Title IV-A of the Social Security Act and implementing regulations in 45 CFR Parts 260-265 and 286, and TANF-ACF-PI-2007-08 (Using Federal TANF and State Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE) Funds for Families in Areas Covered by a Federal or State Disaster Declaration).
As a consequence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United States is experiencing a nationwide emergency, implicating both public health and the economy. Secretary Azar declared a nationwide public health emergency on January 31, 2020, and President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020.
The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) has heard from several grantees expressing concerns about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Tribal TANF program and is fielding many questions about how Tribal TANF can help support people affected by it. Its top priority is the public health and safety of all those operating its programs and receiving its services. Increased need in many tribal nations for basic assistance and other financial benefits may arise as a result of the pandemic. With that in mind, this program instruction (PI) builds on TANF-ACF-PI-2020-01 (Questions and answers about TANF and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic), found at /ofa/resource/tanf-acf-pi-2020-01, which addressed questions and answers about how state and tribal grantees might use TANF to help those in need and TANF’s administrative flexibilities for both states and tribes. This program instruction addresses frequently asked questions about the flexibilities available to tribes and the requirements for providing non-recurrent, short-term (NRST) benefits to those in need as a result of COVID-19.
This program instruction (PI) revises and supersedes TANF-ACF-PI 2005-03. It explains the application of the regulations at 45 CFR Part 286 for determining the TANF service area(s) and population that may be included in a tribe's TANF plan. It clarifies policy relative to Letters of Intent (LOI) from tribal applicants and explains state, tribal and Federal roles in the resolution of tribal competition over the same service area. Additionally, the PI establishes ACF’s policy that tribes may provide benefits to their own members, even if those members are not in the tribe’s TANF service area and population.