Replaces the current Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA), as well as the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program under part F of that title, with a single, combined program of block grants to the States for operating statewide temporary assistance (TANF) programs with certain mandatory work, education, and job preparation requirements for needy families either already with or expecting a child, which are designed to assist such families in becoming self-sufficient.
Limits such families generally to no more than five years of TANF cash assistance, with certain exceptions for minor children, battered family members, and hardship situations.
Requires that families include either a minor child who resides with a custodial parent or other adult caretaker relative or a pregnant individual in order to receive TANF assistance.
Prohibits additional cash TANF assistance for children born into families already on TANF assistance (with certain exceptions for:
(1) children born into families with no other children;
(2) vouchers provided in lieu of cash benefits that are only good for particular goods and services suitable for child care; and
(3) children born as a result of rape or incest), unless the particular State exempts itself from such prohibition.
Denies TANF assistance in cases where an individual family member is a fugitive felon or a probation or parole violator, and in certain other specified situations as well.
Requires States receiving TANF grants to ensure that, if any individual or family becomes ineligible to receive TANF cash assistance as a result of the collection or increased collection of child or spousal support under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity), having received such assistance in at least three of the six months immediately preceding the month in which such ineligibility begins, the individual or each individual family member shall be eligible for Medicaid assistance for a four month period.
Requires States receiving TANF grants to ensure that:
(1) certain other families becoming ineligible for TANF cash assistance due to increased earnings from employment receive Medicaid assistance during the immediately succeeding 12-month period; and
(2) individuals who would be eligible for cash assistance under the State's SSA title IV part A (AFDC) plan if such plan were still in effect are eligible for medical assistance under the State's Medicaid program.
Requires the State agency responsible for administering the State's TANF program to make an initial assessment of the skills, prior work experience, and employability of each TANF recipient who has attained 18 years of age or not completed high school.
Authorizes the State agency to develop an individual responsibility plan in consultation with the individual outlining his or her obligations and the services the State intends to provide for the individual to attain self-sufficiency.
Allows States receiving TANF grants used to provide assistance for any individual who is receiving benefits, or on behalf of whom benefits are paid, under a State old-age, foster care, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) plan to disregard such assistance payment in determining the amount of TANF assistance to be provided under the State TANF program to the family of which the individual is a member.
Requires, in addition, certain adult-supervised living arrangements for unmarried teenage parents.
Provides for the exchange of certain TANF program information with law enforcement agencies under specified conditions.
Establishes penalties for States and individual families for specified grant and program violations, through reduced grants and assistance payments, respectively, allowing States to terminate such payments to certain adult family members who refuse to:
(1) engage in work, educational, or job preparation activities (required program activities); or
(2) cooperate with the State in establishing paternity or obtaining child support unless the member qualifies for a good cause or other exception.
Provides for a separate reduction in State family assistance grant payments for States failing to comply with Federal requirements under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) pertaining to paternity establishment and child support enforcement.
Sets forth the mechanism for State appeal of Federal adverse decisions with respect to State plans or imposition of penalties, providing for advance notification of any program violation and the opportunity for a State to correct it before any such penalty is imposed.
Limits the amount of any penalty reduction in the State's quarterly family assistance grant payment.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that State TANF programs should:
(1) assign the highest priority to requiring adults in two-parent families and in single-parent families with older preschool or school-age children to be engaged in required program activities; and
(2) require noncustodial, nonsupporting parents under age 18 to fulfill community work obligations and attend appropriate parenting or money management classes after school.
Specifies State TANF plan contents, including certain certifications by the State that it will operate child support enforcement and protection programs, in order for it to be eligible (according to certain other criteria as well) to receive Federal grants for its TANF programs (family assistance grants).
Allows the States to decide in their TANF plans:
(1) whether or not they intend on providing TANF assistance to aliens; and
(2) how to treat families moving interstate.
(1) the allowable uses of quarterly family assistance grants, including for family planning services and assistance to low income households in meeting home heating and cooling costs (but prohibits grant use for medical services generally);
(2) additional grants to States as rewards for reductions in illegitimate births and for high performance under the TANF program, as well as supplemental grants to certain States for population increases; and
(3) a Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs (Contingency Fund) in the Treasury for payments to certain eligible States. Provides for supplemental grants for required program activities.
Makes applicable appropriations for such grants and the Contingency Fund. Sets up a Federal loan program for State TANF programs for anti-fraud and other specified activities, making necessary appropriations.
Outlines specific program data collection and reporting requirements, as well as certain research, evaluation, and study requirements.
Makes applicable appropriations.
Provides for direct funding, by way of three-year tribal family assistance grants, to Indian tribes (with a special rule for Indian tribes in Alaska) with approved tribal family assistance plans.
Authorizes the Secretary of HHS to implement and evaluate demonstrations of innovative and promising strategies which:
(1) provide one-time capital funds to establish, expand, or replicate programs;
(2) test performance-based grant-to-loan financing in which programs meeting performance targets receive grants while programs not meeting such targets repay funding on a prorated basis; and
(3) test strategies in multiple States and types of communities.
Directs the Bureau of the Census to expand the Survey of Income and Program Participation to obtain information that will enable interested persons to evaluate the impact of the changes made by this title on a random national sample of recipients of assistance under State programs.
Provides for the treatment of existing State AFDC (welfare reform) waivers in effect on the enactment of this Act and those granted subsequently.
Retains the HHS Assistant Secretary for Family Support as the official responsible for administering TANF programs.
Eliminates certain child care programs under SSA title IV part A, including the at-risk child care program.