Done away with by the Obama administration in 2012, the requirement to work to participate in the Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) program has been restored by the Trump administration in an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services on Aug. 30.
“Reemphasizing the work requirements in the welfare program means once again promoting gainful employment and economic independence as goals for every family,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Steven Wagner in a statement. “The waiver option offered by the Obama administration is being replaced today by an expectation that work should always be encouraged as a condition for receiving welfare.”
States can still apply for waivers from the requirement for their residents, but it should be noted that at the same time it was reversing the Obama-era waiver, it was rejecting an application from Ohio for just show a waiver.
“Our agency is committed to helping low-income families transition from welfare to work,” explained Office of Family Assistance Director Clarence Carter. “We cannot achieve the goal of self-sufficiency if meaningful work participation is divorced from welfare cash assistance.”