CHN: TANF Bonus Funds Distributed to States
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released two sets of bonus funds to states under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The first was $200 million in “high performance bonuses” to states with the best outcomes for employment, earnings, and job retention. In addition, for the first time HHS distributed bonuses to states that did a good job providing food stamps, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and child care to eligible families, and to states that showed an increase in the proportion of children living in 2-parent families. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia received bonuses.
Under the TANF reauthorization bills before Congress, funds for the high performance bonuses would be reduced, with funding redirected to marriage promotion activities.
HHS also distributed $100 million in bonuses for reducing out of wedlock births to Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Texas, the Virgin Islands, and Wyoming. The TANF bills before Congress phase out this bonus; most analysts agree that it is difficult for states to predict whether their policy choices will result in the outcome of reduced out of wedlock births.