Washington WorkFirst: Home page

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

In February 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), which reauthorized the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant through 2010.  On June 28, 2006, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the interim final regulations regarding the TANF program. These regulations required Washington to make major changes to the WorkFirst program in order to meet strict new federal participation standards and avoid paying penalties. The TANF Program Final Rule became available February 5, 2008. For more information on the impacts of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) and Washington’s WorkFirst program, visit DRA.

Washington State's TANF Plan

Federal law requires states to submit a plan describing each state's TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

2014 TANF State Plan: The proposed TANF State Plan and its certifications are currently under review by the Governor and HHS.

Current TANF State Plan —The plan presented below was amended on March 21, 2013 and submitted to HHS on April 1, 2013.

  • Cover Letter— From Kevin W. Quigley, Secretary of the state Department of Social and Health Services, submitting the amended Plan to HHS.
  • Body of the Plan — comprised of an Introduction and five sections: I. Benefits, II. Employment Services, III. Waivers, IV. Strengthening Families, and V. Administration.
  • Optional State Certifications — A certification by the Chief Executive Office of the State, Governor Christine O. Gregoire, specifying that the state will operate its TANF program in compliance with Title IV-A of the Social Security Act. This certification, signed November 23, 2008, is completed at each biennial review of the TANF State Plan and remains in effect until the next biennial review.

Washington State's Work Verification Plan

The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 requires all states to prepare a Work Verification Plan (WVP) which outlines the steps each state will take to ensure that the work participation requirements established by the DRA are implemented.  The WVP must be approved by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

  • Federal Approval of Washington State's Work Verification Plan — pending
  • Washington State's Current WorkFirst Work Verification Plan | Letter — September 4, 2012

TANF Caseload Reduction Reports

Washington's TANF Caseload Reduction Reports for Federal Fiscal Year 2015 (Oct 2014 – Sep 2015) are now available for public review.  Washington must annually submit a Caseload Reduction Report to the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, which is used to determine the TANF work participation rates for each federal fiscal year. These draft reports reflect the process that is required by ACF in accordance with CFR Section 261.41(b)(6), and may change.  They are now available for public review and comment until January 6, 2015.

Please send any written comments to:

    Steve Ebben, Senior WorkFirst Budget Analyst

    DSHS-ESA, Office of Assistant Secretary
    Finance & Performance Management, MS: 45445
    PO Box 45445
    Olympia, WA 98504-5445

    ebbenst@dshs.wa.gov