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TANF-ACF-IM-2010-01 (Voluntary Reporting of Hours of Participation in Non-Countable Work Activities)

Published: June 2, 2010
Audience:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Topics:
Data Collection and Reporting, Work Participation Rates
Types:
Information Memoranda (IM)
Tags:
Data Collection and Reporting Requirements, Work Participation Rate (WPR)

To:   

State Agencies Administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and Other Interested Parties

Subject:

Voluntary Reporting of Hours of Participation in Non-Countable Work Activities

References:

45 CFR Part 265, Data Collection and Reporting Requirements, published April 12, 1999; Section 411 of the Social Security Act; and TANF-ACF-PI-2008-7 dated July 24, 2008.

Purpose:

To encourage States to use the “Other Work Activities” data element to report hours of participation in activities that cannot count toward the work participation rates.

Background:

The Social Security Act requires States to report hours of participation in the 12 statutory TANF work activities.  For each of these countable work activities, States report the average hours of participation per week for the report month.  In the TANF Data Report (ACF Form-199) and in the SSP-MOE Data Report (ACF Form-209), we provided an additional data element for collecting the average hours of participation per week for the report month in other work activities.  We added the “Other Work Activities” data element to give States the ability to demonstrate the extent to which individuals are involved in other work-related activities that may not count toward TANF participation rates, and to demonstrate additional state efforts at moving individuals toward self-sufficiency.

While some States use this optional reporting category, we think this category is substantially under-reported.  Table 8B of our fiscal year (FY) 2008 work participation rate data shows that States reported zero hours of participation for 56.1 percent of families that were required to participate.  A number of States report no individuals in “other work activities.”  Many of the families reported as having zero hours of participation may include a work-eligible individual who is participating in a non-countable work activity that the State is not currently reporting.  While States are not required to report such activities, we would have a clearer picture of the extent of engagement in work-related activities if States elected to do so.

Action:

We encourage States to report all hours of participation in activities that cannot count toward the TANF work participation rates in the TANF Data Report, Section One, data element “Other Work Activities,” (#62) and in the SSP-MOE Data Report, data element “Other Work Activities” (#55).  Such reporting helps the public gain a more complete understanding of State efforts at engaging TANF recipients in work activities and helping families move toward self-sufficiency.

Inquiries:

Please direct any inquiries to the TANF Program Manager in your Region.

/s/

Ann H. Barbagallo

Acting Director

Office of Family Assistance