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TANF Benefits Have Dropped by At Least 20% in Most States

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

 A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicates that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits have fallen in purchasing power since their creation in 1996. The real value of benefits has decreased at least 20% below their 1996 levels in 35 states and the District of Columbia. TANF benefits in CT have dropped by 28% since 1996 once adjusted for inflation.

The report - TANF Cash Benefits Have Fallen by More Than 20 Percent in Most States and Continue to Erode – underscores the deep levels of poverty suffered by the families that rely on TANF. Due to the dramatic decline in the purchasing power of TANF benefits, families are unable to meet basic needs with these benefits as the benefits provided are less than 50% of the poverty level for a family of 3 in every state.

The report goes on to recommend that states should invest more of the TANF  funds they receive from the federal government into the TANF benefits they actually supply to recipients rather than taking the funds to fill budget holes or to support programs unrelated to low-income families and children. They should also restore the value of the benefits by substantially increasing the amount of benefits that each family receives.

Click here for the full report. 


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