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Time Limits, Employment, and State Flexibility in TANF Programming

How States Can Use Time Limits and Earnings Disregards to Support Employment Goals, Preserve Flexibility, and Meet Stricter Federal Participation Requirements

By John Bouman, Margaret Stapleton & Deb McKee

Work participation rates may become stricter after Congress reauthorizes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the welfare program mandated in 1996. States may have to adjust their programs to comply with the federal requirements and create work incentives for recipients. Maintaining state programming flexibility with state cash assistance, work supports, time-limit relief, income disregards, and other methods is critical to working recipients' adequate support.

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