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).

Current TANF State Plan — The plan presented below was amended and submitted to HHS on February 26, 2014.

  • 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 Officer 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 will be signed by the Governor as part of the biennial review process and will be sent along with the TANF State Plan after the review process is complete.  The certification will remain in effect until the next biennial review.

TANF Caseload Reduction Reports

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.  In accordance with CFR Section 261.41(b)(6), these reports are made available for public review and comment period, usually in December of each year.  After the public review and comment period ends, these reports are removed from the WorkFirst TANF website and are no longer available for public review.  The FFY 2014 reports are no longer available for public review.  The FFY 2015 reports will be posted in December 2014.

TANF Report on Engagement in Additional Work Activities for Families Receiving assistance Under the TANF and SSP-MOE Programs, Form ACF-812

Section 812 of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 modifies section 411 of the Social Security Act by requiring that each State agency, the District of Columbia, and the Territories submit a Report on Engagement in Additional Work Activities. The report must be submitted for two reporting periods. The first reporting period is from March 1 through March 31, 2011 and the reports are due no later than May 31, 2011. The second reporting period is from April 1 through June 30, 2011 and the reports are due no later than August 31, 2011. For the Report on Engagement, with respect to each work-eligible individual in a family receiving TANF or SSP-MOE assistance during the reporting period, the States must collect and report the following information: (1) whether the individual engages in any activities that are directed toward attaining self-sufficiency and (2) if yes, the specific activities that (a) do not qualify as a countable work activity, but are otherwise reasonably calculated to help the family move to self-sufficiency or (b) that could be a countable work activity, but for the fact that either the work-eligible has not engaged in such activities for a sufficient number of hours; the work-eligible individual has reached a maximum time limit allowed for having participation in the activity count; or the number of work-eligible individuals engaged in such activity exceeds a statutory limitation.

The following links will be activated as each report and analysis becomes available.

Please send any written comments to:

    Jerry Kosierowski, Ph.D.
    WorkFirst Operations Administrator

    Department of Social and Health Services
    Economic Services Administration
    Community Services Division (CSD), MS: 45841
    PO Box 45440
    Olympia, WA 98504-5440

    kosieje@dshs.wa.gov