activities of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals What proportion of TANF work-eligible individuals are working or engaged in job preparation activities in a given month? Figure 2 shows the work status of TANF work-eligible individuals in FY2009. It shows that on average in a month in FY2009, • 42% of all TANF work-eligible individuals (about 492,000 persons) were reported as either employed or having participated for at least one hour in a job preparation activity during the month; • 24% of work-eligible individuals were employed in unsubsidized jobs and 18% were otherwise engaged in work or job preparation; and • the majority (58%) of work-eligible individuals were reported as having no participation in the month. The overall rate of engagement is less than 50% in any given month. As discussed later, TANF requires states to ensure that a specified percentage of their caseload is participating in work requirements. The statute sets this percentage at 50% (90% for the two-parent portion of the caseload), but, as will be discussed in detail later, almost all states faced an effective participation standard below 50% in FY2009 because of credits against the standard. Thus, the lower rate of participation among work-related individuals does not mean that states, on average, failed their official work participation standards. Congressional Research Service 19 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Figure 2. Work Participation of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals: FY2009 Employed 24% No Reported Participation 58% Job Preparation 18% Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. The overall rate of engagement discussed above is a monthly snap-shot of work or participation in job preparation activities. Some recipients with no reported engagement may have been engaged in activities during earlier months; some may be engaged in later months. Engagement in work or job preparation activities measured over a period greater than one month (year, entire period a recipient received TANF) is likely to be higher than the monthly snap-shot of engagement.49 Some of the reasons that a work-eligible individual may have no reported participation include (1) being a new-comer to the rolls, with no activity yet assigned; (2) having completed an assigned activity and awaiting the beginning of a new activity; (3) the state has exempted the individual from work; (4) the state has determined that the work-eligible individual has good cause for failing to engage in work or activities; (5) the family is not complying with the 49 See Gayle Hamilton, The JOBS Evaluation: Monthly Participation Rates in Three Sites and Factors Affecting Participation Levels in Welfare-to-Work Programs, MDRC, July 1995. Congressional Research Service 20 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited state work requirement and in the sanction process; or (6) the state has yet to engage the individual to participate. Working While on the TANF Assistance Rolls Of those participating in an activity, the most common activity of TANF work-eligible individuals has been working while still receiving assistance. In FY2009, the share of work-eligible individuals who were employed exceeded the share of work-eligible individuals who were engaged in all job preparation activities combined. That is, the number working was greater than the number in activities such as job search, vocational education, or community service. (Participation by activity will be discussed later in this report.) States have adopted varying rules for treating families with a working adult. Some states disregard all earnings for a short period of time, allowing even those who get a full-time job to remain on the rolls for a transitional period. Other states disregard a portion of earnings indefinitely, providing an income supplement for low earners. Some states provide time-limited earnings supplements to families that have “left” the formal cash assistance program and have earnings. Many states have more restrictive rules for those coming onto the rolls than for those who get a job while receiving assistance.50 That is, their earnings cutoffs are lower for new applicants than for those on the rolls. Participation of Work-Eligible Individuals by Selected Characteristics: FY2009 Table 2 compares the participation status of TANF work-eligible individuals with selected characteristics. Participation varies little among men and women in total. However, because men are a small share of the overall population of work-eligible individuals and their characteristics do differ from those of women, the detailed comparisons of characteristics and work participation status is limited to women. Generally, participation in work or job preparation is lowest for the very young (teen parents), reflecting a lower likelihood that they are employed in a regular job.51 Participation among TANF work-eligible women also varies by the age of their youngest child, with the lowest rates of participation for those with an infant. However, participation is also lower for women with older children than for those with pre-school children between the ages of one and five. 50 For rules in place in 2009, see Gretchen Rowe, Mary Murphy, and Ei Yin Mon, Welfare Rules Databook: State TANF Policies as of July 2009, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Policy, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, August 2010. For the maximum earnings an applicant in a family of three may have and become eligible for TANF, see Table I.E.4, p. 71-72. For maximum earnings a recipient may have and retain eligibility for TANF, see Table IV.A.5, p. 140-141. 51 The data analysis of this report is based on the TANF National Data Files for FY2009, which represent a sample of families receiving assistance under TANF and MOE programs. Thus, the data shown here are statistics which are subject to sampling error. Unless otherwise noted, differences discussed in this text have been tested to determine whether they are statistically significant differences and have been found to be statistically significant at the 0.05 level. Congressional Research Service 21 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Participation also varies by whether a TANF work-eligible woman completed high school or not. Both the rate of employment and the rate of participation in other activities were higher for those with a high school diploma than without. Table 2. TANF Work-Eligible Individuals Employed or Participating in a Work or Job Preparation Activity: by Characteristic, FY2009 At Least One Hour in Reported Activity Unsubsidized Employment Other Work or Job Preparation Activity No Reported Participation Men 25.1% 15.5% 59.4% Women 23.7 18.7 57.6 TANF Work-Eligible Individuals (Women Only) Age of TANF Work-Eligible Person Teen parents 14.0 23.8 62.2 Age 20 to 24 21.4 21.0 57.6 Age 25 to 29 25.8 18.1 56.1 Age 30 to 34 25.9 16.9 57.1 Age 35 to 45 26.1 17.2 56.8 Age 45 and older 23.8 14.7 61.5 Infant 15.5 14.3 70.3 1 to 3 years old 25.8 23.1 51.2 4 to 5 years old 28.7 20.1 51.2 6 to 12 years old 26.1 16.7 57.1 Age 13 and older 24.7 14.5 60.9 White Non-Hispanic 22.7 16.6 60.7 African-American 22.7 21.1 56.2 Hispanic 26.0 18.6 55.4 American Indian/Alaskan Native 17.2 21.1 61.8 Asian/Pacific Islander 30.4 13.9 55.8 Less than high school diploma 21.6 17.3 61.2 High school diploma or GED and above 25.5 20.1 54.5 Age of Youngest Child Race/Ethnicity Educational Attainment Congressional Research Service 22 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National data files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Trends in Work Activity Table 3 shows the percentage of TANF work-eligible persons either employed or otherwise engaged in work or job preparation in FY2009, and it compares these rates with prior years under TANF and one year under pre-TANF (FY1994) programs. As shown, reported participation under TANF has been considerably higher than under the pre-TANF programs, attributable in great part to the increase in regular unsubsidized employment among those on the rolls. The rate of participation in other activities also increased. Within the TANF years shown (FY2000-FY2009), there has been little change in total participation. The rate at which recipients were employed in the earlier years of TANF (e.g., 2000) was greater than in the later years shown. This was partially offset by increases in the rate at which recipients were engaged in other activities. Table 3. Percentage of Cash Assistance Adults and Teen Parents Employed or Engaged in a Work or Job Preparation Activity Selected Years FY1994-FY2009 1994 Unsubsidized employment 8.3% 2000 2006 2009 27.1% 22.0% 23.8% Other work or job preparation activity 10.9 15.7 21.4 18.3 Total employed or in job preparation activity 19.2 42.8 43.4 42.1 Source: Congressional Research Service tabulations of the FY1994 Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Quality Control data file and the FY2000, FY2006, and FY2009 TANF National Data files. Notes: For FY1994 through FY2006, these figures represent the percentage of adult recipients; for FY2009, they represent the percentage of TANF work-eligible individuals. The TANF Work Participation Standard: Measuring the Performance of State Welfare-to-Work Efforts The previous section of this report describes how states have engaged work-eligible individuals in work or related activities. However, that is not how state welfare-to-work programs are formally assessed. This assessment is done through the TANF work participation standards, which is the focus of much of the attention on TANF’s work provisions. These standards are set in federal law, and include target participation rates, rules for disregarding certain families from the participation rate, and rules for determining whether the state gets credit for participation in terms of countable Congressional Research Service 23 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited activities and minimum hours requirements. States that fail to meet their target participation rates are at risk of being penalized through a reduction in their block grant. The participation standard serves two purposes. First, it is a measure of how the state is performing in engaging recipients in work or work activities. Secondly, it reinforces the notion that participation in work or work activities in return for receiving welfare assistance is a policy goal of TANF. The purpose of this section is twofold: 1. it describes the detailed rules of the TANF work participation standard; and 2. it provides data (for FY2009) on the number of families included in the participation rate calculation, their engagement in countable work activities, and their hours of engagement. TANF Work Participation: A Glossary of Terms The language of TANF work requirements and work standards has its own nomenclature. Therefore, a review of the terms used, and their definitions, in discussions of TANF work requirements and standards might be helpful. • Work-eligible individual. Generally parents (either recipients or non-recipients) and non-parent caretakers who themselves are recipients of TANF. Certain parents (discussed in detail above) are excluded from the definition of work-eligible individual. Non-recipient, non-parent caretakers are not considered work-eligible individuals. • TANF work participation standard. The standard is the official assessment of state welfare-to-work programs under TANF law. It comprises: (1) a target rate of work participation; (2) a list of activities countable in the work participation rate; and (3) the minimum number of hours per week of participation in a month required for counting activities toward the work participation rate. • Caseload Reduction Credit. A “credit” or reduction in the target rate of work participation granted for reducing the cash assistance rolls. States can also count as “caseload reduction,” families aided by state spending in excess of what is required under the TANF MOE. • Countable activities. A list of 12 activities (listed in law, defined in HHS regulations) that a work-eligible individual may engage in to have her or his participation counted toward the TANF work participation standards. • Engaged in work. Represents the number of families participating in countable activities for at least the minimum number of hours. • Family included in the TANF work participation rate. A family with at least one work-eligible individual and who is not disregarded from the participation rate. • Work participation rate. A fraction (expressed as a percentage) derived by dividing the number of families considered “engaged in work” by the number of families included in the participation rate. It is the work participation rate that is compared to the target rate of work participation that determines whether a state has met the TANF work participation standard. The Numerical Participation Standard TANF sets minimum work participation standards that a state must meet. The standards are performance measures computed in the aggregate for each state. They require that a specified percentage of families be considered engaged in specified activities for a minimum number of hours. The TANF statute provides that 50% of all families and 90% of two-parent families must Congressional Research Service 24 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited be engaged in work to meet the standard. However, as discussed in detail below, few states have ever faced the full standard because the percentage is reduced for caseload reduction or state spending in excess of what is required under the TANF MOE. A state’s work participation rate is computed and then compared to the state’s effective (aftercredit) standard. The work participation rate is a percentage, reflecting the number of families determined “engaged in work” divided by the total number of families included in the participation rate calculation. Not all families receiving cash assistance are included in the participation rate calculation, as some families do not have a “work-eligible” individual or are otherwise disregarded from the rate. The Caseload Reduction and “Excess MOE” Credits The caseload reduction credit reduces a state’s 50% and 90% standards based on caseload reduction measured from FY2005. The caseload reduction credit reduces a state’s numerical standards by one percentage point for each percent decline in the caseload. Additionally, under HHS regulations promulgated in 1999, states also may receive credits for spending in excess of what they are required to spend under the MOE requirement.52 States may consider families assisted by excess MOE as “caseload reduction,” and hence receive extra caseload reduction credits for such families. For example, if a state achieves caseload reduction (including the effect of caseload reduction from excess MOE) of 25%, the state’s work participation standard for the all-family standard is reduced by 25 percentage points—from 50% to 25%. If a state achieves caseload reduction of 50%, its all-family standard is reduced by 50 percentage points—from 50% to 0%. Official Participation Rates for FY2009 In FY2009, the national average TANF work participation rate was 29.4% for all families and 28.3% for two-parent families. This is well below the statutory 50% and 90% standards, but most (though not all) states met their standard because they faced much lower effective (after-credit) participation standards. Table 4 shows the official TANF work participation rates by state for FY2009. The table’s highlights include the following: 52 • A majority of states had effective (after-credit) work participation standards of less than 25%. Only two jurisdictions (Guam and South Dakota) faced the full 50% standard in FY2009; 22 jurisdictions faced a 0% standard in FY2009. • Most jurisdictions met their standards, but eight failed the all-family standard and seven failed the two-parent standard. Most of the states that met their standards did so with work participation rates of less than 50% or 90%. • Many states did not have two-parent families with work-eligible individuals in their caseload. A brief discussion of this follows the table. These regulations are at 45 C.F.R. §261.43. Congressional Research Service 25 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited • States that failed their TANF work standards were not necessarily those with the lowest work participation rates. For example, California failed its FY2009 work participation standard with a work participation rate of 26.8%, just a few percentage points lower than the national average. This is because effective rates vary greatly by state, and California had to meet a 29.0% standard—a relatively high one for FY2009. In FY2009, 9 jurisdictions had a lower TANF work participation rate than did California but met their work participation standard (because they had larger credits). Table 4. TANF Effective Work Participation Standards and Work Participation Rates: FY2009 Two-Parent Standard All-Family Standard Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard United States Alabama Work Participation Rate Met Standards? Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard 29.4% 0.0% Work Participation Rate Met Standards? 28.3% 32.4 Yes 0.0% 24.7 Yes Alaska 21.4 37.2 Yes 51.0 40.5 No Arizona 0.0 27.1 Yes 30.5 62.6 Yes Arkansas 0.0 37.1 Yes 0.0 21.7 Yes California 29.0 26.8 No 0.0 28.6 Yes Colorado 0.0 37.8 Yes 4.1 33.3 Yes Connecticut 0.0 34.4 Yes NA NA NA Delaware 0.0 37.5 Yes NA NA NA 31.9 23.5 No NA NA NA Florida 0.0 46.1 Yes 0.0 54.4 Yes Georgia 12.3 57.1 Yes NA NA NA Guam 50.0 0.0 No 90.0 0.0 No Hawaii 0.0 40.3 Yes NA NA NA Idaho 30.6 52.0 Yes NA NA NA Illinois 0.0 49.3 Yes NA NA NA Indiana 11.3 17.5 Yes 0.0 17.8 Yes Iowa 24.0 35.4 Yes 0.0 27.0 Yes 0.0 23.9 Yes 0.0 25.6 Yes Kentucky 31.9 37.3 Yes 40.0 35.1 No Louisiana 15.2 34.4 Yes NA NA NA Maine 47.5 16.8 No 87.5 16.6 No Dist. Of Col. Kansas Congressional Research Service 26 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Two-Parent Standard All-Family Standard Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard Maryland Work Participation Rate Met Standards? Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard Work Participation Rate Met Standards? 31.7 44.0 Yes NA NA NA 0.0 47.5 Yes 25.6 92.8 Yes 27.8 27.9 Yes NA NA NA Minnesota 0.0 29.8 Yes NA NA NA Mississippi 20.2 67.5 Yes NA NA NA Missouri 14.9 13.2 No NA NA NA Montana 25.8 44.2 Yes 19.7 58.7 Yes Nebraska 0.0 50.3 Yes NA NA NA 31.2 39.4 Yes 71.2 46.8 No New Hampshire 0.0 46.5 Yes NA NA NA New Jersey 0.0 20.1 Yes NA NA NA New Mexico 15.2 43.1 Yes 0.0 63.0 Yes New York 11.5 33.4 Yes NA NA NA North Carolina 0.0 32.3 Yes 0.0 46.6 Yes North Dakota 20.8 61.0 Yes NA NA NA Ohio 42.0 23.3 No 10.1 23.1 Yes Oklahoma 20.6 23.0 Yes NA NA NA Oregon 45.4 9.5 No 85.4 5.9 No Pennsylvania 15.8 45.8 Yes 13.0 84.2 Yes Puerto Rico 23.5 8.7 No NA NA NA Rhode Island 0.0 13.8 Yes 30.7 13.6 No South Carolina 0.0 45.1 Yes NA NA NA 50.0 59.4 Yes NA NA NA 0.0 25.5 Yes 0.0 0.0 Yes Texas 10.8 37.0 Yes NA NA NA Utah 5.4 32.6 Yes NA NA NA 11.1 29.0 Yes 0.0 24.0 Yes 0.0 7.1 Yes NA NA NA 37.8 44.3 Yes NA NA NA 0.0 23.0 Yes 0.0 18.6 Yes 17.4 19.6 Yes NA NA NA Massachusetts Michigan Nevada South Dakota Tennessee Vermont Virgin Islands Virginia Washington West Virginia Congressional Research Service 27 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Two-Parent Standard All-Family Standard Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard Work Participation Rate Met Standards? Effective (AfterCredit) Participation Standard Work Participation Rate Met Standards? Wisconsin 0.0 39.9 Yes 0.0 33.0 Yes Wyoming 34.2 61.3 Yes 25.3 75.7 Yes Source: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Notes: NA denotes no two-parent families in the TANF or MOE-funded caseload with work-eligible individuals. As with the measure of overall engagement, the official TANF work participation rate is based on monthly snap-shots of work or engagement in activities. For each month, a work participation rate is calculated and a state’s participation rate for a fiscal year is the average of those monthly participation rates. A Note on the Two-Parent Family Standard Historically, most families receiving cash assistance have been single-parent families, usually headed by a single mother. However, some two-parent families receive assistance. Under TANF’s work participation standards, these families are subject to a higher standard: 90% of these families must be engaged in work, though the two-parent standard can also be reduced for caseload reduction. Additionally, more hours of participation are required of two-parent families. The work-eligible adults in two-parent families must participate in activities for at least 35 hours per week in a month; if the family receives federally funded child care, at least 55 hours per week in a month are required (the hours requirement applies to the total hours of engagement by both parents). Many states have avoided the need to meet the two-parent family standard. Before FY2007, many states aided two-parent families in “separate state programs.” Separate state programs are state programs with expenditures counted toward the TANF MOE but not considered TANF programs. Before FY2007, cash assistance families in separate state programs were not included in the work participation rate and thus not subject to TANF’s work participation standards. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) brought families in separate state programs into the calculation of TANF participation rates, thus subjecting them to the standards effective in FY2007. However, many states then moved these families to “solely state funded programs,” with expenditures that are not countable toward TANF’s MOE and thus totally outside of TANF’s rules including work participation. In FY2009, 28 jurisdictions had two-parent families included in their TANF or MOE caseloads. Congressional Research Service 28 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Implications of Failing Work Participation Standards States that fail the TANF work participation standards are at risk of a financial penalty in the form of a reduced block grant. The TANF statute penalizes a state 5% of its block grant for the first year in which it fails to meet the standards, with the penalty increasing 2 percentage points for each subsequent year’s failure, to a maximum of 21% of the block grant. However: • The statute provides that the Secretary of HHS may reduce the penalty based on the severity of the failure. HHS regulations specify a formula for reducing the penalty based on (1) the gap between a state’s participation rate and its aftercredit standard, (2) any increase in the number of families engaged in work from the preceding fiscal year, and (3) the number of years the state has failed the standard. A state that fails only the two-parent standard will have its penalty reduced based on the share of its caseload that consists of two-parent families.53 • The statute provides that a state may enter into a corrective compliance plan with HHS. A state that comes into compliance with the TANF work participation standards based on that plan can have its penalty either reduced or eliminated. • The statute provides that the Secretary of HHS may determine that there was “reasonable cause” for a state to have failed its work standard. If the Secretary finds such reasonable cause, the state would not be penalized. Thus, states are not necessarily penalized immediately for failing their work standards. HHS has not made a final penalty determination for states that did not meet the FY2009 standards. The Work Participation Rate The work participation rate is calculated by dividing (1) the number of families engaged in work by (2) the number of families included in the rate. This next section of this report describes in detail • the rules for computing the TANF work participation rate, and • FY2009 data indicating how many families were included in the rate calculation, as well as how families were engaged in activities in that year. Families Included in the TANF Work Participation Rate Only families receiving assistance from federal TANF or state MOE funds are included in the participation rate calculation. However, certain families receiving assistance are excluded either by statute or regulation. Such families may be exempted from TANF work requirements without creating the potential that their nonparticipation would result in a lower participation rate. 53 These regulations are at 45 C.F.R. §261.51. Congressional Research Service 29 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited The families excluded from the participation rate are • families without a work-eligible individual; • at state option, families with a single parent caring for a child under the age of one—this exclusion is limited to a maximum of 12 months in a lifetime for the family; • at state option, families participating in a tribal TANF or tribal work program; and • families under a sanction for refusal to comply with work requirements, for up to three months in a 12-month period. Figure 3 shows the percentage of families receiving TANF assistance that were included in the calculation of the work participation rate. As shown in the figure, after removing all families discussed above, a little more than half (51%) of all families receiving TANF assistance are included in the participation rate calculation. Figure 3. Families Receiving TANF Assistance, FY2009 Included in the Work Participation Rate Versus Not Included No Work-Eligible Individual 41% In Participation Rate 51% Disregarded from the Rate 8% Source: Congressional Research Service tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Table 5 provides some more detail on families disregarded from the participation rate calculation. Most disregarded families were single-parent families with infants in FY2009. Such families accounted for 6.3% of all TANF assistance families and 83% of those families with a workeligible individual but disregarded from the rate. The next largest category is families that are Congressional Research Service 30 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited subject to sanction, at 1.3% of all TANF families. Though the percentage of TANF families disregarded because of participation in a tribal work program is small nationwide, it does comprise a fairly large share of the caseload in a few states (e.g., North Dakota). Table 5. TANF Families Receiving Assistance by Status Relating to the TANF Work Participation Rate: FY2009 Percent of Total TANF Families Total TANF families 100.0% No work-eligible individual 41.0 Disregarded from the participation rate calculation 7.6 Single parent with an infant 6.3 Sanctioned 1.3 Participating in tribal TANF or tribal work program 0.1 Included in the participation rate calculation 51.4 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data File. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Tribal TANF Programs Individuals participating in a tribal TANF program can be excluded from the calculation of a state’s work participation rate. Though CRS is not examining tribal TANF data in this report, a short discussion of tribal TANF as it pertains to work requirements may be informative. Tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal consortia are authorized to receive and administer their own Tribal Family Assistance Grant for the support of activities that meet the same purposes as state TANF programs. However, tribes are not subject to all of the same work requirements that states are. Though there are hourly minimums and annual targeted participation rates that they must meet, each of these requirements is set by the tribe, in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services. At the recipient level, tribal TANF work activities are not subject to the same restrictions on vocational training as are placed on state TANF programs. Further, tribes may define their own individual work activities that count for the purposes of calculating their work participation rate, so recipients may have a different range of activities that may count towards their own hourly requirements. Certain work requirements that tribes must meet are similar to the state requirements in some ways. For example, all work-eligible recipients are included in the calculation of the tribe’s work participation rate, with a few exceptions. Parents with a child under one and parents subject to a sanction for less than three months in the last 12 months may be excluded from the tribe’s work participation rate calculation. Further, like states, tribes may be subject to a sanction if they do not meet their work participation rate. As discussed above, states determine what requirements apply to individual recipients. Thus, they have the option to exempt additional individuals and families from work requirements, which means that the family will not be sanctioned for failure to engage in work. However, such families will still be included in the calculation of the work participation rate. Congressional Research Service 31 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Engaged in Work: Countable Activities Work-eligible individuals must participate in specific activities during a month to be considered “engaged in work” and count toward the work participation standard. Work-eligible individuals must also participate in activities for a minimum number of hours per week in a month to be considered “engaged in work.” Federal law lists 12 categories of activities creditable toward meeting TANF work participation standards. HHS regulations define what specific types of activities count under each of the 12 categories. Table 6 lists the 12 creditable categories of activities and the HHS regulatory definition for each. As shown in the table, the specific activities included in the 12 categories are fairly comprehensive in terms of welfare-to-work activities, and include education (including attendance at four-year colleges) as well as rehabilitative activities. However, as will be discussed below, the “pre-employment” activities of job search, rehabilitation, and education are limited in terms of how long or under what circumstances they can be counted toward the official participation standard. Table 6. Countable TANF Work Activities and Their Definitions Activity Definition Unsubsidized employment Full- or part-time employment in the public or private sector that is not subsidized by TANF or any other public program. Subsidized private sector employment Employment in the private sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing an individual. Subsidized public sector employment Employment in the public sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing an individual. Job search and readiness The act of seeking or obtaining employment, or preparation to seek or obtain employment, including life-skills training and substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or rehabilitation activities. Such treatment or therapy must be determined to be necessary and documented by a qualified medical, substance abuse, or mental health professional. Participation in this activity may be counted for six weeks (12 weeks in certain circumstances) in a fiscal year. Community service Structured programs and embedded activities in which TANF recipients perform work for the direct benefit of the community under the auspices of public or nonprofit organizations. Community service programs must be limited to projects that serve a useful community purpose in fields such as health, social service, environmental protection, education, urban and rural redevelopment, welfare, recreation, public facilities, public safety, and child care. A state agency shall take into account, to the extent possible, the prior training, experience, and skills of an individual in making appropriate community service assignments. Work experience A work activity, performed in return for welfare, that provides an individual with an opportunity to acquire the general skills, knowledge, and work habits necessary to obtain employment. The purpose of work experience is to improve the employability of an individual who cannot find unsubsidized full-time employment. On-the-job training Training in the public or private sector that is given to a paid employee while he or she is engaged in productive work and that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job. Congressional Research Service 32 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Activity Definition Vocational educational training Organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for employment in current or emerging occupations. Participation in this activity is limited to 12 months in a lifetime. Caring for a child of a recipient in community service Providing child care to enable another cash welfare recipient to participate in a community services program. This is an unpaid activity and must be a structured program to improve the employability of participating individuals. Job skills training directly related to employment Training or education for job skills required by an employer to provide an individual with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. Education directly related to employment (for those without a high school or equivalent degree) Education related to a specific occupation, job, or job offer. Completion of a secondary school program (for those without a high school or equivalent degree) In the case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate, this means regular attendance, in accordance with the requirements of a secondary school or course of study, at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence. Source: Table prepared by CRS based on HHS regulations. See Federal Register, vol. 73, no. 24, February 5, 2008, pp. 6772-6828. Figure 4 shows the percentage of work-eligible individuals in families included in the participation rate by their activity. The percentage of such individuals participating at least one hour in a month in each of the 12 countable activities is presented. As evidenced in the figure, unsubsidized employment—work in a regular job while receiving cash assistance—was by far the most common work activity in FY2009. The time-limited pre-employment activities of job search and readiness (8.5% of all individuals in families included in the participation rate) and vocational educational training (5.9% of such individuals) were the next most common activities. Congressional Research Service 33 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Figure 4. Percentage of TANF Work-Eligible Individuals in Families Included in the Participation Rate in TANF Work Activities: FY2009 30.0% 26.4% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 8.5% * ecip ient 0.1% Child Care for C omm . S er vice R 0.5% t h e- J ob T raini ng 0.6% On-t en lated to Em ploy m pleti on Educ a tion D irect ly Re Scho o l Com Trai ning dary Skill Seco n Job Serv i ce ce Com mun ity perie n k Ex Wor raini ng Ed. T Vo c . adin ess ch a nd R e S ear J ob Unsu bsid ize d Em ploy men t 0.0% ploy m en 1.3% Publ ic Em 1.4% loym en t 2.3% dize d 2.3% Emp 4.1% 5.0% Subs i 5.9% Subs idize d Pr ivate 10.0% Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data files. Notes: * Denotes less than 0.05%. Represents families receiving benefits funded from TANF or MOE funds. Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Unsubsidized Employment As discussed earlier, the most common activity of TANF work-eligible individuals in families included in the participation rate was unsubsidized employment: working in a regular job while on the rolls during a month. States get credit toward their work participation standard for working families on assistance. This encourages them to disregard earnings, providing an earnings supplement for at least a limited period of time. As discussed in the section on welfare-to-work research, evaluated programs with earnings supplements tended to increase work and also raised the incomes of families in those programs. Congressional Research Service 34 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Though a higher proportion of TANF families have earnings than families who received benefits in the pre-1996 program, the smaller caseload means that TANF earnings supplements reach fewer families than occurred before welfare reform. However, the more widely received Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC); and other need-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also aid low-income working families with children and thus supplement their earnings. Subsidized Employment In FY2009, the rate at which TANF work-eligible individuals included in the participation rate were engaged in subsidized employment was very low: 0.6% reported engagement during a month in subsidized private sector employment and 0.5% reported engagement during a month in subsidized public sector employment. Subsidized employment has historically been relatively rare in TANF welfare-to-work programs. However, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5) established a two-year Emergency Contingency Fund that provided states with extra federal dollars that could help finance increased expenditures on subsidized employment in FY2009 and FY2010. The ARRA fund did help finance subsidized employment, but most of this activity occurred in FY2010. It is unknown the degree to which the ARRA funds were used to finance subsidized employment for those on the assistance rolls versus those who were not receiving TANF assistance. Only in the former case (for those on the assistance rolls) would subsidized employment be present in the work participation data. States receive no credit toward their TANF work standards for subsidized employment for those who are not on the benefit rolls. Time-Limited Job Search and Readiness and Vocational Educational Training The two most common activities that TANF work-eligible individuals engage in other than unsubsidized employment are job search and readiness and vocational educational training. In FY2009, 8.5% of TANF work-eligible individuals included in the participation rate calculation were in job search and readiness. That year, 5.9% such persons were engaged in vocational educational training. These two activities are countable only for a specified period of time. The combination of job search and job readiness activities counts for only a maximum of 12 weeks in a fiscal year. HHS regulations afford states some flexibility by setting the weekly limit in hourly equivalents, allowing job search and readiness to be counted in more than 12 calendar weeks in a year. Vocational educational training can only be counted for 12 months in a recipient’s lifetime. Additionally, the combination of vocational educational training and teen parents determined engaged in work by virtue of education cannot exceed 30% of all families determined engaged in work. Participation in such activities over that limit does not count toward the TANF work participation rate. “Workfare” Work experience is the fourth most common activity of TANF work-eligible individuals included in the participation rate, with 4.1% of such individuals engaged in that activity. An additional Congressional Research Service 35 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited 2.3% of TANF work-eligible individuals included in the participation rate were engaged in community service. Work experience and community service are two activities typically thought of as “workfare”: performing a form of work in return for their cash assistance benefits. Such activities could also be viewed as helping individuals obtain certain skills, such as developing work habits and other job skills. Most states have not adopted large-scale workfare programs under TANF, but these two activities are relatively prevalent in some states. On-the-Job Training States may count most education and training activities in only a limited way toward the TANF work participation standards. The exception is on-the-job training: training provided to a participant in a paid job. States can count hours spent in this activity under any circumstance. However, engagement in on-the-job training is relatively rare. In FY2009, 0.1% of all TANF work-eligible adults included in the participation rate were participating in on-the-job training. Education For adult recipients (defined in TANF as age 20 and older), engagement in educational activities such as secondary school completion, education directly related to employment, and job skill training count only under limited circumstances or in combination with other activities. Combining work and education will be discussed in a separate section of this report, below. Engaged in Work: Hours of Participation To be considered a “participant” and counted by a state toward meeting its standard, a family member or members must also be engaged in these activities for a minimum number of hours per week in a month. The required minimum hours per week in a month vary by the family’s composition. Table 7 outlines the TANF work participation hours standards. For meeting the “all family” standard, the hours requirement varies depending on family type and the age of the youngest child. The general hours requirement is an average of at least 30 hours per week during the month. However, for single parents caring for a child under the age of six (about half the caseload of families with an adult recipient), an average of 20 hours per week during the month is needed in work activities for a state to deem them participants. More hours are required for two-parent families to meet the standard. In two-parent families, the combined hours of both parents are considered in determining whether a family can be considered a participant family. Table 7 shows that certain hours of participation must be in “core” activities, while remaining hours may be in “supplemental” activities. The concepts of core and supplemental activities are discussed later in this report. Congressional Research Service 36 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table 7. TANF Hours Requirements for the All-Family Rate and the Two-Parent Family Rate (Excludes Special Rule for Teen Parents), by Family Type All-Family Rate Two-Parent Family Rate Other Families Two-Parent Families Receiving Federally Funded Child Care Two-Parent Families not Receiving Federally Funded Child Care An average of 20 hours per week during the month An average of 30 hours per week during the month An average of 55 hours per week during the month An average of 35 hours per week during the month Required hours in core activities An average of 20 hours per week during the month An average of 20 hours per week during the month An average of 50 hours per week during the month An average of 30 hours per week during the month Allowable hours in supplemental activities Not applicable Up to an average of 10 hours per week during the month Up to an average of 5 hours per week during the month Up to an average of 5 hours per week during the month Single-Parent Families with a Child Under Age 6 Total hours requirement Source: Table prepared by CRS. HHS regulations clarify that only actual hours of participation count toward meeting these standards. However, they also created an excused absence policy. For paid activities, states are credited for all hours for which an individual is paid, including any holidays or paid leave (e.g., paid sick leave). For unpaid activities, the regulations allow for up to 10 holidays plus 80 hours of other excused absences over a year. The regulations require that hours in unpaid activities be supervised on a daily basis. The daily supervision requirement means that a responsible party has daily oversight of an individual’s participation, not necessarily daily in-person contact with the participant. Figure 5 shows a breakdown of the families that were included in the work participation rate in FY2009 (e.g., families with a work-eligible individual that were not disregarded). Families are classified based on their statutory hours requirements: • teen parents without a high school diploma, who may be deemed engaged in work through completion of secondary school or 20 hours of education directly related to employment; • single parents with a child under the age of 6, who may be deemed engaged in work through 20 hours of participation in countable activities; • single parents with all children aged 6 or older, who are required to participate in activities for 30 hours per week; • two-parent families who do not receive federally funded child care, who are required to participate in activities for 35 hours per week; and • two-parent families who receive federally funded child care, who are required to participate in activities for 55 hour per week. Congressional Research Service 37 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited In FY2009, the largest category of families included in the participation rate was single parents with a pre-school aged child (under the age of 6). This group represented close to half (48.5%) of all TANF families included in the participation rate. The second largest group in FY2009 was single parents with all children aged 6 and older, representing 38.7% of all TANF families included in the participation rate. In FY2009, two-parent families represented 9.5% of all TANF families included in the participation rate, most of whom did not report receipt of federally funded child care. Teen parents without a high school diploma represented 3.4% of all FY2009 TANF families included in the participation rate. Figure 5. TANF Families Included in the Work Participation Rate, by Family Type FY2009 Two-Parent Family, Fed. CC 0.3% Two-Parent Family, No Fed. CC 9.2% Single Parents, Child 6 and Older 38.7% Teen Parents w/o High School Diploma 3.4% Single Parents Child Under 6 48.5% Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: “Fed. CC” refers to federally-funded child care. Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Special Rule for Teen Parents Who Lack High School Diplomas Teen parents have a special rule for determining their participation. A state may deem a teen parent who lacks a high school diploma as engaged in work if she or he is participating in education directly related to employment for an average of at least 20 hours per week during the month or is making satisfactory progress toward completion of a secondary school program, including a program leading to a General Educational Development (GED) diploma. However, such participation of a teen parent may not count toward the participation standard if a state exceeds a cap on participation in education. The education cap is that no more than 30% of those Congressional Research Service 38 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited considered engaged in work may be considered engaged through the combination of vocational educational training and teen parents deemed by virtue of participation in education. In FY2009, there were 38,650 TANF work-eligible persons included in the participation rate calculation who were under the age of 20 and lacked a high school diploma.54 Table 8 shows the work or job preparation engagement of this population. Of such work-eligible persons, 16.1% were deemed engaged in work through education—completing high school, in a GED program, or participating at least 20 hours in education directly related to employment. Another 11.0% of this group was otherwise engaged in work. The highest rate of engagement was for teen parents under the age of 18 lacking a high school diploma, and much of this engagement was through education. The rate at which teen parents without a high school diploma are engaged in education drops sharply at both age 18 and age 19. This indicates a relatively low rate of take-up on the option states have to engage and count these teen parents through GED programs. Table 8. TANF Work Participation Among Teen Parents Without a High School Diploma, by Age, FY2009 As a Percentage of Teen Parents Included in the Participation Rate Without a High School Diploma Age Deemed Engaged in Work Though Education Otherwise Engaged in Work Total Engaged in Work Under 18 42.2% 3.1% 45.3% Age 18 20.9 8.2 29.1 Age 19 9.6 13.9 23.5 Totals 16.1 11.0 27.1 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Hours of Participation of Single-Parent Families There are some differences in the number of hours of participation for single parents based on whether they have a child under the age of six or not. Figure 6 shows the hours of participation among single-parent families included in the participation rate, by family category in FY2009. Two major differences in the categories are apparent in the figure. First, single-parent families with children under six are more likely to have some hours of participation than are single-parent families with older children who are included in the participation rate. There was a 10-percentage gap for families with zero hours—59.3% for families included in the participation rate with a child aged six and older versus 49.4% for families included in the participation rate with a preschool-aged child. Note that excluded from families with a pre-school-aged child are those single parents with an infant who the state has opted to exclude from the participation rate. 54 This analysis is based on a relatively small sample of TANF work-eligible teens. To determine the reliability of the relationships shown here, the FY2009 results were compared to those for FY2007 and FY2008 rather than subject to formal tests of statistical significance. Generally, the FY2009 results were very consistent with those of the prior two years. Congressional Research Service 39 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited The second difference shown in the figure represents hours of participation at 20 hours and between 21 and 29 hours per week during a month. Here, the rate of participation of single parents with a child under the age of six is higher than that for other single-parent families included in the participation rate. In FY2009, 4.5% of single-parent families with a child under the age of six included in the participation rate reported exactly 20 hours per week (just meeting their hours standard), versus 1.4% of other single-parent families (who would not have met their hours standard at 20 hours per week of participation in a month). There is also a gap in the percent of families at 21 to 29 hours per week among the groups. Single parent families with a pre-school-aged child have satisfied their hours requirement with such hours; other single-parent families have not. There is little difference in the reported hours between the two groups shown on Figure 6 in the other hours categories. This includes the share of single-parent families in each category participating for 30 hours per week or more. Figure 6. Hours of Participation in TANF Work Activities for Single-Parent Families Included in the Participation Rate, By Family Type, FY2009 70% 60% 50% 59.3% 49.4% 40% 30% 20% 17.1% 16.3% 14.4% 10% 5.0% 5.3% 3.0% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2% 10 to 14 15 to 19 4.5% 6.3% 1.4% 4.2% 4.1% 0% Zero 1 to 9 20 Single Parent Family with a Child Under 6 21 to 29 30 31 and Higher Other Single Parent Families Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Congressional Research Service 40 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Hours of Participation of Two-Parent Families Figure 7 shows the hours of participation for TANF two-parent families included in the participation rate calculation.55 The figure shows that only 41% of two-parent families had zero hours of participation. Thus, two-parent families were more likely to have some reported hours of participation than were single-parent families. However, they were also more likely to fall short of their hours requirement. About 30% of two-parent families had between one hour and 34 hours of participation per week during the month. Most two-parent families are subject to a 35-hour requirement. In contrast, among single-parent families with a child under the age of six included in the participation rate, 11% had hours between one and their 20-hour per week standard. Among other single-parent families, about 20% had hours between one and their 30-hour per week standard. (See Table 7 for a summary of the hours requirements.) Figure 7. Hours of Participation in TANF Activities by Two-Parent Families Included in the Participation Rate Calculation, FY2009 45% 40.6% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 12.3% 10% 7.4% 7.1% 4.0% 5% 4.4% 7.5% 5.7% 7.0% 2.6% 1.3% 0% Zero 1 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 21 to 29 30 to 34 35 36 to 39 40 to 55 and 54 Higher Hours Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. 55 The number of two-parent families that received federally funded child care is very small, so making reliable estimates for this sub-group is problematic. Therefore, the figure shows hours for all two-parent families. Congressional Research Service 41 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Combining Education and Work In general, TANF work rules emphasize that adult recipients (defined as age 20 and older) should be in activities that emphasize quick attachment to the labor force. However, these rules also allow states to get credit for recipients who combine work with education. Table 9 lists the 12 activities (described in Table 6), classifying them as either “core” or “supplemental.” In general, participation in a core activity may be a recipient’s sole or primary activity used to fully satisfy TANF participation requirements. On the other hand, participation in supplemental activities often must be done only in conjunction with participation in core activities, with hours that count only after the core requirement is met. Most of the core activities focus on work or activities designed to move a family quickly into work. The notable exception is vocational educational training, which is creditable for 12 months in an individual’s lifetime as a sole or primary TANF activity. All supplemental activities are education-related. Table 9. TANF “Core” and “Supplemental” Work Activities “Core” activities “Supplemental” activities • Unsubsidized employment • Subsidized private sector employment • Subsidized public sector employment • Job search and readiness (Usual limit of six weeks in a fiscal year. This limit is converted to an “hourly equivalent” basis, see below)a • Community service • Work experience • On-the-job training • Vocational educational training (limited to 12 months in an individual’s lifetime) • Caring for a child of a recipient in community service. • Job skills training directly related to employment • Education directly related to employment (for those without a high school or equivalent degree) • Completion of a secondary school program (for those without a high school or equivalent degree) Source: Table prepared by CRS. a. The limit on job search and readiness is increased to 12 weeks for a state that has an unemployment rate at least 50% above the national average unemployment rate or that meets the “economic need” criteria for TANF contingency funds. Figure 8 shows that the combination of work and education is relatively rare for TANF workeligible persons. In FY2009, only 4.7% of the individuals included in the rate participated in both education and work-related activities. “Education activities” refer to hours spent in vocational education training, job skills training directly related to employment, work experience (i.e., education directly related to employment for an individual without a high school diploma or GED), and satisfactory school attendance for individuals without a high school diploma or GED. Education-related activities are intended to provide recipients with a greater opportunity for Congressional Research Service 42 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited career advancement; however, there are limitations on the level of participation in those activities that are countable toward a state’s work participation rate. Figure 8. Percentage of Individuals Included in the Work Participation Rate who Participated in Work- and Education-Related Activities FY2009 60% 55.8% 50% 40% 33.9% 30% 20% 10% 5.7% 4.7% Only educationrelated activities Both education and work activities 0% No hours of participation Only work activities Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Note: Information in this analysis differs slightly from the information HHS publishes with the official TANF work participation rates because of some differences in the data used to compute the work participation rates and the publically available TANF National Data Files. See Appendix B for a discussion of these differences. Trends in “Effective” Work Standards and Rates, FY2002-FY2009 States first faced the 50% statutory work participation standard in FY2002. The 1996 welfare law gradually increased the statutory standards from 25% in FY1997 to 50% in FY2002. FY2009 was typical in terms of the history of TANF’s work participation rate. States have generally faced effective standards far lower than 50% or 90%; the work participation rate has hovered in the neighborhood of 30% since FY2002. Congressional Research Service 43 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Trends in “Effective” Work Standards Since FY2002, the states and territories have faced a statutory work participation standard of 50% for all families.56 However, in all years but one (FY2007) from FY2002 to FY2009, caseload reduction and/or excess MOE permitted a majority of jurisdictions to face an effective (aftercredit) work participation standard of less than 25%. (FY2009 is the latest work participation data available as of September 25, 2012.) Table 10 shows the number of jurisdictions with effective participation standards of 0%; from 1% to 9.9%; from 10% to 24.9%; from 25% to 49.9%; and 50%. A state-by-state breakdown of TANF effective standards is shown in Table A-1. In FY2008 and FY2009, 22 jurisdictions faced a 0% work participation standard. In FY2009, only Guam and South Dakota faced the full 50% standard. Before FY2007, caseload reduction was measured from FY1995. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) made the change in the credit, measuring caseload reduction from FY2005. Before FY2006, most of the reduction of the work participation standard came from caseload reduction. Nationally, caseloads declined by 57% from FY1995 through FY2005. Caseload reduction credits were much reduced in FY2007, when credits were based on caseload change only from FY2005 to FY2006. In that year, only four jurisdictions faced a zero participation standard. However, beginning in FY2008 states began to rely on the “excess MOE” portion of the caseload reduction credit, and effective standards again were substantially reduced. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that in FY2009, 16 states would not have met their TANF work participation standards had they not claimed excess MOE credits.57 56 Tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal consortia are authorized to receive and administer their own Tribal Family Assistance Grant for the support of activities that meet the same purposes as state TANF programs. However, hourly minimums and annual targeted participation rates that tribes must meet are set by the tribe, in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services. 57 U.S. Government Accountability Office, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. State Maintenance of Effort and Trends. Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee On Ways and Means, House of Representatives, GAO-12-713T, May 17, 2012, p. 13. Congressional Research Service 44 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table 10. Effective TANF Work Participation Standards for All Families: FY2002-FY2009 Number of Jurisdictions by Category of Effective Work Participation Standards Post-DRA Caseload Reduction Credit (Caseload Change Measured from FY2005) Pre-DRA Caseload Reduction Credit (Caseload Change Measured From FY1995) Effective (After Caseload Reduction and Excess MOE Credit) Participation Standards 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Zero 21 20 18 17 19 4 22 22 0%-9.9% 21 15 17 16 14 5 0 1 10%-24.9% 9 15 13 16 15 11 13 16 25%-49.9% 2 3 5 4 5 32 16 13 50% 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Note: DRA is the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171). The 54 jurisdictions operating TANF programs are the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5) allowed states that experienced caseload increases during the recent recession to freeze their caseload reduction credits at pre-recession levels. This freeze applied only to reductions in work participation standards through FY2011. Beginning in FY2012, this freeze expires and states will receive credit for caseload change from FY2005 to FY2011. Additionally, HHS regulations that standardized the calculation of the excess MOE portion also take effect in FY2012.58 These two changes would reduce credits—and potentially raise effective (after-credit) participation standards—for states that either had caseload increases because of the recession or used more liberal methodologies in computing the “excess MOE” portion of the caseload reduction credit. Trends in Work Participation Rates Figure 9 shows the national average TANF work participation rate for all families based on the federal rules for FY2002 through FY2009. This participation rate measures the extent to which families are considered engaged in work under the TANF statute. The rate shown in the figure excludes the effect of grandfathered, pre-1996 welfare law waivers. (See text box below for a discussion of the “grandfathered” waivers.) 58 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program; Final Rules ,” 73 Federal Register 67721-6828, February 5, 2008. Congressional Research Service 45 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited In FY2009, the national average TANF work participation rate was 29.4%. The figure shows that the participation rate has fluctuated around 30% since FY2002, remaining well below 50% for the entire period. However, as noted previously, most states met their participation standards with rates below 50% because of caseload reduction and excess MOE credits (see Table 4). “Grandfathered” AFDC Waivers Under TANF After the enactment of the welfare reform law of 1996, states created TANF programs that required work, and provided financial incentives and earnings supplements to families that moved into the workforce. Many states that tested new programs under “waivers” of pre-1996 law used them as the basis for their TANF programs. TANF allowed states to continue their waiver programs even if they were inconsistent with TANF rules until the expiration of those waiver programs. States that continued their work-related waivers were permitted to have their programs assessed based on the rules of their waivers rather than those of the federal work participation standard.59 In general, states that operated under waivers still had to achieve the numerical participation standards required under the new law. However, they were able to count certain participation that otherwise would not meet the federal definition of “engaged in work.” This included activities not countable toward the participation standard, such as extended job search and education. It also included families participating for fewer hours than required under that federal definition. Further, states were also permitted to exclude from the participation-rate calculation families that were exempted from the welfare-to-work program under their waiver. A total of 20 states continued their waiver programs under TANF. The last of these programs (Tennessee’s) expired in 2007. In FY2009, all state welfare-to-work programs were assessed using the federal TANF work participation standards. 59 CRS Report R42627, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Welfare Waivers, by Gene Falk. Congressional Research Service 46 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Figure 9. National Average TANF Work Participation Rate: for All Families FY2002-FY2009 Based on Federal Rules; Excludes Grandfathered, Pre-1996 Welfare Waivers for FY2002-FY2007 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sanctions State TANF programs generally make work or participation in activities mandatory for some recipients. That is, an individual recipient must comply with TANF work participation requirements or face a financial penalty for failure to do so, either through a reduction in the family’s TANF cash assistance benefit amount or a termination of benefits altogether. As discussed above, TANF law requires states to sanction families with a member who refuses to comply with work requirements, but it is the states that determine the actual sanction itself. Sanctions are not necessarily imposed for failure to meet the federal TANF work participation standards (e.g., hours requirements). They are imposed for failure to meet the requirements the state determines for an individual recipient. Additionally, states have the flexibility to determine what may constitute “good cause” for not complying with work requirements. Though state definitions vary, a state may determine that a recipient has good cause for not participating because of a lack of transportation, domestic violence, lack of suitable employment, or illness. Congressional Research Service 47 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Sanctions can range from partial reductions of the TANF grant to lifetime ineligibility. Over time, sanctions against work-eligible adults who do not meet the work requirements have become a very significant component of many states’ TANF programs. 60 In recent years, more states have adopted sanctions that totally end benefits for a family (fullfamily or full-child sanctions) either reducing the benefit to zero or closing the family’s case for noncompliance with work requirements. Figure 10 shows the states’ “ultimate” sanctions for a noncomplying family for selected years 1996 to 2009. That is, in some states a first violation results in a less severe sanction, which might progress to reducing the benefit to $0 or closing the case for subsequent violations. It categorizes states as those that only impose a partial sanction (e.g., a reduced benefit for a noncomplying family), those that reduce benefits to $0 but keep the family’s case open, or those that close the family’s case entirely. In 1997, only one state had in its program rules the authority to close cases. By 2001, this number had increased to eight states. However, by 2009, 21 states in their rules had the authority to close TANF cases for noncompliance with work requirements. In 2009, a total of 45 states either had rules to close cases or reduce benefit checks to $0. 60 Before TANF, a family subject to sanction would generally find only the adult’s portion of the grant reduced. Though support for work over the receipt of welfare had been a popular idea for decades, formal sanction policies first gained federal backing in 1988 with the implementation of the Family Support Act. The act stipulated that workeligible individuals who failed to participate or refused to accept legitimate offers of employment would have sanctions levied against them. The amount of the sanction was set at the adult portion of the family’s AFDC grant. It was not until the early 1990s, when the federal government began granting waivers of the AFDC rules—including the element regarding adult-only sanctions—that states began to impose full-family sanctions. Congressional Research Service 48 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Figure 10. Most Severe Sanction Policy for Noncompliance with Work Requirements for Single-Parent Family Adults, 1996-2009 (July), By Number of States (including the District of Columbia) 60 50 1 9 8 17 40 30 20 21 Case closure Full grant sanction Partial sanction 29 26 41 24 10 14 8 6 2006 2009 0 1996 2001 Source: Welfare Rules Database, Urban Institute. Notes: Data through 2010 is available in the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules Database. The increasing number of states using case closure as the ultimate sanction is also reflected in data on TANF families on the rolls and those leaving the rolls. Table 11 shows the number of sanctioned families, as well as the rate of sanctioning, for both those on the rolls as well as those leaving TANF. In FY2001, a monthly average of about 98,000 families, or 4.6% of those on the rolls, were sanctioned for failing to comply with TANF work, educational, or activity requirements. In addition, during that year a monthly average of approximately 10,000 families, or 5.9% of all families leaving the rolls, had their cases closed because they failed to comply with a TANF work, education, or activity requirement. The overall sanction rate (combining those on the rolls and leavers) was 4.7%. Over time, the rate of sanctioning for those on the rolls has fluctuated some, but in FY2009 it was little changed from the rate observed in FY2001. However, both the absolute number as well as the percentage of those leaving the rolls because of a sanction has increased. In FY2009, 16,000 families were sanctioned off the rolls per month, representing 11.6% of all case closures. Congressional Research Service 49 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table 11. Sanctions for Work, Educational, or Activity Requirements: FY2001-FY2009 Monthly Averages On the Rolls Percent of Total Families on the Rolls Sanctioned for Work, Educational, or Activity Requirements and Leaving the Rolls Year Number of Families Sanctioned Number of Families Sanctioned Percent of Total Families Leaving the Rolls Combined Sanction Rate 2001 97,801 4.6% 9,786 5.9% 4.7% 2002 109,156 5.3 9,468 5.6 5.3 2003 101,635 5.0 10,029 6.0 5.1 2004 81,901 4.1 15,007 8.9 4.5 2005 80,995 4.2 14,088 9.0 4.6 2006 70,624 3.9 12,075 7.9 4.2 2007 78,496 4.6 12,895 8.5 4.9 2008 70,190 4.3 13,849 9.7 4.7 2009 78,227 4.5 16,368 11.4 5.1 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Combined sanction rate represents the sum of families on the rolls with benefits reduced because of sanctions and families with cases closed because of failure to work or comply with an activity requirement divided by the sum of total families on the rolls and the total number of families leaving the rolls in a month. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which extended TANF through the end of FY2011, required states to make supplementary reports on work participation and examine the circumstances of work-eligible individuals who are reported as having zero hours of participation in activities. In analyzing these data, HHS found that 16.7% of work-eligible individuals with zero reported hours of participation during the April-June 2011 quarter were either sanctioned or in the process of being sanctioned.61 A state’s official work participation rate can also be influenced by its sanction policy. One study, conducted on behalf of HHS, looked at eight study sites and found that the highest work rates among TANF participants were found in full-family sanction sites.62 The study examined work participation and sanction trends in Texas, a state that implemented immediate full-family sanctions in September 2003 (and ultimate removal from the grant after the second month of noncompliance). During the first month under which a family is sanctioned, the TANF grant is terminated. If the family has not maintained compliance by the second month, they are dropped from the caseload entirely. Prior to the policy change, almost one-third of Texas’s caseload was in sanction status. As of the publication of the study in September 2007, one-tenth of the caseload was being removed in a given month due to sanction. Following this new policy implementation, 61 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Engagement in Additional Work Activities and Expenditures for Other Benefits and Services, April-June 2011, A TANF Report to Congress, March 2012. 62 Jacqueline Kauff, Michelle K. Derr, and LaDonna Pavetti, et al., Using Work-Oriented Sanctions to Increase TANF Work Participation, Mathematica Policy Research Inc., September 2007. Congressional Research Service 50 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Texas experienced a substantial increase in its work participation rate. A number of factors affected this change in the rate—changes in the caseload, changes in participation, and changes in employment of participants. According to the study, the change primarily reflected that there were fewer nonparticipating clients on the caseload rather than more clients engaging in work activities. In other words, the caseload—the denominator of the participation rate—declined, while the number of recipients participating in activities stayed roughly the same, thereby increasing the participation rate. In fact, the caseload declined by nearly half between October 2003 and September 2006. The Texas example, and the study overall, points to the several reasons why sanction policy may influence a state’s work participation rate. First, it may affect the numerator by inducing more recipients to participate in work activities in order to avoid being sanctioned. Second, though recipients may be removed from the caseload due to sanctions, a strict sanction policy itself may also decrease the denominator by contributing to a decrease in caseload. Knowledge about a TANF program’s sanction policies may lead fewer clients to apply in the first place, and may also lead recipients on the caseload to decide to leave on their own. The study also speculated that knowledge about upcoming changes in sanction policy may influence participants who are at risk of being sanctioned to increase their level of participation. The 2002-2005 TANF Reauthorization Debate Congress last debated TANF reauthorization proposals during the 2002 through 2005 period. President George W. Bush’s TANF reauthorization proposal would have raised the participation standard percentage from 50% to 70%, ended the caseload reduction credit and replaced it with a credit for employed persons who leave the rolls, further limited counting pre-employment activities as a recipient’s sole or primary activity, and raised the full hours standard to 40 hours per week but provided partial credit for fewer hours per week.63 The House passed bills incorporating most of the Bush Administration’s proposals three times during the 2002-2005 period.64 (The major change not accepted by the House was ending the caseload reduction credit.) The Senate Finance Committee also reported three bills that raised the percentage standard, but they differed in terms of the form of the employment credit and would have expanded the ability of states to count pre-employment activities toward the work standard.65 Neither the House-passed nor the Senate Finance Committee approaches were adopted. Instead, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) made its changes to revise the caseload reduction credit, require HHS to issue regulations standardizing the definition of work activities, and require states to verify work participation. 63 Working Toward Independence: Maximize Self Sufficiency Through Work and Additional Constructive Activities. February 2002, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/02/welfare-book-04.html 64 The bills are H.R. 4737 (107th Congress), passed by the House on May 16, 2002; H.R. 4 (108th Congress), passed by the House on February 13, 2003; and S. 1932 (109th Congress), passed by the House on November 18, 2005. 65 The bills approved by the Senate Finance Committee are H.R. 4 (108th Congress), as amended, reported on October 3, 2003; and S. 667 (109th Congress), ordered reported on March 9, 2005. Congressional Research Service 51 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited If Congress would again consider raising participation standards, it would beg the question of why state participation rates have been fairly steady at 30%, with overall engagement basically steady at a little less than half of all work-eligible individuals. As welfare reform was being considered, MDRC (the organization that evaluated many welfare-to-work programs) noted that the participation standard being contemplated at the time was much higher than those achieved in any program—including the most effective programs—that were tested up to that date.66 As noted a number of times in this report, states have faced much-reduced standards because of credits. However, without additional research, and potentially experience, it is not known what higher participation standard is achievable for states and the consequences for state programs in achieving such a higher standard. Looking Ahead: Welfare-to-Work Issues for Congress The 2002-2005 debate did not result in a full-blown reauthorization of TANF. President Obama’s Administration has not proposed a comprehensive reauthorization of TANF either, but instead provided some general principles to guide Congress’s discussion: When Congress takes up reauthorization, we want to work with lawmakers to strengthen the program’s effectiveness in accomplishing its goals. This should include using performance indicators to drive program improvement and ensuring that states have the flexibility to engage recipients in the most effective activities to promote success in the workforce— including families with serious barriers to employment. We also want to work with Congress to revise the Contingency Fund to make it more effective during economic downturns.67 This section will examine a number of issues that Congress might address in reassessing TANF and welfare-to-work issues. It • discusses some changes in the economic and policy environments external to TANF that could affect future discussions; • discusses the (brief) experience of subsidized employment programs funded through TANF in 2009 and 2010; • examines some innovations in education and workforce programs that have yet to be tested in the context of welfare-to-work programs; and • discusses the issues regarding the way TANF welfare-to-work programs are monitored and assessed. Changing Employment Patterns (Again)? The Case of Youth Historically, welfare-to-work issues came to the fore, in part, because of changing employment patterns: the increase in labor force participation of women. “Pensions” to allow single mothers to 66 Gayle Hamilton, The JOBS Evaluation: Monthly Participation Rates in Three Sites and Factors Affecting Participation Levels in Welfare-to-Work Programs, MDRC, July 1995. 67 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FY2013 Budget in Brief, February 2012, p. 5. Congressional Research Service 52 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited stay home with their children gradually became out of sync with the prevailing labor force behavior of women not on assistance. TANF defines an adult as a recipient age 20 and older for purposes of its work standards. For those ages 20 and older, the TANF work participation standards limit the counting of educational activities. However, the transition from childhood to adulthood has become longer and more complex, given changes in the economy that require longer periods of education to meet job demands.68 Many policy initiatives enacted since the 1996 welfare reform law treat young adults as youth for the purposes of receiving benefits and services.69 During the post-welfare reform era, labor force participation and employment first increased, but then (after 2000) it declined for young women in total (on and off the benefit rolls) aged 20 to 24. Throughout the post-welfare reform period, enrollment for young women aged 20 to 24 in educational programs increased. Table 12 shows the employment status of young adults (aged 20 to 24) for selected years from 1994 to 2011. In 2000, 73.1% of all women aged 20 to 24 participated in the labor force, with 67.9% of all women employed. These rates had declined some even before the onset of the recession. By 2007, the labor force participation rate for women aged 20 to 24 had declined to 70.1%, with the employment rate at 65.0% (about a 3 percentage point decline in both measures). These trends continued through the recession, with the labor force participation rate of women aged 20 to 24 falling to 67.8% in 2011 and the employment rate falling to 58.7% in that year. Table 12. Employment Status of Young Adults (Aged 20 to 24), Selected Years 1994-2011 Monthly Averages Over the Year Employment Rate Labor Force Participation Rate All Men Women All Men Women 1994 77.0% 83.1% 71.0% 69.5% 74.6% 64.5% 2000 77.8 82.6 73.1 72.2 76.6 67.9 2007 74.4 78.7 70.1 68.4 71.7 65.0 2011 71.3 74.7 67.8 60.8 63.0 58.7 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline in labor force participation for women aged 20 to 24 in the 2000s was accompanied by an increase in educational enrollment during the decade. Table 13 shows the percentage of young adults enrolled in an educational program for selected years, 1994-2010, separately showing rates of enrollment by gender and age group. Educational enrollment increased for women throughout this period, even before 2000 as the labor force participation of women in this age group was also increasing. The rate at which women aged 20 and 21 were enrolled in an 68 CRS Report RL33975, Vulnerable Youth: Background and Policies, by Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara. See Appendix A in CRS Report RL33975, Vulnerable Youth: Background and Policies, by Adrienne L. FernandesAlcantara for age eligibility rules in programs for youths. 69 Congressional Research Service 53 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited education program rose almost 9 percentage points, from 47.3% in 2000 to 56.0% in 2010. The rate at which women aged 22 to 24 were enrolled in an education program rose 5.5 percentage points during the decade, from 25.3% in 2000 to 30.8% in 2010. Table 13. Enrollment in Educational Programs of Young Adults (Aged 20 to 24), Selected Years 1994-2010 October of Each Year Age 22 through 24 Age 20 and 21 All Men Women All Men Women 1994 44.9% 42.7% 47.0% 24.1% 24.2% 23.9% 2000 44.1 41.0 47.3 24.6 23.9 25.3 2007 48.4 43.7 53.3 27.3 25.4 29.2 2010 52.4 49.2 56.0 28.9 27.0 30.8 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The changing employment and school enrollment patterns for the entire population of young women aged 20 to 24 have also been accompanied by the continuation of long-term trends of delay in the ages of marriage and in having a first child. This could differentiate the young women on TANF (who are parents) from other members of their cohort. However, if the limits in counting education toward meeting TANF work participation standards result in state TANF programs curtailing the ability of recipients to engage in education, this could result in the TANF recipients becoming more educationally disadvantaged compared to their counterparts within their age cohort.70 Subsidized Employment The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) established within TANF an emergency contingency fund (ECF) that provided $5 billion for FY2009 and FY2010 to states, territories, and tribes to finance increased expenditures in three program areas: basic assistance, non-recurring short-term benefits, and subsidized employment. Of the $5 billion provided by the ECF, $1.3 billion was used by states and tribes to finance increased expenditures for subsidized employment. The TANF ECF provided states and tribes with flexibility in designing their subsidized employment programs. Funds could be used to subsidize jobs for TANF assistance recipients or a broader population, though they were restricted to either low-income parents (including noncustodial parents) or youth. 70 A recent study examined trends in inequality in college entry and completion. The study concluded that there was increasing advantages for children who grew up in high-income families in terms of college entry, persistence, and completion. The increases in inequality in educational outcomes was driven primarily by women; Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski, Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion, National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 17633, Cambridge, MA, December 2011. Congressional Research Service 54 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited It is estimated that the TANF ECF helped support 281,000 subsidized job placements.71 About half of the subsidized job placements were for summer youth employment, with the other half for adult parents (including noncustodial parents). The TANF ECF subsidized employment program was the largest since the 1970s. Given the flexibility afforded by TANF, states and tribes developed subsidized employment programs with wide variation in the populations served (assistance recipients or a broader population), types of jobs subsidized, amount and structure of the subsidy, and whether or not the subsidized job was a temporary measure or one leading to longer-lasting employment. In many states, those in jobs subsidized by TANF ECF funds either never received cash assistance or the earnings provided to them by the job made them ineligible for TANF cash. Thus, these participants’ families were not considered part of the caseload, nor would a state receive credit for them under the current TANF work participation standards. This is because a state only receives credit for engagement in subsidized employment for members of families receiving TANF assistance. The TANF ECF expired on September 30, 2010. After the end of these extra funds, many states that operated subsidized employment programs either ended them or scaled them back substantially. Policy Innovation As previously mentioned, TANF work standards were informed by evaluations of policies tested in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, since then there have been a number of innovations in policies in the realm of education and training. These policies have not been tested within the context of welfare-to-work programs. Examples of such policies include the following: • Career Pathway models, which combine education and work in a series of “steps,” to provide advancement in jobs often within a specific economic sector (e.g., the health sector).72 • Programs that integrate basic adult education with college-level career and technical skills. As discussed above, NEWWS found some evidence of positive employment impacts for those who participate in adult basic education, obtain a GED, and then go on to post-secondary education. New program models have been developed that integrate adult basic and post-secondary education. An example of such a model is the I-Best program, operating in Washington state. 73 • “Drop-out recovery” programs, which seek to re-engage those who left high school without a diploma in regular high school courses though in a separate 71 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families, Subsidizing Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Families. A Review of State Employment Programs Created Through the TANF Emergency Fund, OPRE Report 2011-38, December 2011. 72 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, Career Pathways as a Framework for Program Design and Evaluation. A Working Paper from the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) Project, OPRE Report 2012-30, May 2012. 73 David Jenkins, Matthew Zeidenberg, and Gregory Kienzl, Educational Outcomes of I-Best. Washington State Community and Technical College System’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a Multivariate Analysis , Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, May 2009. Note that the I-Best model was also categorized as a career pathways program in the report cited above. Congressional Research Service 55 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited setting devoted to meeting their needs. Some of these programs engage young adults (ages 20 and older).74 • Programs in community colleges that target low-income students (some of whom are parents) and provide financial incentives to students to complete semesters and persist in pursuing their educational goals. Other community college programs include “learning communities,” where groups of disadvantaged students are grouped together in classes and support sessions.75 The TANF work participation standards do not preclude placing recipients of cash assistance in these types of programs. In some circumstances, participation in such programs might be countable toward the TANF participation standards. However, states may be deterred from using such programs for cash assistance recipients if participation in them might exceed the durational limit (i.e., vocational educational training’s one-year limit) or runs into other restrictions (i.e., adult basic education or ESL programs not being able to be counted). On July 12, 2012, HHS announced that it would grant “waivers” of TANF work participation standards projects to test “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.”76 If granted, these would be the first waivers to test welfare-to-work initiatives in more than 15 years.77 Measuring State Performance The Obama Administration’s principles for reauthorization include working with Congress on performance indicators to drive program improvement. What those indicators are can have important implications for welfare-to-work programs. TANF imposes its work requirements indirectly through its numerical performance measures— currently the numerical work participation standard.78 It does this indirectly in part because of the program’s place in the federal-state system. TANF is a broad-based block grant to the states, with federal goals but a great deal of flexibility in meeting those goals. The TANF work participation 74 Nancy Martin and Samuel Halperin, Whatever It Takes, How Twelve Communities Are Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth, American Youth Policy Forum, 2006. 75 For example, see Reshma Patel and Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Performance-Based Scholarships. Emerging Findings from a National Demonstration, MDRC, MDRC Policy Brief, May 2012. See also Colleen Sommo, Alexander K. Mayer, and Timothy Rudd, et al., Commencement Day: Six-Year Effects of a Freshman Learning Community at Kingsborough Community College, MDRC, July 2012. 76 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Guidance Concerning Waiver and Expenditure Authority Under Section 1115, Information Memorandum, TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03, July 12, 2012, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/im-ofa/2012/im201203/ im201203.html 77 Additional information on issues related to the July 2012 waiver initiative can be found in: CRS Report R42627, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Welfare Waivers, by Gene Falk 78 The TANF work participation standard is often called a “process” measure, one that measures program activity but is not in itself the desired outcome. That is, engagement in activities is to lead to an “outcome,” which is placement in a job. However, because the TANF work participation rate counts those who do have jobs while remaining on the rolls, it is not in itself a pure process measure. See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Report on Alternative Outcome Measures, December 2000, http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/alt-outcomes00/index.htm. Congressional Research Service 56 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited numerical standards—and the potential financial penalties for meeting them—are to ensure that the states use their flexibility in ways consistent with the federal goals. Noting that TANF work requirements are “indirect” is not to understate the role of the requirements or the importance of what measures are chosen to assess the effectiveness of state welfare-to-work efforts. The choice of measures can change behavior—in this case, the behavior of those who design and implement state TANF welfare-to-work rules.79 Moreover, performance measures can have both intended and unintended effects. Their incentives could create incentives for states to behave such that they are “hitting the target but missing the point.”80 An alternative to assessing state welfare-to-work performance based on the current numerical participation standards is to examine program outcomes. Examining outcomes is intuitively appealing. Outcomes such as job entry or leaving the welfare rolls with a job seem to measure more aptly whether TANF is achieving its goal of ending dependence of needy parents on government benefits through work. As originally enacted, TANF had a high performance bonus, providing states additional funds for high performance in meeting TANF goals. To receive a bonus, a state had to perform well relative to other states on various measures, including employment measures of job entry, job retention, and earnings gain. The TANF high performance bonus was repealed by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, as funding for TANF bonuses was diverted to new competitive grants for healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood initiatives. However, HHS has continued to compute the outcome measures that were previously used for the high performance bonus. Figure 11 shows the national average TANF high performance job entry measure and compares it to the national average TANF work participation rate for FY2001-FY2010 (the work participation rate is available only through FY2009). It is important to note that in the early years, the national average job entry rate excludes states that failed to compete for a bonus based on job entries. This includes California in 2002 and 2003 and New York in 2001 and 2002. Through 2007, both the national average TANF job entry rate and the national average TANF work participation rate were steady. Beginning in FY2008, the national average job entry rate begins a steep decline, though the work participation rate held constant between FY2007 and FY2009. 79 For an overview of issues related to performance measurement in public programs, particularly public workforce programs, see The Performance of Performance Standards, ed. James J. Heckman, Carolyn J. Heinrich, Pascal Courty et. al. (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2011). 80 Gwyn Bevan and Christopher Hood, “What’s Measured is What Matters: Targets and Gaming in the English Public Health Care System,” Public Administration, vol. 84, no. 3 (August 2006), pp. 517-538, quoted in Heckman, et al., cited above. Congressional Research Service 57 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Figure 11. TANF Job Entry and Work Participation Rates: FY2001-FY2010 Job Entry Rate is Percentage of Unemployed Adult TANF Assistance Recipients Who Obtain Jobs 40% 35% 30% 25% Job Entry Rate 20% Work Participation Rate 15% 10% 5% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressional Research Service 58 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited The steep decline in the TANF job entry rate is associated with the 2007-2009 recession. Figure 12 shows the TANF job entry rate compared with the unemployment rate. It shows an inverse relationship between the two measures: the TANF job entry rate fell as the unemployment rate rose during the 2008-2010 period. Thus, outcomes can be affected by a host of external factors, such as the state of the economy. Figure 12. TANF Job Entry Rate and the Unemployment Rate: FY2001-FY2010 Job Entry Rate is Percent of Unemployed Adult TANF Assistance Recipients Who Obtain Jobs Unemployment Rate Job Entry Rate 40% Job Entry Rate 35% 12% 10% 30% 8% 25% 6% 20% 15% Unemployment Rate 4% 10% 2% 5% 0% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressional Research Service 59 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited There is research evidence that long-term impacts of labor force programs are not necessarily related to short-term outcome measures.81 Finally, outcome measures can have their own unintended consequences in terms of influencing the design of state programs. The most commonly cited unintended consequence is “cream skimming,” improving performance outcomes through serving only those most likely to succeed and leaving behind the hardest-toserve. In addition, it can be argued that outcomes do not directly measure the effectiveness of a program. Some families would leave the cash assistance rolls even without the intervention of a program. The effectiveness of a welfare-to-work program can also be measured by whether the program made a difference: that is, did it result in more or speedier exits from the program and improve a participant’s employment and earnings? That can only be measured by an evaluation of the impact of a program. Evaluation research, particularly using the oft-preferred random assignment method, also has its issues of cost, time taken to produce results, and even ethical concerns. Random assignment experiments usually can only tell whether a program had an impact or not, but not why. Given the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to assessing TANF’s welfare-to-work efforts, an option might be to have multiple measures of its effectiveness. Each measure could be placed in the context of its strengths and weaknesses and could be supplemented by additional information from other measures. Some measures might be more adaptable than others to changing economic and policy contexts. Conclusion TANF was the culmination of a decades-long evolution of assistance programs for disadvantaged children, most of whom lived with single mothers. It was created in 1996, and it reflected the policy concerns of the 1980s and 1990s in terms of welfare receipt and dependency. The TANF work participation rules and policy goals reflect that time. They emphasized and set as policy goals work and job preparation aimed to move families as quickly as possible from welfare to work. It allowed only time-limited job search (maximum 12 weeks in a fiscal year), and deemphasized longer-term education and training. Though TANF emphasizes work, it does not require all families to have a working member or one who is participating in activities. The children in disadvantaged families—the families served by TANF assistance—live in varied settings, with many families in circumstances that do not lend themselves to participation in welfare-to-work programs. In FY2009, out of 1.8 million families on the rolls in a typical month, about 275,000 were counted as “participating” by the official TANF work participation rate measure. Many families do not have a work-eligible member, as the parents are disabled and receiving SSI, the children are being cared for by non-parent relatives (e.g. grandparents), or the parents are ineligible immigrants. The work participation standards have generally required that states engage less than 50% of all families with a work-eligible individual in countable activities. 81 James J. Heckman, Carolyn J. Heinrich, and Jeffrey Smith, “Do Short-Run Performance Measures Predict Long-Run Impacts,” The Performance of Performance Standards, ed. James J. Heckman, Carolyn J. Heinrich, Pascal Couty, et al. (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2011), pp. 273-303. Congressional Research Service 60 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited In examining the economic trends among single parent families with children since 1996, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) analysis concluded: In the years immediately preceding 1996 welfare reform, and in the years since, the nation’s income safety net has been transformed into one supporting work. Cash-welfare work requirements, the end of cash welfare as an open-ended entitlement by limiting the duration that individuals may receive federally funded benefits, and expanded earnings and family income supplements administered through the federal income tax system have helped to change the dynamics between work and welfare. The transformed system has helped to both reduce single mothers’ reliance on traditional cash welfare and reduce poverty among their children.82 However, in the 2000s, even before the onset of the 2007-2009 recession, the decline in the cash assistance rolls slowed, and child poverty began to increase. Most measures of welfare-to-work activity discussed in this report—the official participation rate, a broader measure of the percentage of work-eligible individuals, and even (before the recession) the TANF job entry rate—were all fairly stagnant over the FY2002-FY2009 period. Additionally, the base of knowledge about what type of welfare-to-work program is effective for whom is little changed from the time welfare reform was enacted. The period of innovation and experimentation that preceded welfare reform produced evidence that helped shape TANF: experiments showed mandatory work requirements can increase employment and reduce welfare receipt, and earnings supplements can also serve as incentives to work in addition to raising incomes and even improving the development trajectory of children in participating families. Post-welfare reform research has generated no similar breakthroughs as yet. A question facing policymakers is whether the status quo regarding TANF welfare-to-work efforts is satisfactory, or whether (and how) policymakers may want to improve program performance or address changing needs or opportunities. Another question facing policymakers is whether the current structure of assessing welfare-to-work programs propels or impedes program innovations that can address changing circumstances among the disadvantaged. TANF evolved from a program focused on cash welfare to a broad-based block grant that can fund a wide range of benefits and services related to either ameliorating or addressing the causes of child poverty. Yet TANF’s work participation rate remains the major official assessment of how well the program is doing. Policymakers also face questions about whether the sole focus of assessing TANF ought to be its welfare-to-work performance, or whether attention should also be paid to how well TANF does in terms of meeting other goals related to improving the circumstances of families with children. 82 CRS Report R41917, Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female-Headed Families with Children: 1987-2010, by Thomas Gabe. Congressional Research Service 61 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Appendix A. Additional Tables Table A-1. Effective TANF Work Participation Standards for all Families by State: FY2002-FY2009 Effective Standards are after Caseload Reduction Credits, Including Excess MOE Credits State 2002 Alabama 0.0% Alaska 8.7 Arizona 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 0.0% 0.0% 11.1 6.9 4.8 6.8 32.5 25.8 21.4 4.8 13.1 19.6 24.0 11.6 7.3 0.0 0.0 Arkansas 0.0 3.3 4.3 3.9 2.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 California 6.7 5.8 3.9 4.5 5.1 32.3 29.0 29.0 Colorado 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 15.1 0.0 0.0 21.0 20.3 20.2 23.4 23.4 12.7 0.0 0.0 Delaware 6.7 10.2 12.5 17.6 18.2 26.1 0.0 0.0 District of Columbia 11.2 11.5 13.3 15.3 14.4 32.5 31.9 31.9 Florida 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 0.0 0.0 Georgia 0.0 0.0 4.3 5.9 0.0 26.0 13.8 12.3 Hawaii 26.6 20.0 16.4 12.1 0.0 20.8 0.0 0.0 Idaho 15.9 20.0 34.5 27.9 28.5 43.1 38.1 30.6 Illinois 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 44.7 0.0 0.0 Indiana 15.4 28.9 35.4 33.4 27.1 46.5 11.3 11.3 6.4 7.3 8.8 11.0 17.3 25.7 24.0 24.0 38.4 41.7 37.6 38.8 38.8 11.5 0.0 0.0 Kentucky 2.9 4.5 6.2 10.1 11.9 41.7 36.6 31.9 Louisiana 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 24.0 17.4 15.2 Maine 1.9 2.5 0.0 1.1 2.9 31.4 47.5 47.5 Maryland 6.2 6.5 6.6 6.5 5.2 34.1 31.7 31.7 Massachusetts 0.8 4.9 6.3 8.4 8.5 14.3 0.0 0.0 Michigan 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 30.5 50.0 27.8 Minnesota 12.9 14.8 18.6 18.8 14.9 44.6 0.0 0.0 Mississippi 12.5 12.6 17.1 5.4 4.1 33.5 22.2 20.2 Missouri 5.7 5.0 3.7 4.5 2.8 7.4 14.9 14.9 Montana 0.0 2.0 10.8 13.2 16.3 26.1 26.0 25.8 Nebraska 17.6 24.2 28.7 28.6 31.1 23.0 0.0 0.0 Nevada 4.1 26.2 31.8 10.3 10.7 38.6 34.5 31.2 New Hampshire 2.4 6.1 7.8 7.4 8.4 9.5 0.0 0.0 New Jersey 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Iowa Kansas Congressional Research Service 0.0% 2008 0.0% Connecticut 0.0% 2004 0.0% 0.0% 62 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited State 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 New Mexico 8.3 8.4 8.2 12.0 13.2 46.2 15.2 15.2 New York 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 13.8 11.5 11.5 North Carolina 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 22.1 0.0 0.0 North Dakota 7.5 12.0 14.7 8.8 4.8 44.0 23.1 20.8 Ohio 0.0 0.0 9.7 15.7 19.1 46.2 42.0 42.0 Oklahoma 2.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 34.6 28.8 20.6 Oregon 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 45.1 45.4 45.4 Pennsylvania 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 42.0 19.7 15.8 Puerto Rico 0.0 3.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 44.6 40.3 23.5 Rhode Island 22.9 19.2 15.4 13.1 10.7 8.0 0.0 0.0 South Carolina 0.7 2.4 3.0 3.0 3.3 29.0 0.0 0.0 South Dakota 9.3 12.4 11.7 10.9 13.7 50.0 50.0 50.0 Tennessee 7.8 11.6 11.6 19.6 19.1 35.5 0.0 0.0 Texas 0.0 0.0 0.9 0.0 0.0 31.2 19.9 10.8 Utah 11.7 17.0 24.6 17.8 27.3 32.6 10.1 5.4 Vermont 8.8 7.1 5.7 5.5 2.4 23.0 11.1 11.1 Virginia 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.8 36.0 38.5 37.8 Washington 7.0 8.2 8.8 6.9 10.7 11.1 0.0 0.0 West Virginia 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 39.2 26.3 17.4 Wisconsin 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.3 0.0 30.9 0.0 0.0 Wyoming 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 47.3 35.3 34.2 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 6.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Guam Virgin Islands Number of States with Effective (After-Credit) TANF Work Participation Standards Equal to: Zero 21 20 18 17 19 4 22 22 0%-9.9% 21 15 17 16 14 5 0 1 10%-24.9% 9 15 13 16 15 11 13 16 25%-49.9% 2 3 5 4 5 32 16 13 50% 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressional Research Service 63 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-2.TANF Work Participation Rates by State: Official Rates (Including Grandfathered Waivers): FY2002-FY2009 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Alabama 37.3% 37.1% 37.9% 38.6% 41.6% 34.0% 37.4% 32.4% Alaska 39.6 41.1 43.6 45.7 45.6 46.8 42.8 37.2 Arizona 25.9 13.4 25.5 30.3 29.6 30.0 27.8 27.1 Arkansas 21.4 22.4 27.3 28.3 27.9 35.3 38.8 37.1 California 27.3 24.0 23.1 25.9 22.2 22.3 25.1 26.8 Colorado 35.9 32.5 34.7 25.8 30.0 27.3 32.3 37.8 Connecticut 26.6 30.6 24.3 33.8 30.8 28.8 25.3 34.4 Delaware 25.8 18.2 22.1 22.6 25.3 32.7 48.8 37.5 District of Columbia 16.4 23.1 18.2 23.5 17.1 35.0 49.6 23.5 Florida 30.4 33.1 40.4 38.0 41.0 64.2 42.4 46.1 Georgia 8.2 10.9 24.8 57.2 64.9 54.2 59.0 57.1 Hawaii 58.8 65.8 70.5 35.5 37.3 28.7 34.4 40.3 Idaho 40.7 43.7 41.0 39.9 44.2 53.0 59.5 52.0 Illinois 58.4 57.8 46.1 43.0 53.0 55.5 42.6 49.3 Indiana 62.6 40.3 36.3 30.9 26.7 27.5 29.4 17.5 Iowa 51.2 45.1 50.0 47.8 39.0 40.2 41.1 35.4 Kansas 84.8 87.9 88.0 86.7 77.2 12.8 19.6 23.9 Kentucky 32.4 32.8 38.1 39.7 44.6 38.2 38.0 37.3 Louisiana 38.7 34.6 35.4 34.6 38.4 42.2 40.0 34.4 Maine 44.5 27.7 32.1 28.3 26.6 21.9 11.4 16.8 8.3 9.1 16.0 20.5 44.5 46.7 36.9 44.0 Massachusetts 60.9 61.0 60.0 59.9 13.6 17.0 44.7 47.5 Michigan 28.9 25.3 24.5 22.0 21.6 28.0 33.6 27.9 Minnesota 40.4 25.0 26.8 28.9 30.3 28.1 29.9 29.8 Mississippi 18.5 17.2 21.0 22.6 35.5 61.9 63.2 67.5 Missouri 25.4 28.0 19.5 20.0 18.7 14.0 14.2 13.2 Montana 84.2 85.9 92.7 83.1 79.2 46.4 44.2 44.2 Nebraska 28.1 33.4 34.5 31.8 32.0 23.0 51.2 50.3 Nevada 21.6 22.3 34.5 42.3 47.8 34.0 42.1 39.4 New Hampshire 41.8 28.2 30.2 24.6 24.1 42.0 47.4 46.5 New Jersey 36.4 35.0 34.6 29.0 29.2 33.0 18.9 20.1 New Mexico 42.7 42.0 46.2 41.6 42.3 36.4 37.5 43.1 New York 38.5 37.1 37.8 35.2 37.8 38.0 37.3 33.4 Maryland Congressional Research Service 64 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 North Carolina 27.4 25.3 31.4 27.5 32.4 32.4 24.5 32.3 North Dakota 30.4 27.0 25.3 31.4 51.9 58.7 50.2 61.0 Ohio 56.3 62.3 65.2 58.3 54.9 23.7 24.5 23.3 Oklahoma 26.7 29.2 33.2 34.0 32.9 38.1 29.2 23.0 Oregon 61.1 60.0 32.1 14.9 15.2 14.7 24.1 9.5 Pennsylvania 10.4 9.9 7.1 15.2 26.1 48.9 38.6 45.8 Puerto Rico 5.6 6.1 7.5 13.1 13.1 8.2 11.6 8.7 Rhode Island 24.6 24.3 23.7 24.2 24.9 26.8 17.5 13.8 South Carolina 52.4 54.3 53.7 54.3 49.5 53.3 51.7 45.1 South Dakota 42.5 46.1 54.8 57.5 57.9 53.5 62.2 59.4 Tennessee 41.2 42.7 50.6 52.1 57.2 45.9 25.2 25.5 Texas 30.8 28.1 34.2 38.9 42.0 34.6 29.3 37.0 Utah 27.9 28.1 26.2 30.3 42.5 49.8 37.6 32.6 Vermont 21.4 24.3 24.9 22.4 22.2 22.4 23.2 29.0 Virginia 42.9 44.6 50.1 46.3 53.9 43.5 45.4 44.3 Washington 49.8 46.2 35.4 38.6 36.1 25.4 18.3 23.0 West Virginia 19.2 14.2 11.7 16.3 26.2 15.4 17.6 19.6 Wisconsin 69.4 67.2 61.3 44.3 36.2 36.7 37.1 39.9 Wyoming 82.9 83.0 77.8 82.1 77.2 65.4 50.5 61.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 0.0 0.0 17.7 5.0 10.6 16.9 14.5 17.1 15.5 7.1 Guam Virgin Islands Number of States with Participation Rates Equal to: 0% - 9.9% 4 5 3 1 1 2 1 4 10%-24.9% 9 11 13 14 11 11 13 11 25%-34% 14 16 15 15 14 15 11 12 35%-49.9% 15 12 11 15 18 17 21 20 50% or more 12 10 12 9 10 9 8 7 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressional Research Service 65 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-3.TANF Work Participation Rates for All Families Excluding the Effect of Grandfathered Waivers by State: FY2002-FY2009 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Alabama 37.3% 37.1% 37.9% 38.6% 41.6% 34.0% 37.4% 32.4% Alaska 39.6 41.1 43.6 45.7 45.6 46.8 42.8 37.2 Arizona 25.9 13.4 25.5 30.3 29.6 30.0 27.8 27.1 Arkansas 21.4 22.4 27.3 28.3 27.9 35.3 38.8 37.1 California 27.3 24.0 23.1 25.9 22.2 22.3 25.1 26.8 Colorado 35.9 32.5 34.7 25.8 30.0 27.3 32.3 37.8 Connecticut 26.6 30.6 24.3 33.8 30.8 28.8 25.3 34.4 Delaware 11.7 18.2 22.1 22.6 25.3 32.7 48.8 37.5 District of Columbia 16.4 23.1 18.2 23.5 17.1 35.0 49.6 23.5 Florida 30.4 33.1 40.4 38.0 41.0 64.2 42.4 46.1 Georgia 8.2 10.9 24.8 57.2 64.9 54.2 59.0 57.1 Hawaii 32.5 34.6 40.3 35.5 37.3 28.7 34.4 40.3 Idaho 40.7 43.7 41.0 39.9 44.2 53.0 59.5 52.0 Illinois 58.4 57.8 46.1 43.0 53.0 55.5 42.6 49.3 Indiana 45.3 40.3 36.3 30.9 26.7 27.5 29.4 17.5 Iowa 51.2 45.1 50.0 47.8 39.0 40.2 41.1 35.4 Kansas 37.6 32.4 88.0 86.7 77.2 12.8 19.6 23.9 Kentucky 32.4 32.8 38.1 39.7 44.6 38.2 38.0 37.3 Louisiana 38.7 34.6 35.4 34.6 38.4 42.2 40.0 34.4 Maine 44.5 27.7 32.1 28.3 26.6 21.9 11.4 16.8 Maryland 8.3 9.1 16.0 20.5 44.5 46.7 36.9 44.0 Massachusetts 9.2 8.4 10.3 12.6 13.6 17.0 44.7 47.5 Michigan 28.9 25.3 24.5 22.0 21.6 28.0 33.6 27.9 Minnesota 31.2 25.0 26.8 28.9 30.3 28.1 29.9 29.8 Mississippi 18.5 17.2 21.0 22.6 35.5 61.9 63.2 67.5 Missouri 25.4 28.0 19.5 20.0 18.7 14.0 14.2 13.2 Montana 37.9 37.4 86.7 83.1 79.2 46.4 44.2 44.2 Nebraska 22.8 29.4 34.5 31.8 32.0 23.0 51.2 50.3 Nevada 21.6 22.3 34.5 42.3 47.8 34.0 42.1 39.4 New Hampshire 32.6 28.2 30.2 24.6 24.1 42.0 47.4 46.5 New Jersey 36.4 35.0 34.6 29.0 29.2 33.0 18.9 20.1 New Mexico 42.7 42.0 46.2 41.6 42.3 36.4 37.5 43.1 New York 38.5 37.1 37.8 35.2 37.8 38.0 37.3 33.4 Congressional Research Service 66 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 North Carolina 27.4 25.3 31.4 27.5 32.4 32.4 24.5 32.3 North Dakota 30.4 27.0 25.3 31.4 51.9 58.7 50.2 61.0 Ohio 56.1 62.2 65.2 58.3 54.9 23.7 24.5 23.3 Oklahoma 26.7 29.2 33.2 34.0 32.9 38.1 29.2 23.0 8.0 14.7 32.1 14.9 15.2 14.7 24.1 9.5 Pennsylvania 10.4 9.9 7.1 15.2 26.1 48.9 38.6 45.8 Puerto Rico 5.6 6.1 7.5 13.1 13.1 8.2 11.6 8.7 Rhode Island 24.6 24.3 23.7 24.2 24.9 26.8 17.5 13.8 South Carolina 30.2 28.6 53.7 54.3 49.5 53.3 51.7 45.1 South Dakota 42.5 46.1 54.8 57.5 57.9 53.5 62.2 59.4 Tennessee 14.3 13.4 13.0 14.3 16.8 45.9 25.2 25.5 Texas 21.1 28.1 34.2 38.9 42.0 34.6 29.3 37.0 Utah 27.9 28.1 26.2 30.3 42.5 49.8 37.6 32.6 Vermont 21.4 24.3 24.9 22.4 22.2 22.4 23.2 29.0 Virginia 22.6 29.9 50.1 46.3 53.9 43.5 45.4 44.3 Washington 49.8 46.2 35.4 38.6 36.1 25.4 18.3 23.0 West Virginia 19.2 14.2 11.7 16.3 26.2 15.4 17.6 19.6 Wisconsin 69.4 67.2 61.3 44.3 36.2 36.7 37.1 39.9 Wyoming 82.9 83.0 77.8 82.1 77.2 65.4 50.5 61.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 0.0 0.0 17.7 5.0 10.6 16.9 14.5 17.1 15.5 7.1 Oregon Guam Virgin Islands Number of States with Participation Rates Equal to: 0% - 9.9% 6 6 3 1 1 2 1 4 10%-24.9% 14 13 15 16 12 11 13 11 25%-34% 15 20 15 15 14 15 11 12 35%-49.9% 14 11 12 15 18 17 21 20 5 4 9 7 9 9 8 7 50% or more Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS), based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressional Research Service 67 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-4.TANF Families Receiving Assistance, by Type of Family and State: FY2009 As a Percentage of All TANF Families Receiving Assistance State Families with No Work-Eligible Individual Single-Parent Family Two-Parent Family Total Alabama 46.8 52.8 0.5 100.0 Alaska 33.1 53.8 13.2 100.0 Arizona 51.9 44.6 3.5 100.0 Arkansas 41.4 56.3 2.2 100.0 California 35.3 54.2 10.5 100.0 Colorado 51.6 43.4 4.9 100.0 Connecticut 45.5 54.5 0.0 100.0 Delaware 57.9 41.7 0.4 100.0 District of Columbia 25.1 74.9 0.0 100.0 Florida 70.5 26.7 2.9 100.0 Georgia 86.6 13.4 0.0 100.0 Hawaii 30.9 58.8 10.4 100.0 Idaho 87.4 12.6 0.0 100.0 Illinois 77.3 22.7 0.0 100.0 Indiana 24.4 66.4 9.2 100.0 Iowa 29.2 64.2 6.6 100.0 Kansas 30.0 62.3 7.7 100.0 Kentucky 58.9 39.0 2.2 100.0 Louisiana 72.5 27.5 0.0 100.0 Maine 19.2 69.8 11.0 100.0 Maryland 46.8 53.2 0.0 100.0 Massachusetts 30.8 67.7 1.5 100.0 Michigan 32.6 67.4 0.0 100.0 Minnesota 46.0 54.0 0.0 100.0 Mississippi 49.9 50.1 0.0 100.0 Missouri 24.0 76.0 0.0 100.0 Montana 37.3 52.6 10.2 100.0 Nebraska 42.4 57.6 0.0 100.0 Nevada 44.2 47.5 8.3 100.0 New Hampshire 42.0 55.9 2.2 100.0 New Jersey 30.9 69.1 0.0 100.0 New Mexico 32.6 61.8 5.7 100.0 New York 39.6 59.3 1.1 100.0 North Carolina 65.8 32.8 1.4 100.0 Congressional Research Service 68 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited State Families with No Work-Eligible Individual Single-Parent Family Two-Parent Family Total North Dakota 24.2 75.8 0.0 100.0 Ohio 49.4 44.3 6.3 100.0 Oklahoma 62.4 37.6 0.0 100.0 Oregon 31.4 66.2 2.4 100.0 Pennsylvania 45.0 54.4 0.7 100.0 Rhode Island 29.7 62.8 7.5 100.0 South Carolina 28.5 71.5 0.0 100.0 South Dakota 68.8 31.2 0.0 100.0 Tennessee 30.0 67.5 2.5 100.0 Texas 67.4 32.6 0.0 100.0 Utah 43.5 56.5 0.0 100.0 Vermont 42.8 47.9 9.4 100.0 Virginia 34.7 65.3 0.0 100.0 Washington 35.9 55.0 9.1 100.0 West Virginia 52.1 47.9 0.0 100.0 Wisconsin 67.0 31.7 1.3 100.0 Wyoming 65.3 32.8 1.9 100.0 1.5 77.4 21.1 100.0 Puerto Rico 17.0 83.0 0.0 100.0 Virgin Islands 13.3 86.7 0.0 100.0 Total 41.0 54.1 5.0 100.0 Guam Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Data differ slightly from that released with the official FY2009 TANF work participation rates because of technical differences between the data used to compute the rates and the public FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Congressional Research Service 69 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-5.TANF Families Receiving Assistance, by Work Participation Rate Status and State: FY2009 As a Percentage of all TANF Families Receiving Assistance State Family with No Work-Eligible Individual Disregarded from the Participation Rate In Participation Rate Total Alabama 46.8 11.3 42.0 100.0 Alaska 33.1 10.1 56.9 100.0 Arizona 51.9 7.2 40.9 100.0 Arkansas 41.4 14.6 43.9 100.0 California 35.3 3.9 60.8 100.0 Colorado 51.6 5.8 42.6 100.0 Connecticut 45.5 15.2 39.3 100.0 Delaware 57.9 13.1 29.1 100.0 District of Columbia 25.1 25.4 49.5 100.0 Florida 70.5 5.5 24.1 100.0 Georgia 86.6 3.2 10.2 100.0 Hawaii 30.9 6.7 62.5 100.0 Idaho 87.4 2.1 10.5 100.0 Illinois 77.3 1.5 21.2 100.0 Indiana 24.4 8.5 67.1 100.0 Iowa 29.2 9.8 61.0 100.0 Kansas 30.0 13.5 56.5 100.0 Kentucky 58.9 9.4 31.8 100.0 Louisiana 72.5 4.1 23.5 100.0 Maine 19.2 1.8 78.9 100.0 Maryland 46.8 11.3 42.0 100.0 Massachusetts 30.8 8.1 61.1 100.0 Michigan 32.6 14.5 52.9 100.0 Minnesota 46.0 14.8 39.3 100.0 Mississippi 49.9 14.6 35.5 100.0 Missouri 24.0 11.0 65.0 100.0 Montana 37.3 18.9 43.8 100.0 Nebraska 42.4 8.8 48.8 100.0 Nevada 44.2 4.7 51.1 100.0 New Hampshire 42.0 14.4 43.7 100.0 New Jersey 30.9 10.0 59.1 100.0 New Mexico 32.6 13.8 53.6 100.0 New York 39.6 5.6 54.8 100.0 Congressional Research Service 70 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited State Family with No Work-Eligible Individual Disregarded from the Participation Rate In Participation Rate Total North Carolina 65.8 7.8 26.4 100.0 North Dakota 24.2 32.0 43.9 100.0 Ohio 49.4 7.5 43.1 100.0 Oklahoma 62.4 9.4 28.2 100.0 Oregon 31.4 9.7 58.9 100.0 Pennsylvania 45.0 13.5 41.5 100.0 Rhode Island 29.7 8.7 61.6 100.0 South Carolina 28.5 16.3 55.2 100.0 South Dakota 68.8 7.4 23.8 100.0 Tennessee 30.0 12.1 57.9 100.0 Texas 67.4 2.7 29.9 100.0 Utah 43.5 9.6 46.9 100.0 Vermont 42.8 14.5 42.7 100.0 Virginia 34.7 12.0 53.3 100.0 Washington 35.9 9.8 54.3 100.0 West Virginia 52.1 10.8 37.1 100.0 Wisconsin 67.0 10.6 22.4 100.0 Wyoming 65.3 7.0 27.7 100.0 1.5 2.4 96.1 100.0 Puerto Rico 17.0 7.1 76.0 100.0 Virgin Islands 13.3 0.0 86.7 100.0 Total 41.0 7.6 51.4 100.0 Guam Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Data differ slightly from that released with the official FY2009 TANF work participation rates because of technical differences between the data used to compute the rates and the public FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Congressional Research Service 71 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-6.TANF Families Included in the Work Participation Rate, by Family Type and State, FY2009 Family Type Based on Minimum Hours Requirements Under the TANF Work Participation Standards Teen Parents without a High School Diploma Single Parents with a Child Under the Age of 6 Single Parents, All Children Age 6 and Older TwoParent Family Not Receiving Federally Funded Child Care TwoParent Family Receiving Federally Funded Child Care Total Alabama 2.5 63.4 33.1 1.0 0.0 100.0 Alaska 3.0 44.6 32.3 18.7 1.4 100.0 Arizona 2.4 50.5 39.3 7.0 0.8 100.0 Arkansas 4.9 61.3 28.9 4.4 0.5 100.0 California 3.1 36.8 43.1 16.7 0.3 100.0 Colorado 5.6 54.8 28.3 10.1 1.2 100.0 Connecticut 6.6 64.9 28.6 0.0 0.0 100.0 Delaware 3.4 68.2 27.0 1.2 0.2 100.0 District of Columbia 3.9 58.0 38.1 0.0 0.0 100.0 Florida 1.2 51.6 35.2 9.6 2.4 100.0 Georgia 13.2 66.7 20.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 Hawaii 0.8 49.6 33.1 15.8 0.6 100.0 Idaho 3.2 43.8 53.1 0.0 0.0 100.0 Illinois 7.3 65.7 27.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 Indiana 2.7 49.9 33.8 13.2 0.4 100.0 Iowa 4.3 55.5 29.9 10.3 0.0 100.0 Kansas 3.5 45.1 38.0 12.5 0.9 100.0 Kentucky 5.3 64.0 24.1 6.1 0.5 100.0 Louisiana 4.2 72.3 23.5 0.0 0.0 100.0 Maine 2.8 45.3 38.1 13.7 0.2 100.0 Maryland 4.0 63.5 32.5 0.0 0.0 100.0 Massachusetts 2.0 57.0 38.6 2.4 0.1 100.0 Michigan 1.7 55.9 42.4 0.0 0.0 100.0 Minnesota 12.6 61.1 26.4 0.0 0.0 100.0 Mississippi 7.4 75.7 16.9 0.0 0.0 100.0 Missouri 5.6 62.2 32.2 0.0 0.0 100.0 Montana 3.0 52.6 30.1 14.3 0.0 100.0 Nebraska 1.9 68.6 29.5 0.0 0.0 100.0 Nevada 5.5 52.3 26.3 15.9 0.0 100.0 New Hampshire 1.9 53.1 40.1 4.7 0.2 100.0 Congressional Research Service 72 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Teen Parents without a High School Diploma Single Parents with a Child Under the Age of 6 Single Parents, All Children Age 6 and Older TwoParent Family Not Receiving Federally Funded Child Care TwoParent Family Receiving Federally Funded Child Care Total New Jersey 2.9 58.4 38.7 0.0 0.0 100.0 New Mexico 2.8 54.0 33.7 9.1 0.5 100.0 New York 3.2 49.3 45.5 1.9 0.1 100.0 North Carolina 3.8 64.2 26.8 4.8 0.5 100.0 North Dakota 2.4 66.7 30.9 0.0 0.0 100.0 Ohio 2.4 50.6 32.4 13.9 0.7 100.0 Oklahoma 6.7 65.2 28.2 0.0 0.0 100.0 Oregon 2.7 41.9 51.2 3.9 0.2 100.0 Pennsylvania 5.6 70.4 22.3 1.3 0.3 100.0 Rhode Island 6.0 52.3 30.0 11.8 0.0 100.0 South Carolina 8.5 73.2 18.3 0.0 0.0 100.0 South Dakota 4.5 62.9 32.6 0.0 0.0 100.0 Tennessee 4.0 54.5 37.4 4.0 0.0 100.0 Texas 4.6 60.5 35.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 Utah 2.9 60.2 36.9 0.0 0.0 100.0 Vermont 4.1 43.9 30.8 21.2 0.0 100.0 Virginia 2.7 59.3 38.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 Washington 2.3 42.0 39.3 16.4 0.0 100.0 West Virginia 3.4 57.0 39.6 0.0 0.0 100.0 Wisconsin 10.1 55.1 30.3 4.1 0.3 100.0 Wyoming 2.4 55.2 36.5 5.9 0.0 100.0 Guam 1.0 0.0 77.1 21.8 0.0 100.0 Puerto Rico 4.0 50.8 45.2 0.0 0.0 100.0 Virgin Islands 8.7 70.5 20.7 0.0 0.0 100.0 Total 3.4 48.5 38.7 9.2 0.3 100.0 Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulation of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Data differ slightly from that released with the official FY2009 TANF work participation rates because of technical differences between the data used to compute the rates and the public FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Congressional Research Service 73 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Table A-7.TANF Sanctions and Sanction Rates by State: FY2009 Families on the Rolls State Number of Families Sanctioned Percent Sanctioned Families Leaving the Rolls Number of Families Sanctioned Percent Sanctioned Combined Sanction Rate Alabama 504 2.7 368 22.9 4.3 Alaska 171 5.6 10 3.6 5.5 Arizona 544 1.4 0 0.0 1.3 Arkansas 311 3.7 1 0.2 3.5 California 47,018 8.8 2,838 6.6 8.7 Colorado 206 2.2 27 3.6 2.3 Connecticut 352 2.1 39 3.8 2.2 Delaware 80 1.8 71 36.2 3.2 District of Columbia 1,297 16.3 1 0.1 14.6 Florida 166 0.3 1,268 20.3 2.3 Georgia 115 0.5 6 0.5 0.5 Hawaii 0 0.0 185 29.8 2.1 Idaho 0 0.0 25 22.7 1.5 Illinois 294 1.5 0 0.0 1.4 Indiana 262 0.7 1,654 33.7 4.3 Iowa 0 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 Kansas 0 0.0 220 17.5 1.5 Kentucky 1,072 3.6 239 9.3 4.1 Louisiana 0 0.0 194 27.4 1.8 601 5.7 0 0.0 5.3 84 0.4 714 27.5 3.2 1,858 3.9 288 11.4 4.3 0 0.0 1,764 31.3 2.6 Minnesota 893 4.1 100 4.5 4.1 Mississippi 14 0.1 322 36.4 2.8 Missouri 3,749 10.7 0 0.0 10.0 Montana 37 1.1 150 28.0 4.7 Nebraska 33 0.5 195 18.9 2.7 0 0.0 82 10.8 0.9 374 6.7 94 21.7 7.8 New Jersey 2,339 7.2 0 0.0 6.6 New Mexico 1,232 7.7 556 26.6 9.8 New York 7,649 6.6 0 0.0 6.1 Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Nevada New Hampshire Congressional Research Service 74 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Families on the Rolls State Number of Families Sanctioned Percent Sanctioned Families Leaving the Rolls Number of Families Sanctioned Percent Sanctioned Combined Sanction Rate North Carolina 145 0.6 134 6.2 1.0 North Dakota 149 6.9 0 0.0 6.1 Ohio 3 0.0 878 10.6 0.9 Oklahoma 0 0.0 366 28.8 3.7 59 0.3 48 2.5 0.5 Pennsylvania 946 2.0 0 0.0 1.9 Rhode Island 338 4.0 16 2.1 3.9 South Carolina 17 0.1 217 14.9 1.3 South Dakota 35 1.2 90 31.8 3.8 Tennessee 0 0.0 1,527 35.9 2.4 Texas 0 0.0 1,367 21.4 2.5 Utah 142 2.4 97 19.7 3.7 Vermont 111 3.9 0 0.0 3.0 0 0.0 8 0.5 0.0 2,121 3.6 105 2.3 3.5 268 2.9 98 12.8 3.7 Wisconsin 2,105 11.5 0 0.0 10.9 Wyoming 13 4.4 2 7.4 4.7 1 0.1 1 0.7 0.2 Puerto Rico 476 3.9 4 1.9 3.9 Virgin Islands 44 9.3 0 0.3 8.8 78,227 4.5 16,368 11.4 5.1 Oregon Virginia Washington West Virginia Guam National Total Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS) tabulations of the FY2009 TANF National Data Files. Notes: Combined sanctioned rate represents the sum of families on the rolls with benefits reduced because of sanctions and families with cases closed because of failure to work or comply with an activity requirement divided by the sum of total families on the rolls and the total number of families leaving the rolls in a month. Congressional Research Service 75 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Appendix B. Methodological Notes TANF National Data Files This report includes an analysis of work participation from the TANF National Data Files for FY2009. The national data files are based on data states are required to collect monthly and report to HHS on a quarterly basis based on Section 411 of the Social Security Act. These data provide information at the family and individual recipient levels, and include various demographic and economic data. Section 411 also requires that states report information required to compute TANF work participation rates, and HHS has specified that states report information on the average weekly hours of engagement in each of the 12 countable TANF work activities (see Table 6). States may report engagement in other activities not countable toward the official TANF work participation standards, but they are not required to do so. The TANF National Data Files represent a sample of all TANF families and recipients receiving assistance. Thus, the estimates here are subject to sampling error. Additionally, there also may be nonsampling error associated with files if states miscoded some characteristics. There might also be some state-to-state variation in reporting practices that could affect data quality and the comparison of information from the files across states. The TANF National Data Files differ slightly from the data used by HHS to compute the official TANF work participation rates. To compute work rates, many states submit information on their full caseload. The TANF National Data Files represent only a sample of families even from states that submitted their full caseload for purposes of computing the official work participation rates. In addition, states may revise their data reports after submission to HHS. The publically available TANF National Data Files and the data used to compute official participation rates may reflect differing revised versions of the data. Data Analysis In conducting the data analysis for this report, certain decisions were made to try to reduce the possibility of including erroneously reported data. For example, the analysis excluded participation in an activity when 90 hours or more of participation per week were reported. Additionally, some recipients had implausible birth dates reported for them. No age was computed for these persons. Author Contact Information Gene Falk Specialist in Social Policy gfalk@crs.loc.gov, 7-7344 Congressional Research Service 76 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Welfare-to-Work Revisited Acknowledgments This report benefited from the contributions of many Congressional Research Service (CRS) colleagues: Adrienne Fernandes-Alcantara, Benjamin Collins, Melinda Gish, Tom Gabe, Maggie McCarty, Libby Perl, Karen Spar, and Emilie Stoltzfus. Congressional Research Service 77