Welfare Reform: More Coordinated Federal Effort Could Help States and Localities Move TANF Recipients With Impairments Toward Employment

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 significantly changed federal welfare policy for low-income families with children. The act eliminated eligible families' legal entitlement to cash assistance and created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states. TANF emphasizes the importance of work and personal responsibility rather than dependence on government benefits. To avoid financial penalties, states must demonstrate yearly that an ever-increasing proportion of adults receiving TANF are working or engaged in work-related activities. The U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. October 31, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 significantly changed federal welfare policy for low-income families with children. The act eliminated eligible families' legal entitlement to cash assistance and created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states. TANF emphasizes the importance of work and personal responsibility rather than dependence on government benefits. To avoid financial penalties, states must demonstrate yearly that an ever-increasing proportion of adults receiving TANF are working or engaged in work-related activities. The U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for 1999 show that 44 percent of TANF recipients nationwide had physical or mental impairments, a proportion almost three times as high as among adults in the non-TANF population. The percentages of TANF adults with impairments from 1994 can not be compared to later years because Census broadened its measurements of mental impairments starting with its 1997 SIPP data. Most of the counties that screen for impairments rely on recipients' self-disclosure, which may not ensure the identification of some impairments that could interfere with employment. Still, for the one-third of counties that reported service data, fewer than half of recipients with impairments were receiving services to move them toward employment. This situation may be explained by the fact that many recipients were exempted from program work requirements. Federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education, have many research and technical assistance initiatives underway to facilitate state and local efforts to help TANF recipients with impairments become employed."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 31, 2001

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Welfare Reform: More Coordinated Federal Effort Could Help States and Localities Move TANF Recipients With Impairments Toward Employment, report, October 31, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291062/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.