Issue Brief 14-06
February 14, 2014

On February 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) requirement that places restrictions on cash assistance. Specifically, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) requires states to adopt policies and practices to prevent TANF-funded assistance from being used in any electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transaction in liquor stores, casinos, or adult-entertainment establishments. The law requires states to be in compliance by February 22, 2014.

The NPRM describes the new requirements and proposed amendments to the TANF regulations. It provides states with suggestions for implementation and discusses some challenges and concerns raised by states. ACF seeks comments on the NPRM, which must be submitted by May 7, 2014.

Even though the rulemaking process is not finalized, states must meet the statutory requirement of submitting a report to HHS by February 22, 2014, outlining their implementation of the policies and practices required by law. In addition, states must modify their state TANF plans by that same deadline.