Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Fewer Eligible Families Have Received Cash Assistance Since the 1990s, and the Recession's Impact on Caseloads Varies by State

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Following sweeping changes made to federal welfare policy in 1996 with the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the number of needy families who received cash assistance fell by more than half to 1.7 million in 2008. Poverty among children also fell from about 21 percent in 1995 to about 16 percent in 2000, rising again to 19 percent in 2008. The current recession deepened in 2008, raising questions about state TANF programs' response to increased needs. GAO was asked to provide ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 23, 2010.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Following sweeping changes made to federal welfare policy in 1996 with the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the number of needy families who received cash assistance fell by more than half to 1.7 million in 2008. Poverty among children also fell from about 21 percent in 1995 to about 16 percent in 2000, rising again to 19 percent in 2008. The current recession deepened in 2008, raising questions about state TANF programs' response to increased needs. GAO was asked to provide Congress with information on the (1) factors contributing to the decline in the number of families receiving assistance; (2) characteristics of participating and nonparticipating eligible families; (3) impact of higher participation in TANF cash assistance on child poverty; and (4) changes states are experiencing in caseloads and spending in the current recession. GAO's methodologies included using microsimulation analyses; reviewing relevant research and federal laws; interviewing TANF officials in 21 selected states; analyzing state cash assistance data; and interviewing researchers, federal officials, and other experts."

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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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  • February 23, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Fewer Eligible Families Have Received Cash Assistance Since the 1990s, and the Recession's Impact on Caseloads Varies by State, report, February 23, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301637/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.