Enrollment In Program To Aid Needy Families Declines

Jul 12, 2019

By News Service of Florida

State economists on Thursday concluded that the number of people being served by the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program continues to be lower than expected. 

Lawmakers planned to spend $144.1 million on the program for the fiscal year that ended June 30, expecting a caseload of about 44,970 enrollees. But instead, the state’s caseload was about 40,500, costing an estimated $130 million, the economists decided during a Thursday morning meeting.

The final number of enrollees --- and the exact cost of the program --- weren’t immediately available. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides federal funding to states for a wide range of benefits and activities.

It is best known as the major source of funding for cash assistance for needy families with children, with federal requirements about work requirements and limits on the length of time families can receive the aid.

Under Florida law, four categories of families may be eligible for TANF cash assistance --- children, relative caregivers, single-parent families with children and double-parent families with children. Enrollment has been lower than expected in all four categories, according to the state economists.