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TANF-ACF-PA-1999-02 (Guidance on Submitting Caseload Reduction Credit Information, the TANF Caseload Reduction Report (Form ACF-202) and Instructions)

Published: November 5, 1999
Audience:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Topics:
Data Collection and Reporting, Caseload Reduction Credit
Types:
Policy Announcements (PA), Reporting Forms
Tags:
caseload reduction credit, Data Collection and Reporting Requirements

To:

State agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and other interested parties.

Subject:

Guidance on Submitting Caseload Reduction Credit Information, the TANF Caseload Reduction Report (Form ACF-202) and Instructions.

References:

Section 407(b)(3) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 261.40 et seq.

Attachments:

Guidance for Submitting Caseload Reduction Credit Information

Form ACF-202

Instructions for completing Form ACF-202

Purpose:

The purpose of this Policy Announcement is to provide State agencies with guidance on submitting caseload reduction credit information necessary to reduce a State's minimum TANF participation rate requirements.  This Policy Announcement also transmits form ACF-202, the form and instructions that States must use to report caseload reduction information in fiscal year 2000 and thereafter.

Action:

Caseload reduction credit materials for both FY 1999 and FY 2000 are due by December 31, 1999.

The attached guidance document contains initial guidance.  We strongly encourage States to follow the methodology it outlines for estimating the impact of a policy change, however as the guidance indicates, we permit States to propose alternative methodologies.  We also welcome comments and suggestions on how to improve the process for collecting relevant caseload reduction information and calculating the caseload reduction credits.

Please note that we have made minor changes to Form ACF-202 and the instructions since their publication in the Federal Register.  Please read them carefully before completing the report. Although the form and instructions were made available for public comment, as States begin to use Form ACF-202, we welcome additional suggestions to improve its clarity and usefulness.

Background:

Section 407(b)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires us to reduce a State's required participation rate for a fiscal year by the number of percentage points that the average monthly number of families receiving assistance in the State in the immediately preceding fiscal year is less than the average monthly number of families that received assistance in the State in fiscal year (FY) 1995.  The statute prohibits this reduction from including any caseload declines due to requirements of Federal law or due to differences in State eligibility criteria.  We refer to this reduction in the participation rate as the caseload reduction credit.

For FY 1999, prior to the application of the TANF final regulations, States are not required to use Form ACF-202.  The guidance is intended to assist States in submitting caseload reduction information for FY 1999, in the absence of a form, and to guide their submissions thereafter.  To receive a caseload reduction credit in FY 2000 or thereafter, a State must complete Form ACF-202, the Caseload Reduction Report, in accordance with the regulations at 45 CFR 261.40 et seq.  The report provides us with information we need to calculate a caseload reduction credit, and thus determine the participation standard each State must meet for the fiscal year.

Inquiries:

Inquiries and comments should be directed to the appropriate Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Administrator.

/s/

Alvin C. Collins
Director
Office of Family Assistance