Description and Assessment of State Approaches to Diversion Programs and Activities Under Welfare Reform. Footnotes to Table I-1


1 Alaska's lump sum program is not scheduled for implementation until July 1, 1998. Alaska must first resolve certain policy issues before it can implement the program.

2 Arizona state law allows the state to offer diversion lump sum. However, it has not implemented such a program because of concerns about guaranteeing transitional Medicaid benefits to persons who receive a lump sum cash payment.

3 On January 1, 1998, California began implementing its CalWorks Program, which includes a diversion component. Counties are implementing the program at their own pace.

4 In Colorado, the county officials have decision-making authority in determining when and how lump sum diversion programs will become operational in their counties.

5 Just at the time of finishing the interim report, Connecticut informed us that they passed legislation enabling the state to implement a lump sum diversion program effective October 1, 1998.

6 The District of Columbia is in the process of developing a lump sum payment program. No implementation date has been set and the program must be reviewed and approved by the City Council.

7 In Iowa and Texas, the lump sum program is implemented on less than a statewide basis. Iowa currently operates a pilot lump sum diversion program in three counties but plans to expand the program to additional counties; and Texas currently operates the program in one county but plans to expand the program to 15 counties in April 1998 and go statewide in August 1998.

8 Although Maine does not consider its diversion program to be lump sum, Maine's diversion program matches the study definition of lump sum diversion program - the lump sum payment is provided only on an up-front basis (i.e., to eligible TANF applicants only) and payback terms apply when diverted families return during the period of ineligibility.

9 Nevada's lump sum program is not scheduled for implementation until October 1, 1998. Like Alaska, Nevada must first resolve certain policy issues around its lump sum plan before it can be implemented.

10 New Jersey is developing a diversion program that may include lump sum payment and "employability services" in which TANF applicants would have to participate as a condition of eligibility. State officials anticipate completing development by July 1998 although substantial issues related to determining eligibility for lump sum payment remain unresolved.

11 Oklahoma official reported that the state has a welfare reform law requiring the creation of a lump sum payment program. However, Oklahoma has no plans for developing such a program.

12 Rhode Island's lump sum program has not been scheduled for implementation. The state is developing a diversion program that will be implemented in an experimental pilot program in select areas of the state.

13 Vermont is planning to develop a lump sum payment program but state officials did not report specific plans or dates for this development.

14 Although Wisconsin officials did not identify the state's Job Access Loan as a lump sum payment program, the major components of the job access loan program are very similar to components of lump sum payment programs. Job access loans are lump sum payments made available to TANF applicants, as well as TANF recipients, to help them avoid receiving TANF benefits by obtaining or maintaining employment. Although this lump sum payment is expressly a loan that must be paid back, several states essentially require full repayment of lump sum payments through the operation of "penalties." See Chapter Two and Table II-1.

15 The states marked in this column have newly established aggressive efforts to identify alternative resources as a way to meet TANF applicants' needs and to divert them from receiving TANF benefits. In these states, receipt of TANF benefits is seen as the "last resort" and locating other forms of assistance for families, e.g., child care, plays an important role in achieving this "last resort" goal.

16 While Kansas uses a very aggressive approach to identify alternative resources, this activity only occurs in conjunction with assisting the TANF applicant with the job search requirements. For the states marked in this column, alternative resources approaches exist separately from both lump sum payment and job search as independent diversion activities.

17 In Indiana, the job search requirements are implemented in two counties.

18 Twelve states, while not having specific job search requirements, do require work orientation, work registration, or both as a condition of eligibility for TANF. (States with job search requirements frequently include work registration and/or work orientation as part of the job search requirements.) California, Maine, Michigan, Montana, and Texas require work orientation only; Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Utah require work registration only; and the District of Columbia, Florida, and Wyoming require work orientation and work registration. In a thirteenth state, South Dakota, TANF applicants considered ready to work must go to the Department of Labor as opposed to the Department of Social Services to complete their TANF applications and must complete a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) that could, at the discretion of the DOL employment specialist, require the applicant to engage in a variety of work-related activities including job training and job search.

19 North Carolina's TANF plan currently prohibits job search as a condition of eligibility. Electing counties (those counties that upon approval by the General Assembly will have flexibility with regard to eligibility criteria and benefit levels) may make job search a condition of eligibility. One of the 26 counties that has applied to be Electing proposes that applicants be required to seek employment for at least the first two weeks while their application pends.

20 In Ohio, all 88 counties have substantial flexibility in designing and implementing their lump sum payment and mandatory applicant job search diversion programs. The state does provide the counties with a model framework for developing their diversion programs - the Ohio model is known as the Prevention, Retention, and Contingency program (PRC). For example, the parameters include a maximum lump sum payment of $1800, limited eligibility to families earning 150 percent of poverty rate or less, and that PRC is a one-time grant.