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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 30, 2017 04:03 PM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Welfare Reform: Changes to the TANF program
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides federal funding to states for a variety of benefits. Most commonly, it is the source of funding for cash welfare for needy families with children. Federal law restricts receipt of federal TANF benefits to not more than 60 months of assistance. States are able to set time limits shorter than the 60 months. Currently in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most families can receive TANF cash assistance for a total of 60 months.

Since one of the statutory purposes of TANF is to end the dependency of needy parents on government benefits through work, a five-year time span does not promptly promote one to be self-sufficient. To encourage families to become self-sustaining, I will be introducing legislation that eliminates extended TANF benefits beyond the five-year time span (known as e-TANF) and establishes a cumulative 48-month lifetime limit of assistance. Because states are permitted to exempt caseloads from the time limit, my legislation establishes state-defined hardships.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1788