TANF-ACF-PI-2006-02 (Elimination of non-assistance families in the TANF and SSP-MOE Data Reports)
State agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and other interested parties
Elimination of non-assistance families in the TANF and SSP-MOE Data Reports.
TANF-ACF-PI-99-3 dated October 27, 1999
The purpose of this instruction is to advise the States not to include families that received no assistance under the TANF program or the SSP-MOE program in their TANF or SSP-MOE Data Reports, (Sections 1 and 3) respectively (ACF-199 and ACF-209).
Section 411 (a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (PRWORA) stipulates that each eligible State should report specified information on the families receiving assistance. The term assistance is explained in 45 CFR 260.31. In Section 1 of the TANF Data Report, States are required to specify the amount of assistance provided to a family through the following data elements: item 21A: Cash and Cash Equivalents (TANF cash grant and vendor payments for rent, food, and other basic needs); item 22A: TANF Child Care amount paid with TANF funds to an unemployed family; item 23A: Transportation Assistance paid with TANF funds to an unemployed family; item 24A: Transitional Services assistance paid with TANF funds to an unemployed family; and item 25A: Other Assistance paid with TANF funds to an unemployed family. The corresponding data elements in the SSP-MOE Data Report (ACF-209) are items 19A; 20A; 21A; 22A; and 23A. A family that received no assistance should have an entry zero ($0) in each of these five data elements, and that family should be treated as a non-assistance family and should not, therefore, be reported either as a TANF family or as an SSP-MOE family. In our examination of the data submitted to us by States, we detected non-assistance families for some States (in varying numbers), and in our regular feedback to those States on data quality problems, we had listed those families (with relevant details) questioning their inclusion in the data reports. Although we have been providing such feedback to States for several years now, we still detect non-assistance families in some States’ data reports. This incorrect inclusion of the non-assistance families in the data reports can distort the work participation rates, as well as the total number of families receiving assistance reported in the Section 3 (Aggregate) Data Reports.
States should identify and eliminate the non-assistance families in their TANF and SSP-MOE Data Reports for Federal Fiscal years 2005 and 2006, make corresponding changes in their Section 3 Data Reports, and submit their corrected data to ACF. The deadline for submitting the corrected data for FY 2005 is July 31, 2006 and for correcting FY 2006 data is December 30, 2006. States should not include any non-assistance families in these specified future data reports.
Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate ACF Regional Administrators or to the Director, Division of Data Collection and Analysis, Office of Family Assistance, ACF (phone: 202-401-9297; email: shurley@ acf.hhs.gov).
Sidonie Squier, Director
Office of Family Assistance