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Exploring the Intersection of Two Programs that Support Poor Families

Photo of a person holding a hand of a person in a wheelchair.By Brendan Kelly, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

Both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs provide cash assistance and support to poor families. ACF and the Social Security Administration recently completed a five-year project to examine the intersection of TANF and SSI clients and programs. Recent publications from the TANF-SSI Disability Transition Project provide new insights for practitioners, policymakers and advocates.

The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project: Innovative Strategies for Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities

The highlight of this report is the description of three pilot projects — in Minnesota, California and Michigan — efforts to improve some aspect of TANF services for clients with disabilities, including those who may apply for SSI.

Examining the Interaction between Welfare and Disability: Lessons from an In-Depth Data Analysis

This brief focuses on the analysis of merged SSI and TANF data. Contrary to popular narratives, the overlap between the two programs is relatively small. Additionally, the data reveals that medical award rates among TANF recipients who applied for SSI were comparable to those of other SSI applicants of similar ages.

Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Guide for TANF Staff Members

This brief describes the basic SSI disability determination process and compares it with procedures TANF agencies use to assess clients.

Assessing and Serving TANF Participants with Work Limitations

This brief describes approaches to disability assessment used by selected TANF programs.

Connections between TANF and SSI: Lessons from the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project

This brief brings together insights from state-level data analyses, federal data and the pilot projects into one easy-to-read overview.

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