TABLE 5.2 Comparison of Prior Welfare Laws and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193), United States.


Prior Welfare Laws

P.L. 104-193 / TANF


* Eligibility determined by receipt of family assistance through AFDC

* Eligibility delinked from receipt of family assistance through TANF


* States also mandated to cover other specified categories of individuals, such as recipients of SSI

* States may employ more liberal income and resource standards for Medicaid eligibility, within specific range. [*Balanced Budget Act of 1997 restores Medicaid coverage to those SSI recipients who lost coverage because of change in definitions.]


* Aliens who were PRUCOL were eligible for Medicaid; those not PRUCOL were eligible only for emergency medicaid services

* Qualified aliens will be ineligible for five years of Medicaid (except emergency Medicaid); most current legal immigrants already in the U.S. may be deemed ineligible for Medicaid [*Balanced budget Act of 1997 restores eligibility to this group.]


* AFDC provided income support to families with children deprived of parental support·

* Eliminates AFDC, JOBS, and EA, forming a single program TANF


* JOBS was an employment and training program for AFDC recipients



EA provided short term emergency services and benefits to needy families



* Open-ended funding provided provided for AFDC benefits and EA, while JOBS was a capped entitlement

* Block grants AFDC, EA, and JOBS into a single capped entitlement to the states


* AFDC eligible individuals were guaranteed aid at state-established benefit levels

* No individual guarantee of benefits


* A set percentage of non-exempt AFDC caseload was required to participate in JOBS activities for at least 20 hours per week

* States must demonstrate that they will require families to work after two years on assistance


* States were required to provide basic and secondary education, as well as job training

* TANF individuals are required to participate in unsubsidized or subsidized job training, hours to be counted toward the work requirement


* AFDC benefits were available to each eligible dependent child and parent, regardless of age of mother

* Unmarried minor parents are required to live in an adult-supervised setting and participate in educational activities in order to receive Federal assistance


* Families on welfare received additional AFDC benefits whenever they had another child

* No provision, no state option


* Children who did not meet or equal the Listing of medical Impairments were determined to be disabled if they suffered from physical or mental impairment of comparable severity to an adult

* Provides a new definition of disability for children, which removes references to maladaptive behavior as a medical criterion in SSA's listing of impairments used for evaluating mental disabilities in children


* Aliens who were PRUCOL were eligible for SSI benefits

* Most legal immigrants will be ineligible for SSI until citizenship, at time of recertification

Food Stamps

* Six categories of legal aliens were allowed to receive food stamp benefits if they met eligibility criteria

* Most legal immigrants will be ineligible for Food Stamps until citizenship


* Set maximum benefit levels at 100% of the Thrifty Food Plan

* Sets maximum benefit levels at 103% of the Thrifty Food Plan and retains annual indexing


* Able-bodied adults were expected to hold jobs or participate in the Employment and Training Program

* Able-bodied recipients between 18 and 50 with no dependents must work (at least 20 hours per week) in order to be eligible for food stamps

SOURCE: DHHS(1997b).

NOTE: AFDC = Aid to Families with Dependent Children; EA = Emergency Assistance; PRUCOL = Permanently Residing Under Color of Law; SSI = Supplemental Security Income; TANF = Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

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