TANF Applicant Job Search Program Exposed

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The TANF Applicant Job Search Program is listed under ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force, but does not include approval information. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of ALECexposed.org in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text


Employment is the single means to long-term self-sufficiency for all Americans. Substituting a pay-check for a welfare check restores dignity to the individual and opens many doors of opportunity to secure a better quality of life.

Model Legislation

Section 1. {Title.}

The short title of the Act shall be the "TANF Applicant Job Search Program."

Section 2. {Program.}

The state of {insert state} shall implement an TANF Applicant Job Search Program in the following manner:

(A) {AFDC Applicants.} All new applicants to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program shall at the time at their application for TANF be interviewed to determine their eligibility for the Applicant Job Search Program.

(1) Individuals who are eligible to receive AFDC assistance but are not eligible to participate in the Applicant Job Search Program shall have their TANF application processed in the normal manner.
(2) Any individual eligible to receive TANF assistance who is eligible to participate in the Applicant Job Search Program, hereinafter referred to as an "eligible applicant," shall have the processing of his or her TANF application postponed for 30 days while he or she participates in the Applicant Job Search Program.

(B) {Eligible Applicant.} For purposes of this Act, the term "eligible applicant" shall mean:

(1) a parent or legal guardian who is eligible for TANF, and
(2) who has no dependent children who are less than 3 years of age, and
(3) who is neither:
(a) ill or incapacitated, nor,
(b) needed at home to care for an ill or incapacitated spouse or child, and
(4) who is not in immediate need of assistance.

(C) (Participation.} Eligible Applicants shall upon receipt of their application for TANF be informed of their eligibility to participate in the Applicant Job Search Program, the content of that Program, and the extent of their obligations and responsibilities under the Program.

(1) Eligible applicants will, upon application for TANF, immediately begin participation in a program of organized job search.
(2) The participation of eligible applicants in organized job search shall continue for 30 days or until the applicant has obtained employment.
(3) The {insert dependent} shall provide to eligible applicants any funds for transportation or child care expenses that are necessary for the applicant to participate in the Applicant Job Search Program. Funding for such expenses shall be provided from the AFDC program.
(4) At the end of 30 days for eligible applicants who are still eligible for TANF assistance, the {insert department } shall commence processing of the TANF application in the normal manner.
(5) Eligible applicants who fail to comply with the job search requirements of the Applicant Job Search Program during the 30 day period shall at the end of 30 days have their TANF grant amount computed without consideration of the needs of the adult members of the TANF unit.

(D) {Organized Job Search.} For purposes of this Act "organized job search" shall mean a program which:

(1) counsels eligible applicants concerning the requirements and intent of the job search program;
(2) motivates eligible applicants to obtain self-sufficient employment and informs the applicant of the negative effects of dependency on the individual and the community;
(3) provides training in job search and interview skills;
(4) conducts an organized job search team and job search phone bank for eligible applicants;
(5) provides other job search counseling deemed to be necessary for individual applicants; and
(6) provides closely supervised individual job searches for applicants.

All eligible applicants must participate in the activities specified in Subparagraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) above. The {insert department} shall ensure that eligible applicants participate in organized job search activities for a minimum of 30 hours per week throughout the 30 day duration of participation in the program or until the applicant obtains employment. The 30-hour requirement may be prorated in the event an individual's participation in the program commences or ends in the middle of the work week.

(E) {Immediate Need of Assistance.} For purposes of this Act the term "immediate need of assistance" shall mean individuals who:

(1) have insufficient money to pay for basic necessities, or
(2) have received a notice of eviction for failure to pay rent, or
(3) have no place to reside.

Section 3. {Pilot Program.}

The {insert department} shall rate the TANF applicant job search program in {insert amount} counties on a pilot basis.

(A) {Evaluation.} The {insert department} will operate the TANF Applicant Job Search Program on a pilot basis in {insert amount} counties for a minimum of 10 months. At the end of 10 months the {insert department} shall evaluate the pilot program by comparing the pilot counties to counties within the state in which pilot programs were not conducted. The evaluation will include:

(1) comparison of changes in the rate of application to TANF;
(2) comparison of eligible applicants who participated in the program (including those who withdrew application for TANF upon notification of the program requirements or who were sanctioned for noncompliance with program requirements) with another randomly selected group of eligible applicants from jurisdictions where on pilot program was conducted. The evaluation shall compare:
(a) average rate of participation in TANF;
(b) overall welfare benefits received including TANF, food stamps, and the cost of Medicaid services.

(B) {Cost Savings.} The {insert department } shall determine the overall cost savings in TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid expenditures, including those savings, if any, that result from a reduction in the TANF application rate.

(C) {Implementation.} If the evaluation shows that the applicant job search program is cost effective in that the reduction in welfare expenditure exceeds the normal operating costs of the program (excluding any administrative costs associated with the start up of a new program), the applicant job search program shall be implemented on a statewide basis.

Section 4. {Waivers. }

The Governor shall request any waivers needed to operate the program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program shall not commence until the necessary waivers have been granted.

Section 5. {Severability.}

Section 6. {Repealer clause.}

Section 7. {Effective date.}