House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Early Learning & Human Services Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning income eligibility for temporary assistance for needy families benefits for a child.
Sponsors: Representatives Walsh and Pettigrew; by request of Department of Social and Health Services.
Hearing Date: 2/3/14
Staff: Luke Wickham (786-7146).
In 2011, The Legislature directed the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to establish income eligibility rules for non-parental caregivers receiving a child-only Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant. A caregiver with an income above 300 percent of the federal poverty level is not eligible for child only TANF benefits for a child residing with a caregiver who is not a foster child. In 2012, 300 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three was $58,590.
Department of Social and Health Services only counts 50 percent of an individual’s gross earned income to determine eligibility and benefit level. The stated purpose for this exemption is to encourage recipients to work.
Summary of Bill:
The DSHS may exempt 50 percent of a caregiver’s unearned income when determining TANF eligibility and benefit standards for a child, who is not a foster child, who is residing with a caregiver other than his or her parents. Unearned income is defined as income received from a source other than employment or self-employment.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 30, 2014.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.