TANF-ACF-PI-2000-05 (Formula for Awarding the High Performance Bonus (HPB) in Fiscal Year 2001)
State Agencies Administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and Other Interested Parties.
Formula for Awarding the High Performance Bonus (HPB) in Fiscal Year 2001.
The purpose of this Program Instruction (PI) is to advise States and other interested parties of the rescission of the Food Stamp and Medicaid program certification requirements the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) specified in TANF-ACF-PI-99-5 for making FY 2001 HPB awards.
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 two years of the HPB awards (FY 1999 and FY 2000) were issued via TANF-ACF-PI-98-1, TANF-ACF-PI 98-5, and TANF-ACF-PI-99-1.
On December 6, 1999, we issued TANF-ACF-PI 99-5, which provided the formula specifications for awarding the FY 2001 HPB. On the same date we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) addressing the FY 2002 and FY 2003 HPB awards. The proposed rule included two measures that supported work and self-sufficiency, i.e., participation by low-income working families in the Food Stamp Program and participation in the Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance program (SCHIP) by families transitioning off TANF assistance. In order to compete for bonuses for the Food Stamp and Medicaid/SCHIP measures, we proposed that States meet certain qualifying conditions and qualifying options associated with statutory and regulatory requirements. To highlight the importance of the Food Stamp and Medicaid programs in supporting and sustaining working families prior to incorporation of these measures into the final HPB rule, we included certification of compliance with certain statutory and regulatory provisions in TANF-ACF-99-5 as requirements to compete in any of the four work measures in the third bonus year, FY 2001.
For the Food Stamp Program, States were required to certify that they had: (1) issued policies covering the opportunity to apply; (2) issued policies specifying that applications are available upon request; (3) complied with application processing time frames; and (4) taken steps to prevent inappropriate denials and terminations. For Medicaid and SCHIP, States were required to certify that they had: (1) issued policy instructions clearly specifying that an individual must be given the opportunity to apply for Medicaid; (2) issued appropriate notices and evidence of entitlement to families losing eligibility under certain circumstances; (3) issued policy instructions or regulations clearly specifying that eligibility for Medicaid cannot be terminated until the family has been determined not to be eligible under any other Medicaid group; and (4) fulfilled all data requirements under the law.
We received a number of comments, in response to the HPB NPRM, objecting to the qualifying conditions and qualifying options as proposed for the Food Stamp and the Medicaid/SCHIP measures. After carefully considering all of the comments received on the qualifying conditions and qualifying options, we decided to delete them from the final rule published on August 30, 2000. We have concluded that monitoring and compliance efforts undertaken by the overseeing Federal agencies and the States themselves are more appropriate methods of ensuring compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements that are basic to maintaining good program access for working families. In addition, States that fail to meet them will likely not perform well in the bonus competition.
Consistent with our decision with regard to the HPB final rule, the Food Stamp and Medicaid/SCHIP program certification requirements for the FY 2001 HPB awards are rescinded. The other specifications in TANF-ACF-PI-99-5 remain unchanged; i.e., the modified job retention measure and the quarterly submittal dates.
For further information you should contact the appropriate HUB Director/Regional Administrator.
Alvin C. Collins
Office of Family Assistance
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation