Appendix B
Comparison Of Prior Law And The Personal Responsibility And Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

The following pages present material prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which was obtained electronically at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/reform.htm (January 1997).



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--> Appendix B Comparison Of Prior Law And The Personal Responsibility And Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act The following pages present material prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which was obtained electronically at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/reform.htm (January 1997).

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--> Comparison of PRIOR LAW and the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND WORK OPPORTUNITY RECONCILIATION ACT OF 1996 (P.L. 104-193) PROVISION PRIOR LAW P.L. 104-193 Title I: Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families AFDC, EA, and JOBS AFDC provided income support to families with children deprived of parental support. JOBS was an employment and training program for AFDC recipients. Emergency Assistance (EA) provided short term emergency services and benefits to needy families. The federal government established eligibility criteria for AFDC and EA benefits and guidelines for the JOBS program. States determined benefit levels which were required to be applied uniformly to all families in similar circumstances. The law block grants AFDC, Emergency Assistance (EA), and JOBS into a single capped entitlement to states—Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). States are required to implement their block grants programs by 7/1/97. States have the option to submit plans immediately subsequent to the President's signing of the bill (8/22/96). The Department of Health and Human Services reviews the plan for completeness. Funding Open-ended funding was on a matching basis for AFDC benefits and administration and EA. JOBS was an entitlement requiring state match and was capped at $1 billion in FY 1996. The total cash assistance block grant is estimated to be $16.4 billion for each year from FY 1996 to FY 2003. Each state receives a fixed amount—based on historical expenditures for AFDC benefits and administration, EA, and JOBS—equal to the greater of: (1) the average of federal payments for these programs in FYs 1992-1994; (2) federal payments in FY 1994, plus additional EA funding for some states; or (3) estimated federal payments in FY 1995. States can carry over unused grant funds to subsequent fiscal years. AFDC Entitlement AFDC was an entitlement to states. Recipients of SSI and Foster Care payments were not eligible for AFDC. Eligible individuals were guaranteed aid at state-established benefit levels, Certain individuals also received guaranteed child care the state will provide opportunities for recipients who have benefits. States received federal matching dollars for expenditures, without a cap. Benefits were guaranteed to eligible individuals even in recessions and fiscal downturns. No individual guarantee of benefits, but the state plan must have ''objective criteria for delivery of benefits and determining eligibility'' and provide an "explanation of how been adversely affected to be heard in an appeal process." Time Limits for Cash Assistance Recipients remained eligible for benefits as long as they met program eligibility rules. Families who have received federally-funded assistance for 5 cumulative years (or less at state option) would be ineligible for federally-funded cash aid. States are permitted to exempt up to 20% of the caseload from this time limit. Months spent living on Indian reservations with populations of at least 1,000 and unemployment rates of at least 50% do not count against the time limit. Block grant money transferred to Title XX can be used to provide non-cash assistance to families after the federal time limit. State funds that are used to count toward the maintenance of effort requirements may be used to provide assistance to families beyond the federal time limit

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--> Work Requirements For FY 1994, 15% of non-exempt caseload was required to participate in JOBS activities for at least 20 hours per week This increased to 20% in FY 1995. (There were no statutory single-parent standards after FY 1995). For FY 1994, 40% of two-parent families were required to participate in work activities for at least 16 hours per week. This was scheduled to increase to 75% by FY 1997. Matching rate on JOBS dollars could have been reduced for failing to meet general or AFDC-UP participation rates. Individuals were exempt from JOBS if they were: ill, incapacitated, or aged; had a child under age 3 (or 1 at state option); were under age 16 or in school full time; were in 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy; were needed in the home to care for Ill or incapacitated family member; were employed 30 hours or more per week; resided in an area where the program was not available; or was providing care to a child under 6 and child care would not be guaranteed. General Requirements: As part of their state plan, states must demonstrate that they will require families to work after two years on assistance. Work Rates: A state's required work participation rate for all families is set at 25% in FY 1997, rising to 50% by FY 2002 (states will be penalized for not meeting these rates). The rate for two-parent families increases from 75% to 90% by FY 1999. The law provides pro rata reduction in the participation rate for reductions in caseload levels below FY 1995 that are not due to eligibility or federal law changes.     Work Hours: Single-parent recipients are required to participate 20 hours per week upon implementation of the law, increasing to at least 30 hours per week by FY 2000. Single parents with a child under age 6 are deemed to be meeting the work requirements if they work 20 hours per week. Two-parent families must work 35 hours per week.     Exemptions: Single parents of children under age 6 who cannot find child care cannot be penalized for failure to meet work requirements. States can exempt from the work requirement single parents with children under age 1 and disregard these individuals in the calculation of participation rates for up to 12 months.     Other: For two-parent families, the second spouse is required to participate 20 hours per week in work activities if they receive federally funded child care (and are not disabled or caring for a disabled child). Individuals who receive assistance for 2 months and are not working or exempt for the work requirements are required to participate in community service, with the hours and tasks to be determined by the state (states can opt-out of this provision).

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--> Work Activities States were required to provide basic and secondary education, ESL, job skills training, job development and placement and job readiness. States were required to offer 2 of the following work activities: job search, on-the-job-training, work supplementation, or the community work experience program. Post-secondary education was optional. Two-parent families were required to participate in work activities. To count toward the work requirement, single-parent families are required to participate at least 20 hours per week and two-parent families 30 hours per week in unsubsidized or subsidized employment, on-the-job training, work experience, community service, up to 12 months of vocational training, or provide child care services to individuals who are participating in community service. Up to 6 weeks of job search (no more than 4 consecutive weeks) counts toward the requirement, except that states with unemployment rates at least 50% above the national average may count up to 12 weeks of job search. Beyond 20 hours per week for single-parent families (or 30 hours per week for two-parent families), participation may also include job skills training related to employment, education directly related to employment (for someone without high school or Graduate Equivalency Degree [GED]), and secondary school or GED (for someone without high school or GED). Teen heads of household (up to age 19) in secondary school also count toward work requirement. However, no more than 20% of the caseload can count vocational training toward meeting the work requirement (including teen parents in secondary school). Individuals who had been sanctioned (for not more than 3 of 12 months) are not included in the denominator of the rate. Supplemental Funds For AFDC and EA, open-ended funds were available as needed. No provision for JOBS. Establishes a $2 billion contingency fund. For eligible states, state TANF spending in excess of FY 1994 levels of AFDC-related spending is matched to draw down contingency fund dollars. If a state draws down matching child care funds (for which it must exceed its FY 1994 level of child care spending), its child care spending under TANF would not be eligible for a contingency fund match and AFDC-related child care would be subtracted from the FY 1994 base. States can meet one of two triggers to access the contingency fund: (1) an unemployment rate for a 3-month period that was at least 6.5% and equal to 110% of the rate for the corresponding period in either of the two preceding calendar years; or (2) a trigger based on food stamps. Under the second trigger, a state is eligible for the contingency fund if its food stamp caseload increased by 10% over the FY 1994 or 1995 level (adjusted for the impact of the law's immigrant and food stamp provisions on the food stamp caseload). Payments from the fund for any fiscal year are limited to 20% of the state's base grant for that year. A state can draw down no more than 1/12 of its maximum annual contingency fund amount in a given month. The match rate for the contingency fund is the state's Medicaid match rate, times the number of months the state received contingency funds in a fiscal year, divided by 12. The law also includes: (1) an $800 million grant fund for states with exceptionally high population growth, benefits lower than 35% of the national average, or above average growth and below average AFDC benefits (no state match); and (2) a $1.7 billion loan fund.

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--> Maintenance of Effort States were required to match the federal dollars provided for AFDC, EA, and JOBS. There was no maintenance of effort requirement in AFDC and EA. For JOBS, states were required to spend no less than total state and local expenditures for FY 1986 for training, employment, and education programs whose purpose was preventing welfare dependency. Each state is required to maintain 80% of FY 1994 state spending on AFDC and related programs, including JOBS, EA, and child care. For states who meet the work participation requirements, the maintenance of effort provision may be reduced to 75%. States must maintain 100% MOE for access to the contingency fund. Transfers No provision. A state is permitted to transfer up to 30% of the cash assistance block grant to the child care block grant and/or the Title XX block grant. No more than one-third of transferred amounts can be transferred to Title XX, and all such funds transferred must be spent on children and their families whose income is less than 200% of the poverty line. Persons Convicted of Drug-Related Crimes No provision. Individuals who after the date of enactment are convicted of drug-related felonies are prohibited for life from receiving benefits under the TANF and Food Stamp programs. States may opt out of this provision or limit the length of the sanction.     Federal benefits specifically exempted: emergency medical services; short-term, non-cash disaster; public health for immunizations and communicable diseases; prenatal care; job training programs; and drug treatment programs. Penalties Penalties could have been imposed for JOBS and AFDC. If a state failed to achieve general and two-parent participation rates, the federal matching rate for JOBS spending (which generally ranged from 60% to 79% among states) was to be reduced to 50%. In addition, states faced a reduced federal match unless 55% of JOBS funds were spent on long-term recipients, those under age 24 with no high school diploma, or those who were within two years of becoming ineligible for aid because of the age of their child. A state could also have been penalized if its AFDC payment error rate (based on Quality Control) exceeded national standards. The following penalties can be imposed on states: (1) for failure to meet the work participation rate, a penalty of 5% of the state's block grant in the first year increasing by 2 percentage points per year for each consecutive failure (with a cap of 21%); (2) a 4% reduction for failure to submit required reports; (3) up to a 2% reduction for failure to participate in the Income and Eligibility Verification System; (4) for the misuse of funds, the amount of funds misused (if the Secretary of HHS was able to prove that the misuse was intentional, an additional penalty equal to 5% of the block grant will be imposed); (5) up to a 5% penalty for failure, by the agency administering the cash assistance program, to impose penalties requested by the child support enforcement agency; (6) escalating penalties of 1% to 5% of block grant payments for poor performance with respect to child support enforcement; (7) a 5% penalty for failing to comply with the 5-year limit on federally-funded assistance; (8) a 5% penalty for failing to maintain assistance to a parent who cannot obtain child care for a child under age 6; and (9) penalties for failure to meet conditions for loan and contingency funds received. States that are penalized must expend additional state funds to replace federal grant penalty reductions.

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--> Individual Responsibility Plans An employability plan was required in JOBS. States are required to make an initial assessment of recipients' skills. At state option, Individual Responsibility Plans can be required Teen Parent Provisions AFDC benefits were available to each eligible dependent child and parent, regardless of whether the mother was under age 18. States were given the option to require minor parents to reside in their parents' household, with a legal guardian, or in another supervised living arrangement, with certain exceptions. Teens over 16 who were not in school were required to participate in educational activities Unmarried minor parents are required to live with an adult or in an adult-supervised setting and participate in educational and training activities in order to receive Federal assistance.   No provision to locate adult-supervised homes. States are responsible for locating or assisting in locating adult-supervised setting for teens     The Secretary of HHS is required to establish and implement a strategy to: (1) prevent non-marital teen pregnancies; and (2) assure that at least 25% of communities have teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Department will report to Congress annually on progress in these areas. No later than January 1, 1997, the Attorney General shall establish and implement a program that provides research, education, and training on the prevention and prosecution of statutory rape. Performance Bonus to Reward Work No provision. The Secretary of HHS, in consultation with NGA and APWA, is required to develop a formula measuring state performance relative to block grant goals. States will receive a bonus based on their score on the measure(s) in the previous year, but the bonus can not exceed 5% of the family assistance grant. $200 million per year is available for performance bonuses (in addition to the block grant), for a total of $1 billion between FYs 1999 and 2003. Family Cap Families on welfare received additional AFDC benefits whenever they had another child. No provision, so state option. Illegitimacy Bonus No provision for Illegitimacy Bonus, however states were required to provide family planning services (to prevent/reduce the incidence of births out of wedlock) to any AFDC recipient who requested the services. The law required a reduction of 1% in AFDC matching funds if a state failed to offer and provide family planning. The law establishes a bonus for states who demonstrate that the number of out-of-wedlock births and abortions that occurred in the state in the most recent two-year period decreased compared to the number of such births in the previous period. The top five states will receive a bonus of up to $20 million each. If less than five states qualify, the grant will be up to $25 million each. Bonuses are authorized in FYs 1999-2002. Waivers The Secretary of HHS had the authority under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act to waive specified provisions of the Act in the case of demonstration projects that were likely to promote the objectives of the Act. Such demonstration projects were required to be cost-neutral to the federal government and rigorously evaluated. Under the new law, states which receive approval for welfare reform waivers before July 1, 1997 have the option to operate their cash assistance program under some or all of these waivers. For states electing this option, provisions of the new law which are inconsistent with the waivers will not take effect until the expiration of the applicable waivers in the geographical areas covered by the waivers.

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--> Medicaid Guarantee These policies remain in effect in P.L. 104-193. Federal Medicaid law mandates that state Medicaid programs cover specified categories of individuals, including members of families receiving AFDC; other low-income families, children and pregnant women; low-income Medicare beneficiaries; and, in general, recipients of SSI. Federal law also specifies numerous groups whom states could, at their option, have made eligible for Medicaid. These groups include those whose medical costs impoverish them ("medically needy"), as well as persons who are in nursing facilities or other institutions, or who required institutional care if they are not receiving care in the community. Regardless of a state's TANF eligibility requirements, for purposes of Medicaid eligibility the new law requires states to provide medical assistance to individuals based on AFDC income and resource eligibility requirements they had in place on 7/16/96; however, states may terminate Medicaid eligibility for adults who are terminated from TANF for failure to work. (The new law does not change other Medicaid eligibility categories). States have the option of using more liberal income and resource standards or methodologies for Medicaid eligibility. States are not permitted to reduce income standards below those in place in 5/1/88. States are not permitted to increase the income standard above that of 7/16/96 by more than the percentage increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers over the same period. Transitional Medicaid These policies remain in effect in P.L. 104-193. AFDC recipients are entitled to one year of transitional Medicaid when they lose welfare due to increased earnings from work. This provision sunsets 9/30/98. Families who lose welfare due to collection of child or spousal support are entitled to 4 months of transitional Medicaid. Families losing Medicaid benefits due to increased earnings from work, child support, or spousal support will receive transitional Medicaid benefits as under prior law.     The sunset has been extended to 9/30/01. Reductions in Federal Government No provision. The Secretary of HHS is required to reduce the number of positions at HHS related to the conversion of AFDC, JOBS and EA into the TANF block grant by 75% or by 245 full-time, equivalent program positions and 60 managerial positions Title II: Supplemental Security Income SSI for Children Children with disabilities who did not meet or equal the Listing of Medical Impairments were determined to be disabled (thereby eligible for cash benefits if all other criteria were satisfied) if they suffered from any medically determinable physical or mental impairment of comparable severity to an adult. Comparable severity was found if the child was not functioning at an age appropriate level as measured by the Individual Functional Assessment (IFA) and evaluated by SSA Provides a new definition of disability for children. Under this new definition, a child will be considered to be disabled if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which results in marked and severe functional limitations, which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months. In addition, this law instructs SSA to remove references to maladaptive behavior as a medical criteria in its listing of impairments used for evaluating mental disabilities in children. All of these provisions will apply to new claims filed on or after enactment and to all claims that have not been finally adjudicated (including cases pending in the courts) prior to enactment. SSA is also required to redetermine the cases of children currently receiving SSI to determine whether they meet the new definition of disability.

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-->     Redeterminations of current recipients must be completed during the year following the enactment. The earliest that a child currently receiving SSI can lose benefits is July 1, 1997. If the redetermination is made after that date, then benefits will end the month following the month in which the redetermination is made. SSA is required to notify all children potentially affected by the change in the definition by January 1, 1997. An additional $150 million for FY 1997, and $100 million for FY 1998 is authorized for continuing disability reviews and redeterminations.     For privately insured, institutionalized children, cash benefits will be limited to $30 per month. The law requires that large retroactive SSI payments due to child recipients be deposited into dedicated savings accounts, to be used only for certain specified needs appropriate to the child's condition.     The law provides that large retroactive benefit amounts will be paid in installments (applies to children and adults). SSI Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) Required the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct a specified number of CDRs on SSI cases (including both adults and children) in each of FYs 1996-1998. Requires CDRs once every 3 years for recipients under age 18 with non-permanent impairments and not later than 12 months after birth for low-birth weight babies.     Requires that the representative payee of a recipient whose continuing eligibility is being reviewed to present evidence, at the time of the review, that the recipient is receiving medical treatment, unless the Commissioner of SSA determines that such treatment would be inappropriate or unnecessary. The Commissioner may change the payee if he/she refuses to cooperate. Applies to benefits for months beginning on or after enactment. SSI Redetermination Upon Attainment of Age 18 Required redeterminations, using the adult initial eligibility criteria, of the eligibility of one-third of the recipients who attain age 18 in or after May 1995 in each of the FYs 1996 through 1998. Requires eligibility determinations, using adult initial eligibility criteria, during the one-year period beginning on a recipients' 18th birthday.   Required SSA to submit a report regarding these reviews to Congress not later than 10/1/98. No provision for reports to Congress regarding these reviews.

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--> Title III: Child Support Child Support The state was required to establish paternity and establish and enforce child support orders for AFDC, Medicaid, IV-E recipients, and for all others upon request. States must operate a child support enforcement program meeting federal requirements in order to be eligible for the Family Assistance Program. Recipients must assign rights to child support and cooperate with paternity establishment efforts. Distribution rules are changed so that families no longer on assistance have priority in receipt of child support arrears. Current law $50 pass-through is not required. Individuals who fail to cooperate with paternity establishment will have their monthly cash assistance reduced by at least 25%.   States were required to disregard the first $50 a month in child support payments collected by the state and pass that amount through to the family.     Streamlines the process for establishing paternity and expands the in-hospital voluntary paternity establishment program.     The law requires states to establish central registries of child support orders and centralized collection and disbursement units. Requires states to have expedited procedures for child support enforcement.     Establishes a Federal Case Registry and National Directory of New Hires to track delinquent parents across states lines. Requires that employers report all new hires to state agencies and new hire information to be transmitted to the National Directory of New Hires. Expands and streamlines procedures for direct withholding of child support from wages.     Provides for uniform rules, procedures, and forms for interstate cases.     Requires states to have numerous new enforcement techniques, including the revoking of driver's and professional licenses for delinquent obligors, expanding wage garnishment, and allowing states to seize assets     Provides grants to states for access and visitation programs.

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--> Title IV: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens Immigrants Aliens permanently residing under color of law (PRUCOL) were eligible for SSI benefits (subject to deeming); aliens who were not PRUCOL were not eligible Most legal immigrants (both current and future, and including current recipients) will be ineligible for SSI until citizenship. Exemptions are made for refugees for first 5 years in country; asylees and persons whose deportation has been withheld under section 243(h) of the INA until 5 years after granting of status; Active Armed Forces personnel veterans, and their spouses and unmarried dependent children; and legal permanent residents with 40 qualifying quarters of work. Eliminates eligibility of legal immigrants for SSI and Food Stamps immediately at the time of recertification (no later than one year after enactment). Aliens who were PRUCOL were eligible for AFDC, Medicaid, Food Stamp, and Social Services benefits (subject to deeming, in AFDC and Food Stamps); aliens who were not PRUCOL were not eligible, except for emergency Medicaid services. The Social Services block grant did not take immigration status into account.   A portion of a sponsor's income and resources was "deemed" available to a sponsored immigrant for 3 years after the individual's entry into the U.S. under AFDC, Food Stamps, and SSI (although deeming was temporarily extended from 3 to 5 years in SSI (from 1/1/94 to 10/1/96)). Medicaid, TANF block grants, Title XX Social Services State-funded Assistance: States have the option to make, most current legal immigrants already in the U.S. ineligible for Medicaid, TANF, Title XX Social Services, and state-funded assistance until citizenship (with same refugee/asylees and other exemptions as described above). Current recipients are eligible to continue receiving benefits until January 1, 1997.   Some immigrants were required to satisfy State Department or INS that they were not likely to become a public charge by obtaining an affidavit of support from a sponsor. Courts ruled affidavits of support (which were used by AFDC, SSI, and Food Stamps to determine when sponsor deeming was applied) to be morally, rather than legally, binding.     Qualified aliens entering on or after enactment will be ineligible for 5 years for certain federal means-tested programs, including Medicaid (except emergency Medicaid), with most of the same refugee/asylee and other exemptions as described above.     Applicants for federal public benefit programs would be subject to new verification requirements (with certain exceptions) to determine if they are qualified and eligible for benefits. Not later than 18 months after enactment, the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall issue regulations requiring verification for certain Federal public benefit programs. States that administer a program that provides a federal public benefit have 24 months after such regulations are issued to implement a verification system that complies with the regulations. Nonprofit charitable organizations are exempt from verification requirements   States were generally determined to be constitutionally prohibited from denying benefits to legal immigrants, due primarily to the equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Future sponsors/immigrants will be required to sign new, legally binding affidavits of support (which will be available sometime mid-1997). For immigrants who have executed these new legally binding affidavits of support, the law extends deeming to citizenship or 40 qualifying work quarters; 100% of a sponsor's and the sponsor's spouse's income and resources are deemed; deeming is required for Federal means-tested public benefit programs, including Medicaid (except emergency Medicaid). Certain battered and indigent immigrants are exempt from these new deeming rules.   Aliens who were not permanently residing under color of law were ineligible for major means-tested entitlement benefits (except emergency Medicaid). Immigration status was required to be verified. Eligibility criteria for many discretionary-funded programs (e.g., Head Start, public health clinics) did not take into consideration immigration status.   Health and welfare workers were generally prohibited from reporting illegal immigrants to law enforcement agencies.  

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--> Title V: Child Protection Child Protection and Adoption States received entitlement funds under several programs for a variety of purposes. Most funds were reimbursements to states for a portion of their costs incurred in maintaining eligible children in foster care or assisted adoptions, as well as related administrative and child placement services. States also received funds from formula grants for the provision of child welfare services, family preservation and support services, independent living services, and child abuse prevention and treatment services. Some of these programs were capped entitlements while others were appropriated funds. Several demonstration authorities were aimed at providing funds for innovative programs through which new knowledge may be developed. Provisions include: (1) authority for states to make foster care maintenance payments using IV-E funds on behalf of children in for-profit child care institutions; (2) extension of the enhanced federal match for statewide automated child welfare information systems through 1997; (3) appropriation of $6 million per year in each of FYs 1996-2002 for a national random sample study of abused and neglected children or children at risk of abuse and neglect; and (4) a requirement that states consider giving preference for kinship placements, provided that the relative meets state standards for child protection.   The states were required to have in place approved plans with regard to funds provided under IV-B (Child Welfare Services and Family Preservation and Support Services), and IV-E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance). Eligibility for CAPTA state grant program was tied principally to the existence of laws and procedures regarding child abuse and neglect reports and investigations.     States were required to comply with a series of protections designed to assure children were not removed from their parents unnecessarily and that efforts were made to assure that children in the state's care were quickly placed in a permanent home, either through reunification or adoption. Every child was required to have a case plan, the child's status to be reviewed periodically, and reasonable efforts must have been made to reunify the family.  

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--> Title VI: Child Care Child Care There are two child care funding types: There is a separate allocation specifically for child care. The law authorizes $13.9 billion in mandatory funding for FYs 1997-2002. States receive approximately $1.2 billion of the mandatory funds each year. The remainder is available subject to state match (at the 1995 Medicaid rate). Also, states must maintain 100% of FY 1994 or FY 1995 child care expenditures (whichever is greater) to draw down the matching funds. Also authorizes $7 billion in discretionary funding for FYs 1996-2002. The law provides no child care guarantee, but single parents with children under 6 who cannot find child care may not be penalized for failure to engage in work activities. * Title IV-A welfare-related child care entitlement—AFDC/JOBS, Transitional (TCC), and At-Risk Child Care. * Discretionary Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Open-ended entitlement funding for AFDC & TCC in FY 1995 equaled approximately $893 million. At-Risk was capped at $300 million per year. $935 million was authorized in FY 1995 for CCDBG. Child care was guaranteed for working AFDC recipients, those participating in JOBS or state-approved training or education programs, as well as for up to one year during transition off welfare due to employment. Provided good cause exception from participation in JOBS to parents who did not have child care. Child Care—Health and Safety/Quality Supply Child care providers receiving federal child care subsidy were required to meet health and safety standards set by the and states. Under CCDBG, states were required to protect health and safety of children in child care by setting standards in three areas: (1) building and physical premises safety; (2) control of infectious disease; (3) health and safety training for providers. Required states to use 25% of CCDBG funds to improve the quality of child care and to increase the availability of early childhood development and before-and after-school programs. Appropriate quality expenses included: (1) resource and referral; (2) grants or loans to assist in meeting state standards; (3) monitoring of compliance with licensing and regulatory requirements; (4) training; and (5) compensation. Extends current law requirement that all states establish health and safety standards for prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations, building and physical premises safety, and minimum health and safety training. Extends health and safety protections to all federally funded child care (including mandatory funding). Requires states to use not less than 4% of total federal (mandatory and discretionary) child care funds to provide consumer education to parents and the public, to increase parental choice, and to improve the quality and availability of child care (such as resource and referral services).

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--> Title VII: Child Nutrition Programs Child Nutrition Eligibility criteria did not take into account immigration/citizenship status. The law makes individuals who are eligible for free public education benefits under state or local law not ineligible for school meal benefits under the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, regardless of citizenship or immigrant status. States have the option to determine whether to provide WIC and other child nutrition benefits to illegal aliens and certain other noncitizens.   Prior law rates were $2.235 for each lunch/support, $1.245 for each breakfast, and $.5875 for each snack. Rates were rounded to the nearest quarter cent. Effective for the summer of 1997, reduces maximum reimbursement rates for institutions participating in the Summer Food Service Program to $1.97 for each lunch/supper, $1.13 for each breakfast, and 46 cents for each snack/supplement. Rates are adjusted each January and rounded to the nearest lower cent.   All meals served in family or group day care homes received the same reimbursement rates of $1.625 for each lunch/supper, $.8875 for each breakfast, and $.485 for each snack. Restructures reimbursements for family or group day care homes under the Child Care Food Program to better target benefits to homes serving low-income children and reduces reimbursement rates for higher income children to 95 cents for lunches/suppers, 27 cents for breakfasts, and 13 cents for supplements.   Reimbursement rates for full price meals rounded down to the nearest quarter cent. Rounds down to the nearest cent when indexed the reimbursement rates for full price meals in the school breakfast and school lunch programs and in child care centers.     Eliminates School Breakfast start-up and expansion grants. Makes funding for the Nutrition Education and Training (NET) Program discretionary.

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--> Title VIII: Food Stamps and Commodity Distribution Food Stamps Six categories of legal aliens were allowed to receive food stamp benefits if they met eligibility criteria Most legal immigrants (both current and future, and including current recipients) will be ineligible for Food Stamps until citizenship (exemptions for: refugees/asylees, but only for the first five years in the U.S.; veterans; and people with 40 qualifying quarters of work). Eliminates eligibility of legal immigrants at the time of redetermination. (Implementation of this provision was delayed until April 1, 1997 by the subsequently passed immigration provisions in the 1997 appropriations law.) Redeterminations must take place by August 22, 1997. Future immigrants entering after enactment will be ineligible for five years (same exemptions as noted earlier).   The income and resources of an alien's sponsor and the sponsor's spouse, less a pro-rated share for the sponsor and spouse, were attributed to aliens for 3 years. For sponsors/immigrants signing new legally binding affidavits of support: extends deeming until citizenship and changes deeming to count 100% of sponsor's income and resources.   Maximum benefit levels were based on 103% of the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan and were indexed annually. Reduces maximum benefit levels to the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan and maintains indexing.   The shelter deduction cap was $247; it would have increased October 1, 1996 and each October I thereafter. The standard deduction was $134; it would have increased October 1, 1996 and each October I thereafter. All governmental energy assistance was excluded as income. Earnings of elementary and high school students under 22 were excluded as income. Individuals under 22 who lived with their parents could be certified as separate households if they also lived with their spouses and/or children. Retains the cap on the excess shelter deduction and sets it at $247 through 12/31/96; $250 from 1/1/97 through 9/30/98; $275 for FYs 1999 and 2000; and $300 from FY 2001 and thereafter. Freezes the standard deduction at the FY 1995 level of $134 for the 48 states and DC, and makes similar reductions for other areas. Includes as income for the Food Stamp Program energy assistance provided by state and local government entities. Lowers the age for excluding from income the earnings of elementary and secondary students to those who are 17 and under. Requires individuals 21 and under living with a parent to be part Food Stamps, continued Able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 were expected to register for and accept jobs or participate in the Employment and Training Program unless they were already working, subject to the requirements of other work programs, students, or responsible for dependents under age 6 or incapacitated people. Establishes a new work requirement under which non-exempt 18-50 year olds without dependent children or not responsible for dependent children will be ineligible to continue to receive food stamps after 3 months in 36 unless they are working or participating in a workfare, work, or employment and training program. Individuals may qualify for three additional months in the same 36-month period if they have worked or participated in a work or workfare program for 30 days and lose that placement. Permits states with waiver requests denied by August 1, 1996 to lower the age at which a child exempts a parent/caretaker from food stamp work rules from 6 years to 1 year old for up to 3 years.

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-->   Disqualified recipients for 6 months for first intentional violations; 1 year for second violations or first drug violations; and permanently for third violations, second drug violations, or first violations involving firearms. States were required to collect claims resulting from overissuances to households but could not require households whose claims were due to state errors to repay claims through allotment reductions; states could retain 50% of amounts recovered from fraud claims and 25% of nonfraud recoveries. Program Integrity and Additional Retailer Management Controls: Doubles recipient penalties for fraud violations to one year for first offense and two years for second offense; permanently disqualifies individuals convicted of trafficking in food stamp benefits of $500 or more; disqualifies for 10 years those convicted of fraudulently receiving multiple benefits; mandates that states collect claims by various means including the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program (FTROP); allows retention of 35% of collections for fraud claims and 20% for other client error claims; and allows allotment reductions for claims arising from state agency errors.   USDA had limited tools for insuring that only qualified stores were authorized to accept and redeem food stamps, monitoring their participation, and deterring violations. The law also requires a waiting period for retailers denied approval; permits disqualification of retailers disqualified under WIC; expands criminal forfeiture; disqualifies up to permanently retailers who intentionally submit falsified applications; and improves USDA's ability to monitor authorized stores. Food Stamps, continued The Food Stamp Act contained many prescriptive requirements related to states' administration of the FSP, particularly in the areas of client services, but also related to verification methods and training of states' employees. Demonstration project waiver authority prohibited approving projects that would lower or further restrict FSP income or resource standards or benefit levels. A few demonstration projects cashed out food stamp benefits to specific populations (SSI, elderly) to provided benefits in the form of wages, or provided cash benefits as part of welfare reform. Simplifies program administration by expanding states' flexibility. Allows states to submit standard cost allowances to use in calculating self-employment income; deletes detailed federal requirements over application form; deletes detailed federal customer service requirements over areas such as toll-free telephone numbers; extends expedited service processing period to seven days and eliminates requirement to provide expedited service to homeless persons; makes use of the income and eligibility verification system (IEVS) and the immigration status verification system (SAVE) optional; permits states to determine their own training needs; and authorizes the Simplified Food Stamp Program, through which states can employ a single set of rules for their state cash assistance programs and the Food Stamp Program. Expands Food Stamp waiver authority to permit projects that reduce, within set parameters, benefits to families. New demonstration projects testing cash-out of benefits are prohibited under the new waiver authority.   The Fair Market Value of most licensed vehicles was counted toward household's resource limit to the extent that the value. exceeded $4600. This amount would have increased to $5000 October 1, 1996 and was indexed thereafter. Sets and freezes the Fair Market Value tot the vehicle allowance at $4650   USDA has been moving expeditiously to implement electronic benefit issuance. Requires EBT implementation by all states by October 1, 2002, unless waived by USDA. Exempts Food Stamp EBT from the requirements of Regulation E.     Consolidates the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Soup Kitchen/Food Bank Program; provides for $100 million in mandatory spending in the Food Stamp Act to purchase commodities. Provides for state option to restrict benefits to illegal aliens.

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--> Title IX: Miscellaneous Title XX—Social Services Block Grant Title XX social services block grant program provided assistance to states to enable them to furnish services directed at: (1) achieving or maintaining economic self-support to prevent, reduce, or eliminate dependency; (2) achieving or maintaining self-sufficiency, including reduction or prevention of dependency; (3) preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children and adults unable to protect their own interests, or preserving rehabilitating or reuniting families; (4) preventing or reducing inappropriate institutional care by providing for community-based care, home-based care, or other forms of less intensive care; and (5) securing referral or admission for institutional care when other forms of care were not appropriate, or providing services to individuals in institutions. Funding for the Social Services Block Grant was capped at $2.8 billion a year. Funds were allocated among states according to the state's share of its total population. Annual funding for the Social Services Block Grant is $2.38 billion in FYs 1996-2002, and $2.8 billion in FY 2003 and each succeeding fiscal year. (The omnibus spending bill changed the FY 1997 spending level for SSBG and appropriated $2.5 billion for that year.) Non-cash vouchers for families that become ineligible for cash assistance under family caps or Title IV-A time limits are authorized as an allowable use of Title XX funds. Drug Testing No provision. Nothing in federal law prohibits states from performing drug tests on recipients or from sanctioning recipients who test positive for controlled substances. Abstinence Education No provision. Starting in FY 1998, $50 million a year in mandatory funds will be added to the appropriations of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant. The funds will be allocated to states using the same formula used for Title V MCH block grant funds. Funds will enable states to provide abstinence education with the option of targeting the funds to high risk groups (i.e., groups most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock). Education activities are explicitly defined.