Temporary Assistance For Needy Families: Potential Options to Improve Performance and Oversight

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families' (TANF) role in providing cash assistance has evolved; fewer eligible families receive cash assistance and the composition of the caseload has changed. GAO noted in 2010 that 87 percent of the dramatic decline from 1995 through 2005 in the number of families receiving cash assistance was due a decline in eligible families participating in TANF, rather than increased incomes. Changes to state TANF programs, such as mandatory work requirements and lower benefits, account in part for this decline. Relatively modest caseload ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 15, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families' (TANF) role in providing cash assistance has evolved; fewer eligible families receive cash assistance and the composition of the caseload has changed. GAO noted in 2010 that 87 percent of the dramatic decline from 1995 through 2005 in the number of families receiving cash assistance was due a decline in eligible families participating in TANF, rather than increased incomes. Changes to state TANF programs, such as mandatory work requirements and lower benefits, account in part for this decline. Relatively modest caseload increases in recent years nationwide, as well as decreases in some states, have raised questions about TANF's responsiveness to changing economic conditions. GAO also reported in 2011 that the composition of the TANF caseload has changed, with about 40 percent of cases now comprised of children only, with the adult not receiving benefits, and little known nationwide about state policies for aiding these children. Potential options to better understand TANF's role as a cash assistance program may include: improving information on the extent to which states provide cash assistance to eligible low-income families, and requiring states to include more information--for example in TANF state plans submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--on features such as benefit amounts and services provided."

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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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  • May 15, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Temporary Assistance For Needy Families: Potential Options to Improve Performance and Oversight, report, May 15, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302586/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.