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    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State Plan

    Summary of Key Issues

    As required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each state must submit a state plan for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Famililies, also referred to as the TANF state plan.  The state plan must be submitted to the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and may be amended at any time. Pennsylvania's state plan will be submitted to the federal Department of Health and Human Services in December 2011.

    The following questions and answers highlight changes that have been made to Pennsylvania’s TANF program:

    What are the major changes in the new State Plan?


    Pennsylvania’s State Plan includes these changes:

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    Section 4001 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P. L. 110-246), known as the Farm Bill, renamed the federal Food Stamp Program (FSP) to SNAP effective October 1, 2008. The US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) changed the name of the FSP partly because benefits are distributed through electronic benefit debit cards rather than coupons, and to reflect more focus on nutrition.


    Universal Engagement to Participation in Work or Work-related Activities

    With the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Pub. L. No. 109-171), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was reauthorized. Under the reauthorized TANF program, the Commonwealth is required to increase the work participation rate (WPR) for families and has adopted a work first approach to help TANF recipients move from welfare to work. The Department intensified its efforts to meet the Federal WPR and instituted new initiatives to ensure that all work-eligible individuals participate in approved work or work-related activities.



    How do I comment
    on the TANF State Plan?
    DPW invites public comment on all aspects of the TANF State Plan. Comments may be sent to:

    Mr. Edward J. Zogby
    Bureau of Policy
    Room 431 Health and Welfare Building
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
    Telephone (717) 787-4081

     The entire TANF State Plan may be viewed here.