What Happened To The TANF Assistance Money? Find Out Here
(DailyDig.com) – The government is able to provide families in poverty with a safety net through a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The fund allows the government to provide block grants to states who have their own programs. However, a recent report from Tax Foundation of Hawai‘i president Tom Yamachika claims that money isn’t reaching the intended recipients for a variety of reasons.
Yamachika claims several states are actively hoarding federal government-provided TANF funds. The tax specialist claims Hawaii alone is currently sitting on at least $400 million intended for needy families.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). We have built up over $400 Million that was awarded to us but not drawn down. Why? It isn't helping needy families if Uncle Sam is keeping it. https://t.co/C6NFp3Rfx5
— Tax Foundation of Hawaii (@HawaiiTax) January 11, 2022
Yamachika referred to a ProPublica report that explains how states are just sitting on the money. The document reveals a federal report from September 2021 indicating that multiple states have built up $5.2 billion in funds from TANF. They collectively added $700 million in 2019 and 2020 alone.
Numbers from the FY 2020 Federal TANF & State MOE Financial Data sheet show that Tennessee, Hawaii, and Maine are keeping more money per impoverished person than anywhere else in the US.
The ProPublica report shows that states have continued to withhold this money even as poverty levels increased. Could these funds not help less fortunate families break through the poverty threshold and survive the negative effects of the pandemic?
Why are these funds not making it to the families that truly need them? With a pandemic looming over the lives of Americans, one would think there was no better time for families to receive aid and assistance; many can’t afford rent, food, or utilities. Why are states allowing their people to suffer while good money sits in the bank?
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