TANF-ACF-PA-2009-01 (The Emergency Fund for TANF Programs)

Publication Date: April 3, 2009

To:

State, Territory, and Tribal agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program

Subject:

The Emergency Fund for TANF Programs

Reference:

Section 403(c) of the Social Security Act.

Purpose:

To provide initial guidance regarding the newly established Emergency Fund.

Background:

On February 17, 2009, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), which establishes the Emergency Contingency Fund for State TANF Programs (Emergency Fund) as section 403(c) of the Social Security Act (the Act). This legislation provides up to $5 billion to help States, Territories, and Tribes in fiscal year (FY) 2009 and FY 2010 that have an increase in assistance caseloads or in certain types of expenditures. The Recovery Act made additional changes to TANF – extending supplemental grants through FY 2010, expanding flexibility in the use of TANF funds carried over from one fiscal year to the next, and adding a hold-harmless provision to the caseload reduction credit for States and Territories serving more TANF families. This policy announcement only addresses the Emergency Fund. 

The Emergency Fund is intended to build upon and renew the principles of work and responsibility that underlie successful welfare reform initiatives. Like other provisions of the Recovery Act, the Emergency Fund provides resources to States, Territories, and Tribes to support work and families during this difficult economic period.

The same financial and programmatic rules pertaining to the appropriate use of the jurisdiction’s Federal TANF block grant funds also apply when using the emergency funds. This also means that all TANF requirements, including work participation requirements and time limits, apply to families receiving assistance with emergency funds exactly as they do to families receiving other Federal TANF-funded assistance.

The Emergency Fund should not be confused with the TANF Contingency Fund in section 403(b) of the Act that currently provides money to qualifying States (but not Territories or Tribes) during an economic downturn.

The Recovery Act calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the Emergency Fund “as quickly as possible pursuant to appropriate guidance.” In that spirit, we are issuing this policy announcement to provide preliminary guidance to help agencies administering TANF programs understand the maximum emergency funding they can receive and the information we anticipate requiring of them to determine the amounts for which they qualify. Agencies may apply for these funds immediately by submitting the information described in the statute while we work to develop specific reporting forms and instructions.

SUMMARY OF EMERGENCY FUND STATUTE:

Emergency Fund grants are available to States, Territories, and Tribes (referred to collectively in this guidance as “jurisdictions”) if they meet any of the following three conditions for a quarter during FY 2009 or FY 2010:

  1. The jurisdiction's average monthly assistance caseload in the quarter is higher than its average monthly assistance caseload for the corresponding quarter of the Emergency Fund base year, and its expenditures for basic assistance in the quarter are higher than its expenditures for such assistance in the corresponding quarter of the Emergency Fund base year.
  2. The jurisdiction's expenditures for non-recurrent short-term benefits in the quarter are higher than its expenditures for such benefits in the corresponding quarter of the Emergency Fund base year.
  3. The jurisdiction's expenditures for subsidized employment in the quarter are higher than such expenditures in the corresponding quarter of the Emergency Fund base year.

For each category above, a jurisdiction that qualifies may request 80 percent of the amount by which Federal TANF expenditures and qualified State expenditures (i.e., maintenance-of-effort (MOE)) in the quarter for which it is requesting emergency funds exceed such expenditures in the corresponding base-year quarter. Under the law, the Emergency Fund base year is the lesser of FY 2007 or FY 2008 for a category. In other words, for the first category it is the year with the lower average monthly assistance caseload; for the second, it is the year with the lower non-recurrent short-term benefit expenditures; for the third, it is the year with the lower subsidized employment expenditures. A jurisdiction may request emergency funds under any or all of the three categories.

The law imposes a cumulative cap on the amount of emergency funding that a jurisdiction can receive for the two-year period. Cumulative combined grants from the existing Contingency Fund (section 403(b)) and the Emergency Fund (section 403(c)) cannot exceed 50 percent of the jurisdiction’s annual Federal TANF family assistance grant. For example, if a State’s Federal TANF family assistance grant is $100 million, the State could receive no more than $50 million in funding from both the TANF Contingency Fund and the Emergency Fund combined during the two-year period. We have included a table (Attachment A) listing the maximum funding that each jurisdiction could receive from the Emergency Fund. Any State that receives contingency funds in FY 2009 or FY 2010 should subtract those contingency funds from the maximum listed in the table.

The statute also specifies that this new Emergency Fund is disregarded from the limitation on total payments to Territories in sections 1108(a) and (c) of the Act. This means that Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands may apply for and receive emergency funds if eligible, even if the Territory has reached its payment ceiling for that fiscal year.

The Recovery Act gives HHS authority to make appropriate adjustments to caseload and expenditure data on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis to ensure that the data are comparable “with respect to the groups of families served and the types of aid provided.” It also allows us to develop a mechanism for collecting expenditure data that includes reasonable estimates and permits us to set deadlines for revising data. We discuss our expected policies concerning adjustments below.

Emergency Fund grants are Federal TANF funds, and, under the Recovery Act, a jurisdiction must use these funds in accordance with section 404 of the Act. Please note that this does not include authority to transfer emergency funds to either the Social Services Block Grant or the Child Care and Development Block Grant because that transfer authority is limited to grants made under section 403(a) of the Act. Emergency funds are available until expended. Per section 404(e) of the Act, a jurisdiction may carry over emergency funds for use in a succeeding fiscal year.

HHS IMPLEMENTATION EXPECTATIONS

Purpose of Emergency Funds

As we explained above, the Emergency Fund provides grants equal to 80 percent of a jurisdiction’s increased TANF and MOE expenditures on basic assistance, non-recurrent short-term benefits, and subsidized employment – all forms of aid that can help families unable to find jobs or with low earnings weather this difficult economic time. We would like to stress the flexibility inherent in these funds and urge you to consider carefully the best way to make use of this opportunity to help needy families. For example, a jurisdiction could: find ways to make its basic assistance programs more accessible; expand short-term emergency help to needy families facing eviction, utility shut-offs, or the need to pay a security deposit to secure housing; and expand subsidized employment programs that can provide wage-paying jobs when too few exist in the private labor market.

Definitions

Because the statute uses terminology already defined in current regulations and data collection instruments, we anticipate using these existing definitions. For your convenience, we have included these definitions as Attachment B.

Expenditure Data

We expect to ask jurisdictions to report expenditure data directly on an application form to request emergency funds. The intent is to reflect expenditures made for a quarter (as opposed to those reported in a quarter, for example on Form ACF-196). Expenditures during a quarter, whether during the base year or for a quarter for which a jurisdiction is requesting emergency funds, should reflect the amount actually expended (or estimated to be expended) for that particular quarter, irrespective of when the expenditures were claimed on the applicable financial report. For example, the expenditures for basic assistance should equal the amount that the jurisdiction paid to provide basic assistance benefits to families for the quarter. While expenditures you submit to apply for emergency funds should be consistent with those you report on your respective TANF financial reports (e.g., the ACF-196 for States), they may not be the same as the amounts reported on any given quarter’s financial report. This is because those TANF financial reports often reflect adjustments to prior data and because the timing of claims on those reports does not necessarily have to correspond to the period of expenditure.

Under the current State TANF Financial Report (ACF-196) and respective reports for Territories and Tribes, a jurisdiction may have reported similar expenditures in several different categories. For example, a jurisdiction could report “emergency cash assistance” under a category called “Other” or under “Non-recurrent short-term benefits.” When applying for emergency funds, it is important for a jurisdiction to submit expenditure data that is comparable for each quarter of the base year and for each quarter for which it is requesting emergency funds, regardless of the categories it used for those expenditures on its TANF Financial Report. We anticipate that a jurisdiction would only report this way on the form we are developing to implement the Emergency Fund; it would not have to modify past TANF Financial Data reports, as those reports are not used in awarding emergency funds.

Estimates

To facilitate the awarding of funds as quickly as possible, we anticipate that we will accept reasonable estimates for caseload and expenditure data. We intend to review these estimates and compare them to prior reported data. If a jurisdiction estimates a substantial increase in expenditures, we would expect it to explain the nature of the change it has made to its program. We expect to allow a jurisdiction to submit such estimated data up to one month before the beginning of a quarter. A jurisdiction would then revise these estimates on subsequent quarterly submissions until it has submitted final caseload and expenditure figures. The form and instructions we are developing will specify timeframes for submitting final data. As jurisdictions revise these data, we would revise the award amounts accordingly.

Adjustments

The statute gives HHS the authority to adjust caseload and expenditure data to ensure that comparisons between the request year and the base year are valid – that is, that the comparison is “apples to apples.” This adjustment language is intended to ensure that a jurisdiction that has made changes to the structure of its program or funding sources has neither a disadvantage nor an advantage because of those changes. Without the adjustment provision, a jurisdiction could fail to qualify for emergency funding if, for example, it began a solely State-funded assistance program after October 1, 2006. Similarly, a jurisdiction could be awarded more emergency funds than it should reasonably receive if it were to end a solely State-funded assistance program that had been in place in the base year and did not make the appropriate adjustments.

If a jurisdiction has not changed the structure of its programs in any of the three categories since the beginning of the base year, there may be no need to adjust its caseload or expenditure data. For a jurisdiction that has made structural changes in these programs, we may need to adjust data to ensure that the two periods are comparable. In general, we expect to adjust a jurisdiction’s base-year data so that it is comparable to the program it now operates. For example, if a jurisdiction established a solely State-funded assistance program since October 1, 2006, then it would need to provide estimates of what its caseload and assistance expenditures would have been if the solely State-funded program now in place had existed in the base year. Similarly, if a jurisdiction ended a solely State-funded assistance program and those families were now served in TANF, an adjustment to the base year also would be in order. Or, suppose a jurisdiction had a non-recurrent short-term program (e.g., a front-end or “pre-TANF” program) in place in the base year but terminated that program and now provides all newly approved applicants with standard TANF/MOE assistance. In this case, we would likely adjust the jurisdiction’s base-year caseload and expenditure data – both the basic assistance expenditures and the non-recurrent short-term benefits expenditures – to account for this program change and ensure that the data in the request quarter and the base-year quarter are comparable.

Similarly, we expect to adjust data so that a jurisdiction is neither rewarded nor penalized in the amount of emergency funds it receives due to the timing of its expenditures. For example, suppose a jurisdiction paid its subsidized employment contractor in a different quarter in the request year from the base year, making it appear as though the program grew when it did not. In such a case, we would likely make adjustments to smooth out the expenditures across quarters to represent more fairly and accurately the spending in that category in the two years. It is difficult for us to anticipate every possible scenario in which we might need to adjust data, but our guiding principle is that the Emergency Fund is intended to provide jurisdictions that increase expenditures in any of these areas with additional funding; the adjustment language will help us ensure that we carry out this mandate.

For a year in which a jurisdiction requests emergency funds in any quarter, we anticipate that it will need to provide expenditure data for all four quarters in each of the categories for which it is requesting funding, although not necessarily as part of its initial request. This will help us assure that the timing of expenditures is not a factor in the award.

It is important to understand that we are only proposing to adjust data related to shifts of expenditures affecting the three funding categories, including shifts into or out of a solely State-funded program. For example, a change to a time limit or sanction policy that restricts eligibility or a change to earnings disregards or family grants that expands eligibility would not require adjustment. The Emergency Fund is intended to provide extra help where a jurisdiction faces increased costs for basic assistance, non-recurrent short term benefits, or subsidized employment. If caseloads or expenditures fall or rise because of policy changes unrelated to a funding shift, we think those policy changes are accurately reflected in basic expenditure and caseload data and do not warrant any adjustment.

Timing

HHS will work cooperatively with jurisdictions to implement the Emergency Fund provisions as quickly as possible. The Department understands that many jurisdictions need these funds to maintain and expand essential benefits and services. We will respond to questions about the provision in a timely fashion and review the data submitted for both the base year and request quarters promptly. As we indicate below, you should direct your questions to the ACF Office in your Region. Both the ACF Regional and Central Offices will be working closely together to ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

We are making every effort to expedite the process of making emergency funding available. Although we expect that the application form will be approved quickly, a jurisdiction may apply for emergency funds before the form has been approved for use by submitting the information described in the statute. At this time, a jurisdiction may apply for the first three quarters of FY 2009. We expect to contact you within two weeks of receiving your request, either to inform you of the amount of your award or to request further information concerning your application.

We will issue further guidance on funding approval in the event that requests for emergency funds exceed the Emergency Fund’s appropriation.

Accountability and Oversight

Information submitted in support of a request for emergency funds will be tested for reliability and accuracy. Accordingly, jurisdictions are expected, as required by the Federal regulations at 45 CFR 92.20 and 45 CFR 92.42, to maintain pertinent documentation related to caseload and expenditure data used to support the request for funds, be able to link the information to the relevant reporting and accounting system, and make such information available in a clear and understandable form that can be validated by an auditor.

Attachments:

  • Attachment A: Maximum Grant Awards under the TANF Emergency Fund
  • Attachment B: Definitions of Terms Cited in the TANF Emergency Fund Statute

Inquiries:  

We anticipate maintaining close contact with you throughout the implementation of the Emergency Fund. Please direct any inquiries to the TANF Program Manager in your Region.

 

/s/
Ann H. Barbagallo
Acting Director
Office of Family Assistance

 

 

Attachment A

 

FY 2008 State Family Assistance Grants and Maximum Emergency Fund Eligibility as of 10/1/20081
 
State  SFAG Allocation   Tribal Allotments  Applicable SFAG Allocation 50 Percent of FY 2009 SFAG

Alabama

93,315,207

-  

93,315,207

46,657,604

Alaska

63,609,072

17,188,259

46,420,813

23,210,407

Arizona

222,419,988

22,187,291

200,232,697

100,116,349

Arkansas

56,732,858

-  

56,732,858

28,366,429

California

3,733,817,784

73,942,742

3,659,875,042

1,829,937,521

Colorado

136,056,690

-  

136,056,690

68,028,345

Connecticut

266,788,107

-  

266,788,107

133,394,054

Delaware

32,290,981

-  

32,290,981

16,145,491

District Of Columbia

92,609,815

-  

92,609,815

46,304,908

Florida

562,340,120

-  

562,340,120

281,170,060

Georgia

330,741,739

-  

330,741,739

165,370,870

Guam

3,465,478

-

3,465,478

1,732,739

Hawaii

98,904,788

-  

98,904,788

49,452,394

Idaho

31,938,052

1,525,490

30,412,562

15,206,281

Illinois

585,056,960

-  

585,056,960

292,528,480

Indiana

206,799,109

-  

206,799,109

103,399,555

Iowa

131,524,959

531,007

130,993,952

65,496,976

Kansas

101,931,061

-  

101,931,061

50,965,531

Kentucky

181,287,669

-  

181,287,669

90,643,835

Louisiana

163,971,985

-  

163,971,985

81,985,993

Maine

78,120,889

-  

78,120,889

39,060,445

Maryland

229,098,032

-  

229,098,032

114,549,016

Massachusetts

459,371,116

-  

459,371,116

229,685,558

Michigan

775,352,858

-  

775,352,858

387,676,429

Minnesota

267,984,886

4,550,816

263,434,070

131,717,035

Mississippi

86,767,578

-  

86,767,578

43,383,789

Missouri

217,051,740

-  

217,051,740

108,525,870

Montana

45,534,006

7,494,890

38,039,116

19,019,558

Nebraska

58,028,579

514,978

57,513,601

28,756,801

Nevada

43,976,750

69,233

43,907,517

21,953,759

New Hampshire

38,521,261

-  

38,521,261

19,260,631

New Jersey

404,034,823

-  

404,034,823

202,017,412

New Mexico

126,103,156

15,525,056

110,578,100

55,289,050

New York

2,442,930,602

-  

2,442,930,602

1,221,465,301

North Carolina

302,239,599

-  

302,239,599

151,119,800

North Dakota

26,399,809

-  

26,399,809

13,199,905

Ohio

727,968,260

-  

727,968,260

363,984,130

Oklahoma

148,013,558

2,732,116

145,281,442

72,640,721

Oregon

167,924,513

1,125,884

166,798,629

83,399,315

Pennsylvania

719,499,305

-  

719,499,305

359,749,653

Puerto Rico

71,562,501

-  

71,562,501

35,781,251

Rhode Island

95,021,587

-  

95,021,587

47,510,794

South Carolina

99,967,824

-  

99,967,824

49,983,912

South Dakota

21,893,519

613,868

21,279,651

10,639,826

Tennessee

191,523,797

-  

191,523,797

95,761,899

Texas

486,256,752

-  

486,256,752

243,128,376

Utah

76,829,219

  

1,219,744

75,609,475

37,804,738

Vermont

47,353,181

-  

47,353,181

23,676,591

Virgin Islands

2,846,564

-

2,846,564

1,423,282

Virginia

158,285,172

-  

158,285,172

79,142,586

Washington

404,331,754

23,377,256

380,954,498

190,477,249

West Virginia

110,176,310

-  

110,176,310

55,088,155

Wisconsin

318,188,410

3,689,056

314,499,354

157,249,677

Wyoming

21,781,446

3,280,916

18,500,530

9,250,265

1SFAG allocations and Tribal allotments (and therefore the maximum Emergency Fund eligibility) may change during the fiscal year if there are changes in funding to Tribal TANF programs in a State.

 

 

FY 2009 Tribal Allotment and Maximum Emergency Fund Eligibility
 
Tribe State  Tribal
Allotment 
50 Percent of
FY 2009 Allotment

Association of Village Council Presidents, Inc

Alaska

5,420,841

2,710,421

Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa

Wisconsin

291,848

145,924

Blackfeet Nation

Montana

3,089,816

1,544,908

Bristol Bay Native Association

Alaska

1,216,441

608,221

Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indians of Alaska1

Alaska

2,367,150

1,183,575

Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation

Montana

1,258,657

629,329

Coeur d' Alene Tribe

Idaho

161,719

80,860

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes1

Montana

2,139,915

1,069,958

Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians1

Oregon

661,625

330,813

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Washington

 

3,396,965

1,698,483

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.1

Alaska

5,428,077

2,714,039

Eastern Shoshone Tribe - Wind River Reservation1

Wyoming

1,640,458

820,229

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

California

1,570,412

785,206

Forest County Potawatomi Community

Wisconsin

115,793

57,897

Fort Belknap Community Council1

Montana

1,006,502

503,251

Hoopa Valley Tribe

California

1,212,239

606,120

Hopi Tribe

Arizona

628,740

 

314,370

Klamath Tribe

Oregon

464,259

 

232,130

Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Wisconsin

 

610,124

305,062

Lower Elwha S'Klallam Tribe

Washington

 

501,343

 

250,672

Lummi Nation

Washington

1,514,421

757,211

Menominee Indian Tribe of  Wisconsin

Wisconsin

 

1,267,930

633,965

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe1

Minnesota

4,550,816

2,275,408

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

California

 

1,473,624

 

736,812

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Oklahoma

2,312,788

1,156,394

Navajo Nation

Arizona (New Mexico, Utah)

 

31,174,026

15,587,013

Nez Perce Tribe

Idaho

 

504,990

 

252,495

Nooksack Indian Tribe

Washington

913,828

456,914

North Fork Rancheria

California

 

1,273,327

636,664

Northern Arapaho Tribe - Wind River Reservation

Wyoming

1,640,458

820,229

Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin

Wisconsin

 

835,924

417,962

Osage Tribe of Oklahoma

Oklahoma

 

419,328

 

209,664

Owens Valley Career Development Center

California

14,375,863

7,187,932

Pasqua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona

Arizona

 

1,729,965

864,983

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe1

Washington

516,580

258,290

Pueblo of Zuni1

New Mexico

 

801,389

400,695

Quileute Tribe

Washington

 

608,686

304,343

Quinault Indian Nation

Washington

1,695,135

847,568

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas

Wisconsin

347,120

 

173,560

Robinson Rancheria (California Tribal TANF Partnership)

California

 

6,296,016

3,148,008

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Arizona

 

710,340

355,170

San Carlos Apache Tribe

Arizona

1,972,962

 

986,481

Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians

California

1,935,052

967,526

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Ft. Hall Reservation1

Idaho

 

858,781

429,391

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation1

South Dakota

 

613,868

306,934

Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians

California

1,429,333

714,667

Sokaogon Chippewa Community - Mole Lake Band

Wisconsin

77,195

38,598

South Puget Inter-tribal Planning Agency

Washington

 

4,743,962

 

2,371,981

Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association, Inc.

California

 

7,224,967

 

3,612,484

Spokane Tribe of Indians1

Washington

 

8,403,229

4,201,615

Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians

Wisconsin

143,122

 

71,561

Tanana Chiefs' Conference, Inc.1

Alaska

2,443,973

1,221,987

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
(Torres Martinez Tribal TANF Program)

California

 

20,058,817

10,029,409

Tulalip Tribes1

Washington

 

967,330

483,665

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe

Washington

 

115,777

 

57,889

Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California

California (Nevada)

14,034,049

7,017,025

White Mountain Apache Tribe

Arizona

 

1,914,669

957,335

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska1

Nebraska (Iowa)

1,045,985

522,993

Yurok Tribe

California

1,273,264

636,632

1We will distribute Emergency Fund grants to Tribal TANF agencies operating within the P.L. 102-477 demonstration project through the Department of Interior.  All eligible Tribal TANF agencies must follow the reporting and accountability requirements governing the Emergency Fund; we will not waive those requirements because of a Tribe’s participation in the P.L. 102-477 demonstration project.  This includes quarterly, as opposed to annual, data reporting.

 

 

 

Attachment B

 

Definitions of Terms Cited in the TANF Emergency Fund Statute


The statute uses terminology already defined in regulations or various reporting instruments (i.e., the TANF Financial Report (ACF-196), the TANF Data Report (ACF-199), and the SSP-MOE Data Report (ACF-209), the Territorial Financial Report (ACF-196TR), and the Tribal Financial Reports (SF-269A, ACF-196T, or ACF-102-477 Financial Report 12g)). We anticipate that jurisdictions will submit information in accordance with these definitions.

Assistance caseload: This means the average monthly number of TANF and SSP-MOE cases receiving “assistance.” Consistent with 45 CFR 260.31(a) and 45 CFR 286.10(a), “assistance” includes cash, payments, vouchers, and other forms of benefits designed to meet a family's ongoing basic needs (i.e., for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, household goods, personal care items, and general incidental expenses). It includes such benefits even when they are provided in the form of payments by a TANF agency, or other agency on its behalf, to individual recipients and are conditioned on their participation in work experience or community service (or any other TANF work activity). It also includes supportive services such as transportation and child care provided to families who are not employed.

Basic assistance: Consistent with 45 CFR 260.31(a)(1) and (2), and with 45 CFR 286.10(a)(1), basic assistance means cash, payments, vouchers, and other forms of benefits designed to meet a family's ongoing basic needs (i.e., for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, household goods, personal care items, and general incidental expenses). It includes such benefits even when they are provided in the form of payments by a TANF agency, or other agency on its behalf, to individual recipients, and when they are conditioned on participation in work experience or community service (or any other work activity).

This is the same definition that the ACF-196 (line 5a) uses; it is not assistance that would be reported on line 5b, 5c, or 5d of the ACF-196 (child care, transportation or other supportive services, or assistance authorized solely under prior law, if it is not basic assistance.) It can include benefits regardless of whether the parent is working or the benefit is provided in what the jurisdiction considers its basic TANF program or in another program that serves a particular subgroup of families or a particular purpose (e.g., an earnings supplement program).

Non-recurrent short-term benefits: Consistent with the definition at 45 CFR 260.31(b)(1) and 45 CFR 286.10(b)(1), non-recurrent short-term benefits means benefits designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need, that are not intended to meet recurrent or ongoing needs, and that will not extend beyond four months. This is the same definition that the ACF-196 (line 6g) uses.

Note that these benefits include those provided directly to a family and those paid to others on behalf of the family, such as a payment to a landlord. Both families receiving other forms of “assistance” and families that do not otherwise receive ongoing assistance may receive non-recurrent short-term benefits.

Subsidized employment: There is no expenditure category called “subsidized employment” but subsidized employment activities are typically reported under the category “Work Subsidies” on TANF financial reports. Consistent with the definition at 45 CFR 260.31(b)(2) and at 45 CFR 286.10(b)(2), work subsidies means payments to employers or third parties to help cover the costs of employee wages, benefits, supervision, and training. This is the same definition that the ACF-196 (line 6a1) uses.

Note that some jurisdictions may in the past have reported some subsidized employment expenditures in categories other than “work subsidies” on their respective financial reports. Such a jurisdiction should nevertheless include all expenditures related to operating a subsidized employment program, including the cost of overseeing the program, developing work sites, and providing training to participants, when applying for funding.

Emergency Fund base year: FY 2007 or FY 2008, based on the fiscal year that has the lower assistance caseload (for the basic assistance category) or lower expenditures (for the non-recurrent short-term benefits and subsidized employment categories). The base year for a jurisdiction could be different for different expenditure categories. Since HHS may make adjustments to the caseload and expenditure data, the final base year for each category is the one that is the lesser after adjustments are made.

Current as of: