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SSBG IM 01-2012 Implementation of a New Performance Measure

Published: February 15, 2012
Social Services Block Grants (SSBG)
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)


Information Memorandum




U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447


Transmittal No. 01-2012
Date:  February 23, 2012

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) State Officials and Program Contacts


Implementation of a new performance measure.


The SSBG program is authorized under Title XX of the Social Security Act, as amended, and is codified at 42 USC 1397 through 1397e.  The implementing regulations for this and other block grant programs authorized by Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 are published at 45 CFR Part 96.  Those regulations include both specific requirements and general administrative requirements in lieu of 45 CFR Part 92 (the HHS implementation of the A-102 Common Rule) for the covered block grant programs.  Requirements specific to SSBG are found in 45 CFR Sections 96.70 through 96.74.  Each State is responsible for designing and implementing its own SSBG program, within very broad Federal guidelines.  States must administer their SSBG program according to their approved plan, along with amendments, and in conformance with their own implementing rules and policies.


To inform states about the SSBG program’s implementation of a new performance measure to improve states’ efficiency in planning for the use of SSBG funding.


Annually, states are required to submit a pre-expenditure report or intended use plan as a prerequisite to receiving SSBG funds; and, a post-expenditure report on the actual expenditures of SSBG funds subsequent to the end of the fiscal year. Both reports help to clarify the planned and actual use of SSBG funds for the provision of services in each state. The Office of Community Services (OCS), via its data contract, analyzes SSBG expenditure and recipient data reported through the pre- and post-expenditure reports in order to develop the SSBG Annual Report. This information also assists OCS in developing performance measures for the SSBG program.

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires all federal agencies to develop long-term Strategic Plans defining general goals and objectives for their programs; to develop Annual Performance Plans specifying measurable performance goals for all of the program activities in their budgets; and to publish an Annual Performance Report showing actual results compared to each annual performance goal.

The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program continues to work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve performance management and assessment, including establishing long-term and annual performance measures. The goal of the development of performance measures is to ensure that SSBG funds are spent effectively and efficiently while maintaining the program’s intrinsic flexibility as a block grant.

Toward this goal, the SSBG program is implementing a new performance measure designed to assess the degree to which states spend SSBG funds in a manner consistent with their intended use as required by the Federal law. States are also required to “report on the intended use of the payments…reports shall be revised throughout the year to reflect substantial changes.” The goal is to improve the consistency between states’ projected expenditures and their actual expenditures.


States will be given an overall performance score reflecting the percentage of all SSBG allocated dollars that were spent as the state had projected. The performance measure will be implemented using only reported dollars spent from the SSBG allocation funds rather than all SSBG expenditures (SSBG allocation + TANF transfer). The performance measure will be capped at 100 percent, reflecting how close a State came to spending at least the dollars it committed to spend as planned in the pre-expenditure report. Separate performance scores will not be calculated for each service area. The primary purpose of the performance measure is to assess how well States are doing overall in minimizing variance between projected and actual expenditures.

To calculate the performance measure, the total SSBG allocation dollars spent as planned (column C of Table 1) is divided by the total projected pre-expenditure SSBG allocation dollars (column A of Table 1). The result is the summary performance measure, representing the percentage of all pre-expenditure SSBG allocation dollars that were actually spent as planned (column D of Table 1). The actual SSBG allocation dollars received (column B of Table 1) are also included.

Performance Measure =  Sum of SSBG allocation dollars spent as planned / Sum of all pre-expenditure SSBG allocation dollars

Table 1 provides a sample calculation for a State X using this approach. For the sample, the performance score would be $5,509,462/$6,464,236 = 85%.

Table 1.  State X, Performance Measure Calculation


Projected SSBG Allocation (pre-expenditure report)

Actual SSBG Allocation Expenditures (post-expenditure report)


Amount Spent as Planned up to 100%

D= C/A

Percent Spent as Planned

Protective Services--Adults





Case Management





Pregnancy and Parenting





Home-Based Services





Other Services












In order to receive its annual SSBG allotment, each state is required to develop and submit an annual pre-expenditure report that describes how the state plans to administer its SSBG funds for the coming year. The intended uses of SSBG funds must be provided, including the types of activities to be supported and the categories and characteristics of individuals to be served. States are required to submit a revised intended use plan if the planned use of SSBG funds changes during the year. Pre-expenditure reports vary in their scope and level of detail, because there is no required format. The following steps are necessary by states to support implementation of the new SSBG performance measure:

  • Submit 2011 pre-expenditure and post-expenditure reports in Excel using the standard pre- and post-expenditure reporting forms;
  • Provide a crosswalk to SSBG service categories if the state does not use the standard pre-expenditure reporting form; and
  • Differentiate between the estimated SSBG allocation funds and the projected TANF funds on the pre-expenditure report form.

This is necessary as the new performance measure will use the data regarding the expenditure of SSBG allotment funds only.



In order to ensure that the data on expenditures of SSBG allocated funds is accurate, use the Microsoft Excel pre-expenditure and post-expenditure reporting forms to provide estimates and final totals of expenditures and recipients. Use of the Microsoft Excel forms helps ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data, and increases the efficiency of the data validation process. The narrative section of the pre-expenditure report and any additional documentation should be submitted in PDF format.

Address inquiries to:

Seth Hassett
Director, Division of State Assistance
Office of Community Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20447 


Last Reviewed: May 17, 2019