Monday, April 26, 2010

TANF Emergency Extension May be Linked to Unemployement Insurance Extension

Funding for two vital supports for poor and working families may be part of a single bill moving through the Senate in the next month. Look for the jobs (“extenders”) bill to include both the extension of Unemployment Insurance and COBRA benefits, as well as the extension of the TANF Emergency Fund. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities issued a statement earlier this week explaining that the two would likely be linked together as the best strategy to keep the TANF Emergency Fund extension moving forward.

An extension of the TANF Emergency Fund passed the House last month as part of a small business jobs bill (H.R. 4849). At this point, there are Democratic leaders in the Senate who plan to advance a Senate version of the bill during the month of May or later in the summer. In March, the House and Senate both passed a two-month extension of Unemployment Insurance and COBRA benefits through June 2, 2010 as part of the jobs bill. The final jobs bill is expected to be finalized before Memorial Day. Because this time line is more accelerated, advocates are urging legislators to add the TANF EF extension to the jobs-related bill.
It is particularly important that both Unemployment Insurance Benefits and TANF Emergency funds are extended now. Unemployment Benefits are paid directly to out of work Americans from State Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds. Unemployment Benefits were extended under ARRA to provide more support to states and extend the time families out of work could receive this critical benefit. Millions of Americans are out of work and relying on Unemployment Benefits to pay for mortgages, food and health care.

The extension of the TANF Emergency Fund is also critical to states and to low income and working people. The TANF Emergency Fund reimbursed states up to 80% for short-term, non re-occurring benefits or subsidized employment for eligible households. If the TANF emergency is not extended by June 1st, states will stop making new placements and begin to wind down programs supported by these funds. This may affect work placement and training, summer jobs programs, and other support to families including utility and food assistance.
To follow the progress of the TANF Emergency Fund, go to CLASP's page on this issue. To follow action on Unemployment Insurance Benefits, go to the National Employment Law Project.

No comments:

Post a Comment