State Policy Documentation Project



Notes on the TANF Data

There are three document types on this website:

  • 50-state policy comparisons
  • Individual state policy descriptions
  • Findings in brief

The policy descriptions and comparisons are not meant to be read as stand-alone documents.  Findings in brief describe the issues covered and define the terms used in the policy descriptions and comparisons.  We suggest printing a copy of Findings in Brief for each section to keep with any data reports you print, and reading it before interpreting the data.

SPDP's goal is to provide information on state policies that are written in state statute, regulation and caseworker manual.  The information presented on this website describes state policy, not practice.

Data Collection
SPDP data was collected through two surveys, first completed by an independent policy analyst or advocate each state.  The TANF agency in each state was then given an opportunity to review and verify the information.  To resolve discrepancies between the original respondents' answers and information provided by state agencies, SPDP staff consulted state statute, regulations, and policy manuals.   Finally, SPDP staff edited the data to standardize it across states.

Date of Policy
SPDP began collecting data on state policies in 1997 and continued through 1999, so the effective dates of policies described vary across topics.   Policy comparison charts indicate the date of policies described.

The first survey, covering Applications, Categorical Eligibility, Financial Eligibility and Emergency Assistance, was initially fielded in early 1998, and survey respondents answered based on legislation enacted through December 31, 2023 and any implementing regulations. State agencies verified the information provided by respondents between September 1998 and March 1999 (see table below), and were asked to provide information on 1998 policy changes. The data reflects information they provided on changes that went into effect through December 31, 1998.  In addition, notes describing any 1999 policy changes that we know about are included in the policy comparisons and descriptions.

The second survey, on Time Limits, Work Activities and Requirements, Sanctions, Child Care, Child Support, Program Administration, Immunization and Child Health Provisions and Drug-Related Provisions, was initially fielded in late 1998.   State agencies verified the information between July 1999 and January 2000 (see table below), and were asked to update the information to reflect current policy.  As of February 2000, agencies in 3 states--Massachusetts, North Carolina and Wyoming--had not provided verification.  The policy comparisons reflect policies in place as of October 1999 unless otherwise noted.

Abbreviations & Acronyms

AU:  Assistance unit
C D:  County discretion to determine policy
EA:  Emergency assistance
EITC: Earned Income Tax Credit
FPL:  Federal poverty level
GA:  General assistance
HHS:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
MOE:  Maintanence of effort obligation (the level of spending a state must meet in order to receive its full federal TANF block grant)
N/A:  Not applicable
PRUCOL:  Person residing under color of law
SSI:  Supplemental Security Income
TANF:  Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
--:  No answer/Unknown

SPDP Data Verification Dates and State Program Names


1st Agency Verification Date

2nd Agency Verification Date

Name of TANF Cash Assistance Program

Alabama 09/98 11/99 Family Assistance
Alaska 01/99 09/99 Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP)
Arizona 02/99 08/99 Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility (EMPOWER)
Arkansas 10/98 07/99 The Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA)
California 10/98 08/99 California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKs)
Colorado 10/98 09/99 Colorado Works
Connecticut 10/98 07/99 Jobs First/Temporary Family Assistance
Delaware 10/98 07/99 A Better Chance (ABC)
DC 09/98 01/00 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Florida 12/98 08/99 Work And Gain Economic Self Sufficiency (WAGES)
Georgia 10/98 07/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act (TANF)
Hawaii 12/98 07/99 Pursuit of New Opportunities (PONO)
Idaho 10/98 09/99 Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI)
Illinois 09/98 07/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Indiana 01/99 08/99 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Iowa 10/98 08/99 Family Investment Program (FIP)
Kansas 09/98 07/99 Temporary Assistance for Families (TAF)
Kentucky 10/98 07/99 Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP)
Louisiana 09/98 07/99 Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP)
Maine 09/98 08/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Maryland 10/98 08/99 Family Investment Program (FIP)
Cash assistance component is Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
Massachusetts 01/99 N/A Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
Michigan 10/98 08/99 Family Independence Program
Minnesota 11/98 09/99 Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
Mississippi 09/98 07/99 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Missouri 10/98 08/99 Temporary Assistance
Montana 12/98 07/99 Families Achieving Independence in Montana (FAIM)
Nebraska 04/99 07/99 Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)
Nevada 09/98 07/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
New Hampshire 10/98 07/99 New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP) and Family Assistance Program (FAP)
New Jersey 10/98 08/99 Work First New Jersey
New Mexico 10/98 07/99 New Mexico Works
New York 10/98 07/99 Family Assistance Program (FA)
Child Assistance Program (CAP)--a voluntary alternative to FA currently available in 17 counties
North Carolina 02/99 N/A Work First Program
North Dakota 01/99 07/99 Training, Education, Employment and Management Program (TEEM)
Ohio 09/98 08/99 Ohio Works First (OWF)
Oklahoma 09/98 07/99 Statewide Temporary Assistance Responsibility System (STARS)
Oregon 01/99 07/99 Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)
Pennsylvania 04/99 01/00 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Rhode Island 10/98 08/99 Family Independence Program (FIP)
South Carolina 11/98 07/99 Family Independence Program (FIP)
South Dakota 12/98 09/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Tennessee 11/98 09/99 Families First
Texas 08/98 11/99 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Achieving Change for Texas (ACT)
Utah 11/98 07/99 Family Employment Program
Vermont 10/98 09/99 Aid to Needy Families with Children (ANFC)
Virginia 10/98 02/00 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) is the work program
Washington 09/98 09/99 WorkFirst
West Virginia 11/98 07/99 WV Works
Wisconsin 11/98 07/99 Wisconsin Works (W-2)
Wyoming 10/98 N/A Personal Opportunities with Employment Responsibilities (POWER)


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This page last updated September 02, 2023

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