The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193; PRWORA) changed the fundamental structure of welfare. It created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, eliminating the entitlement nature of cash assistance. It imposed lifetime limits on receipt of assistance, and demanded that far more recipients engage in much greater levels of work activity. The Act imposed performance standards on states, and specified potential sanctions for failing to meet the standards.
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