The Department of Health and Human Services announces it will consider state TANF waiver requests

On July 12, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted an Information Memorandum (IM) and sent a letter to state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) officials to “notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.”   This means HHS has determined that it has authority to grant states waivers of the TANF work participation rate requirements under the existing Social Security Act waiver authority.   The notice specifies that “HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.”  Examples provided by HHS of the types of projects for which waiver might be granted include “projects that demonstrate strategies for more effectively serving individuals with disabilities, along with an alternative approach to measuring participation and outcomes for individuals with disabilities.“ The Arc supports efforts to secure appropriate supports and services for TANF recipients with disabilities, who are estimated to make up a sizable proportion of TANF recipients.

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