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TANF-ACF-PI-1999-05 (Formula for Awarding the High Performance Bonus (HPB) in Fiscal Year 2001 and Specifications for the FY 2000 and FY 2001 Bonuses)

Published: December 6, 1999
Audience:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Topics:
Data Collection and Reporting, High Performance Bonus
Types:
Program Instructions (PI)
Tags:
High Performance Measures

To:

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

Subject:

Formula for Awarding the High Performance Bonus (HPB) in Fiscal Year 2001 and Specifications for the FY 2000 and FY 2001 Bonuses.

Purpose:

The purpose of this Program Instruction (PI) is to advise States and other interested parties of the measures and formula the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) intends to use in making FY 2001 awards based on State performance in FY 2000.  This transmittal also specifies revised time frames for reporting the FY 1999 and FY 2000 performance data.

Background:

Section 403(a)(4) of the Social Security Act makes $1 billion available over a five-year period to reward States that achieve high performance in meeting the purposes and goals of the TANF program.  The formula and measures for the first year of the HPB awards, FY 1999, were developed in consultation with the National Governors’ Association, the American Public Human Services Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, State representatives, and others.  The specifications for the FY 1999 awards were released as program instructions (TANF-ACF-PI-98-1 and TANF-ACF-PI-98-5).  We extended the use of the FY 1999 measures and specifications into the second year of the HPB awards, FY 2000, via TANF-ACF-PI-99-1.

We are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) addressing the FY 2002 and FY 2003 HPB awards.  Since the time frame for publishing final rules will not provide States with timely notice of the policies and specifications for awarding the third year HPB (FY 2001), this PI covers the HPB awards for FY 2001.

In the NPRM, we propose seven performance measures on which to base the HPB awards for FY 2002 and FY 2003.  These measures are: four work measures (substantially the same measures currently in effect for the FY 1999 and FY 2000 awards), a measure on family formation and stability (increase in the number of children below 200 percent of poverty who reside in a married couple family), and two measures that support work and self-sufficiency, i.e., participation by low-income working families in the Food Stamp Program and participation by families transitioning off welfare in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  In addition, we propose an allocation formula and identify a number of data sources and other measures we considered.  We are seeking public comment on the measures we propose as well as other provisions of the NPRM.

Instructions:

The formula and outcome measures for the FY 2001 bonus year awards will be substantially the same as those specified in the program instructions governing the first and second year bonus awards (TANF-ACF-PI-98-1, TANF-ACF-PI-98-5, and TANF-ACF-PI-99-1).  However, for the FY 2001 awards, we have added two certifications specified below.  We have also modified the job retention measure.

We may, after consultation and additional analysis of the data, procedures, and process used to award the FY 1999 bonuses, make technical modifications to these specifications.  Our consultations would include a discussion of the merit of using percent change vs. percentage point change in assessing performance improvement measures and the redistribution of bonus awards when a State exceeds the 5 percent TANF grant award limit.

I.  Two Required Certifications

Because of the critical importance of the Food Stamp Program and the Medicaid and SCHIP programs in supporting and sustaining working and otherwise eligible families, we have added two certifications.  In order to compete on any of the four work measures in FY 2001, the State must submit, by October 1, 2000, the following certifications.  State certifications that they are complying with these Food Stamp, Medicaid, and SCHIP requirements in the current year are an important step to ensure that families transitioning off welfare receive the nutritional and health supports for which they are eligible.  It will also position States to compete on the new Food Stamp, Medicaid, and SCHIP high performance bonus measures proposed in the NPRM.

A.  Food Stamp Program Certification

The State must certify that it has met the following statutory and regulatory requirements:

1.  The State agency has issued policy instructions or regulations clearly specifying that, at first contact with the State agency which administers the Food Stamp Program, individuals must be informed of the opportunity to apply for food stamps in accordance with 7 CFR 273.2(c)(1);

2.  The State agency has issued policy instructions or regulations clearly specifying that application forms are to be readily accessible and available upon request, in accordance with 7 CFR 273.2(c)(3);

3.  As evidenced through policy instructions, regulations, and administrative reviews, the State agency is complying with application processing time frames and expedited service rules, as required by 7 CFR 273.2(g); and

4.   As evidenced through policy instructions, regulations, and administrative reviews, the State agency has taken steps to prevent inappropriate denials and terminations of eligible food stamp participants who have lost TANF eligibility.

B.  Medicaid and SCHIP Certification

The State must certify that it has met the following statutory and regulatory requirements:

1.  The State has issued policy instructions or regulations clearly specifying that, at first contact with the TANF agency, an individual must be given the opportunity to apply for Medicaid in accordance with 42 CFR 435.906;

2.  When eligibility under section 1931 of the Social Security Act (the Act) is lost due to hours of, or earnings from, employment or loss of the time-limited earning disregards, the State issues to the affected family a written notice that meets the requirements of section 1925(a)(2)(A) of the Act, and a card or other evidence of the family’s entitlement to assistance, as required under section 1925(a)(2)(B) of the Act;

3.  The State has issued policy instructions or regulations clearly specifying that family members may not be terminated from Medicaid until it has been determined that they are not eligible under any other Medicaid group; and

4.  The State has fulfilled all data requirements under the law, including being up to date on all Medicaid and CHIP data submissions and having the MSIS system on-line and operating properly.

II.  Modification to the Measurement of Job Retention

For the FY 2001 HPB awards, we have made a change in one definition.  A job retention recipient is defined as any adult recipient who is paid for work performed in three consecutive calendar quarters, the first of which must be in the fiscal year being measured, regardless of the number of hours employed or whether or not employed in the same job.  In the second or third quarter, the adult might be a former recipient.  Adult recipients in workfare or in fully subsidized employment are excluded from the count of job retention recipients.  This change will reward States for longer term job placements.  It is also consistent with the measure of retention the Department of Labor will use in awarding bonuses under the Welfare-to-Work Program.

The definition of a "job retention recipient" remains unchanged for the FY 2000 HPB awards, i.e., work performed in two consecutive calendar quarters.  However, States may wish to collect job retention information based on both two and three consecutive quarters for the FY 1999 performance year.  This is because these data will be needed by States competing on the improvement measure "Increase in Success in the Work Force" in FY 2001.

HPB Data Submittal Date

Based on our experience with data submissions for the FY 1999 HPB awards, we are extending the time frames for submission of the quarterly HPB data.  Note that where a State submitted performance data for FY 1999 work measures, we will use that data for any improvement measures the State wishes to compete on for the FY 2000 bonus.  The submittal dates below are for both FY 2000 and FY 20001 HPB data:

Quarterly Data Submittal Date

Quarter 1 (Oct.– Dec.) - Nov. 30, 1999 (2000)

Quarter 2 (Jan.– Mar.) -Feb. 28, 2000 (2001)

Quarter 3 (April – June) - May 31, 2000 (2001)

Quarter 4 (July – Sept.) - Aug. 31, 2000 (2001)

Effective Date:

Immediately

Inquiries:

For further information you should contact the appropriate HUB Director/Regional Administrator.

/s/

Alvin C. Collins
Director
Office of Family Assistance

/s/

Howard Rolston
Director
Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation