Expands hardship reasons a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient is exempt from the 60-month time limit for TANF benefits. Allows, rather than requires, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to reduce a family's TANF grant due to non-compliance and removes the option to terminate the grant.
Prohibits DSHS from requiring TANF applicants to attend an orientation as a condition of eligibility. Directs DSHS to revise the comprehensive study of living costs that the standard of need for TANF is based upon. Directs DSHS to base the standards for the Pregnant Women Assistance and the State Family Assistance programs on the revised comprehensive study. Specifies the act applies prospectively only, and not retroactively.
If a recipient refuses to engage in work and work activities required by DSHS, after two months of continuous noncompliance, the family's grant must be reduced by the recipient's share or by 40 percent, whichever is greater. DSHS must terminate the grant after 12 months of continuous noncompliance. This provision applies prospectively and not retroactively. If funding is not provided by June 30, 2020 in the supplemental omnibus appropriations act, this bill is null and void.
- Removes the provision requiring DSHS to terminate a family's grant after 12 months of continuous noncompliance.
- Adds criteria by which DSHS must exempt a recipient from the 60- month lifetime limit for benefits and removes the existing definition of "homeless person" as it relates to time limit extensions.
- Requires DSHS to report disaggregated data identifying the race of individuals whose benefits were reduced or terminated during the preceding year due to sanction or reaching the 60-month limit and describe steps the Department is taking to address and remedy any racial disproportionality.
- Directs DSHS to conduct outreach to families terminated due to time limits in or after January 2015, who appear to otherwise meet expanded time limit extension criteria in order to notify families of policy changes and encourage them to reapply for assistance.
- Removes the effective date of May 2021, for the Act and adds an effective date of July 2021, for time limit extension and noncompliance sanction policy changes.
- Removes the provision specifying the Act applies prospectively only.
- Removes the null and void clause.
- Replaced the term “refused to” with “did not” when referring to a recipient's noncompliance with work activity requirements for good cause