How Has the TANF Caseload Changed Over Time?

Brief

How Has the TANF Caseload Changed Over Time?

May 14, 2012

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseloads have plummeted since the program was enacted in 1996. This brief summarizes changes to the caseload during the period of decline and explores factors that have contributed to caseload change. It highlights some dramatic changes in the program including the dramatic drop in the take-up rate (the percentage of eligible families receiving assistance) and the huge increases in nonassistance TANF expenditures such as emergency payments and the the share of TANF cases with benefits only provided for the children.

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