Setting the Baseline: A Report on State Welfare Waivers. Table II.B, Section 1115 Waivers with Time Limits


State Provisions Scope Dates
Arizona Under Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility (EMPOWER), adults may only receive AFDC for 24 months in any 60-month period. After the time-limit is reached, children's portion of the grant will continue. Exempted from the time limit are: individuals age 62 and over; disabled and incapacitated adults; and full-time caretakers of disabled dependents. Up to two four-month extensions will be available to allow for completion of an education or training program. In addition, extensions will be granted for six months at a time for individuals who have made a good faith effort to find a job but have been unable to find employment. For adults who reach the time limit, an earnings disregard is available equal to the amount that the grant was reduced due to the time limit. Statewide

Start: 10/95

End: 9/02

California Under the California Work Pays Demonstration Project, adults must participate in community work experience for 100 hours per month if they have received AFDC for 22 of the past 24 months. This is not explicitly described as a time limit in the terms and conditions. Statewide

Amendment approved: 9/95

End: 9/97

Colorado Under the Colorado Personal Responsibility and Employment Program, two years after being offered an opportunity to participate in JOBS, non-JOBS-exempt adults must be working at least 30 hours per week or actively participating in a JOBS training program. Individuals who refuse to do so can have their needs permanently removed from the AFDC grant. Five counties: Adams, El Paso, Jefferson, Logan and Mesa.

Start: 4/94

End: 3/99

Connecticut Under Reach for Jobs First, AFDC receipt is limited to 21 months for households including employable adults (i.e. those subject to JOBS participation). Cases headed by minor parents, and child-only cases where the caretaker relative is not legally responsible for the dependent children are not subject to the time limit. Extensions of six months at a time are available for cases where the adult has made good faith efforts to find work. No extension may be granted to a family where more than one JOBS program violation has been sanctioned. Statewide (initially New Haven and Manchester areas)

Start: 1/96


End: 12/03

Delaware A Better Chance imposes two-year limit on cash benefits for cases with "employable" adults age 19 and over, as defined by policies to be developed by the state. Families may receive up to two more years of benefits by participating in a pay-for-performance work experience program, or if the adult is working but family income is still below the need standards or 75 percent of the poverty level. Non-time-limited benefits are available for unemployable cases and child-only cases where the adult is not the parent of the child. If participant is determined to have made a good faith effort to find employment, work experience program may continue. HHS is authorized to suspend the time limit if unemployment rate substantially exceeds national average or exceeds 7.5 percent. Statewide, after a phased implementation

Start: 10/95

End: 9/02

Florida The Family Transition Program limits AFDC receipt to 24 months in any 60-month period. Exemptions are made for families including: a disabled adult, a full-time caretaker of a disabled dependent person, a caretaker relative whose needs are not included in the grant, a person under 18 who is either in school or working at least 30 hours per week, a parent with a child who is six months old or younger, or a recipient who is 62 years of age or older. The clock will not be stopped when a child is born to a family already subject to the time limit provision. At the time limit, the state will offer transitional employment for those who have diligently completed plans, are unable to find employment and have not voluntarily quit or been discharged for misconduct. The state will assure that the participant has an opportunity to earn at least the amount of the AFDC grant, plus $90. If this can not be achieved through private-sector employment, the state will develop public-sector jobs. Up to two four-month extensions to the time-limit are allowed based on family circumstances. Families at "high-risk"of becoming welfare dependent may receive aid for 36 months in a 72-month period. These are defined as families where the adult: is under 24 years old, does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and has little or no work history in the past year, or who has received AFDC for 36 of the 60 previous months. Initially Escambia & Alachua counties. Later expanded to Lee, Duval, Pinellas, St. Lucie, Orange & Volusia counties.

Start: 1/94

End: 12/01

Georgia In 10 pilot counties, Work for Welfare Project requires adult recipients (not including caretakers in child-only cases) who have received assistance for 24 of prior 36 months to work 20 hours per month in a work experience program for a state, local government, federal agency or nonprofit organization, subject to the availability of work experience slots. If no slots are available, the participant will be assigned to job search. No one may be required to work more hours per month than the number derived by dividing their AFDC grant by the hourly minimum wage. Exemptions for those 60 years old or more, verifiably disabled or incapacitated, caring for disabled household member or a child under age five, currently participating in JOBS (PEACH) or another educational or job training program, or working at least 20 hours per month. 10 counties: Bibb, Cook, Crisp, Dooly, Irwin, Jenkins, Lowndes, Walker, Wayne and White.

Start: between 11/96 and 11/97

Duration: 5 yrs

Hawaii The Pursuit of New Opportunities Program limits AFDC receipt to 60 months. Child-only cases are exempt, as are cases where, all adult members (including minor parents) are: in a period of incapacity or disability which lasts for at least 30 days, caring for a child under age six, providing in-home care to an ill or incapacitated family member; or over age 60. Extensions are available in three-month increments if the case manager determines the recipient has been making a good faith effort to find a job and has satisfactorily completed all participation requirements. In cases that are subject to the time limit, after two months of aid the maximum grant amount will be reduced by 20 percent. This will not apply to cases headed by minor parents so long as they are attending school to obtain a diploma and are participating in all required educational activities. Statewide

Start: between 10/96 and 10/97

Duration: 8 yrs

Illinois Under the Work and Responsibility program, recipients whose youngest child is 13 or older are subject to a time limit of 24 months without countable earned income. Recipients who fail to find employment within the first year of AFDC receipt must accept up to 60 hours per month of work subsidized by the AFDC grant. Recipients who are incapacitated or needed in the home to care for an incapacitated individual are exempt. Once a recipient is assigned to the time-limited program, the birth of a child will not exempt the recipient from the time limit. Families that reach the time limit will be ineligible to apply for further assistance for two years. Extensions will be available to recipients who are unable to find or maintain work that pays at least equal to the maximum AFDC benefit for a family of that size, plus the appropriate work deductions, if they have significantly complied with all program requirements and have not voluntarily quit a job. Child-only cases are not subject to the time limit. Under "Get a Job," applicants whose youngest child is over four but under 13 and who have a high school diploma or recent work experience will be assigned to job search for up to six months. After six months, they may be required to participate in community work experience or assigned to a short-term training slot. Statewide

Start: 10/95

End: 9/00

Indiana Under the Indiana Manpower, Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) program, AFDC receipt is limited to 24 months for adults who are not JOBS-exempt. IMPACT eliminates the JOBS exemptions for recipients living in rural or hard-to-access areas and those employed 30 or more hours per week and reduces the age up to which a parent may receive an exemption for child care from age three to under 12 weeks. This change will be phased in over an 18-month period starting with the implementation date of the amendments. An assistance unit may earn one month of additional AFDC benefits for each period of six consecutive months during which a recipient was employed full-time. A month during which a recipient is ineligible due to a program sanction will be counted as a month of AFDC receipt, and may not be counted as a month of employment. Extensions will be available for up to one year at a time if the adult has substantially complied with the requirements of her self-sufficiency plan but: a) the state has substantially failed to provide the specified services; or b) she has not been able to find a job in spite of all appropriate efforts. Statewide (initially limited to 12,000 adult recipients)

Start: 4/95

End: 6/02

Iowa Under the Family Investment Plan, parents and other adults included in the assistance unit must develop a self-sufficiency plan which includes individually based time frame for achieving self-sufficiency. Exemptions are available for persons with a child under 3 months, those working at least 30 hours per week, and those who are disabled and unable to participate. Participants unable to achieve self-sufficiency, but demonstrating effort and satisfactory performance, will have their time frames extended; those failing to do so, or choosing not to develop a plan, will have their family's AFDC benefits reduced for three months and then eliminated. They cannot reapply for another six months. (Under original terms and conditions, benefits were phased out over a period of six months.) Statewide

Start: 10/93

End: 9/98

Louisiana The Louisiana Individual Responsibility Project limits AFDC benefits to 24 months out of a 60-month period. The time limit does not apply where: the parent is incapacitated or disabled, the parent has been actively seeking employment, job availability is unfavorable, the parent loses a job for factors unrelated to job performance, or the parent requires up to one year to complete employment related education or training. The time-limit does not apply to child-only cases. Statewide

Start: 1/97

End: 12/02

Maryland After three months, the Family Investment Plan requires able-bodied recipients to meet a work requirement which may consist of full-time unsubsidized employment, 30 hours of subsidized employment, or a total of at least 20 hours of community service and employment. (This provision was not included when FIP was amended.) Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. This provision was not included when FIP was amended.
Massachusetts Welfare Reform '95 requires non-exempt adults whose youngest child (who was conceived before start of AFDC receipt) is of mandatory full-time school age to work at least 20 hours per week. Sixty days will be allowed for independent job search prior to imposition of the work requirement, once in a 60-month period. Recipients who can not find work will be placed in a community service position. Initial failure to comply will be sanctioned by a reduction in the grant by the portion attributed to the individual who is required to work. Continued non-compliance can result in full-family sanction. Exempts assistance units in which: the parent is disabled; the parent is essential to the care of a disabled child or spouse; the recipient is in the third trimester of pregnancy; the youngest child in the unit is under the age of two; a child of the recipient under the age of three months is in the household, regardless of whether the child is included in the assistance unit; the parent is under the age of 20 and is attending school (not past high school) full-time; or the adult in the unit is an ineligible grantee, without a legal obligation to support the dependent child(ren). In two-parent households, both parents must qualify for one of the exemptions in order to for the unit to be exempt. Statewide

Start: 10/95

End: 9/05

Michigan Under To Strengthen Michigan Families, the penalty for non-compliance with the mandatory Work First program is initially 25 percent of the combined AFDC and food stamp grant, and after one year increases to loss of all AFDC benefits. All AFDC recipients, except VISTA volunteers and minor parents under 16, are subject to the participation requirements. This can be read as equivalent to a one-year work requirement time limit. Statewide

Start: 10/92

End: 9/99

Missouri The Missouri Families Mutual Responsibility Plan requires JOBS mandatory applicants and recipients to enter into a self-sufficiency agreement establishing a 24-month time limit on AFDC receipt, to be extended an additional 24 months when necessary to complete a training program. Recipients who reach the time limit will be assigned to job search and work experience under the JOBS program. The state will deny AFDC to an individual who received benefits for at least 36 months and who reapplies after completing a self-sufficiency agreement entered into after July 1, 1997, if the individual was responsible for becoming unemployed. Other eligible members of the family will receive benefits. Statewide

Start: 4/95

End: 5/00

Montana Under Families Achieving Independence for Montanans, benefits for adults are limited to 24 months for single-parent and 18 months for two-parent families. Months on assistance are not counted when adult is under age 20 and attending high school or obtaining GED, or caring for a child under age one, or when state-paid child care is not available. Individuals who reach time limit but have not achieved self-sufficiency will be required to participate in Community Services Program for 20 hours per week in order to continue to receive benefits. Communities may define community service to include post-secondary activities. A month during which a recipient is ineligible due to a program sanction will be counted as a month of AFDC receipt. Statewide

Start: 1/96

End: 12/04

Nebraska Under Nebraska's Welfare Reform Waiver Demonstration, except for recipients for whom self-sufficiency is not possible because of mental, emotional or physical conditions or who do not have parental responsibility for the children, AFDC receipt will be limited to 24 months in a 48-month period. The time limit will not start for a minor parent who is attending school or pursuing a GED, or for a caretaker relative under age 19. If a child is born during the first ten months of AFDC receipt, the time limit will not begin until the child is six months old. The time limit will be extended for three months upon the birth of a child who was conceived after the family applied for assistance. Extensions will be available if the case manager determines that there are no jobs available to the recipient that would pay as much as the AFDC grant less unearned income, if termination of the grant would result in the family not having sufficient funds for food, shelter and utilities, if the adult members are no longer able to meet the terms of their self-sufficiency agreement, or if the state has not provided the required services. Two counties in 1995; expanded statewide in 1996

Start: 10/95

End: 9/02

New Hampshire The New Hampshire Employment Program requires all adults not exempt from JOBS to participate in job search for up to 26 weeks followed by work-related activities for 26 weeks. These cycles will repeat until the recipient is off AFDC. Statewide

Start: between 7/96 and 7/97

Duration: 5 yrs

North Carolina Work First limits AFDC receipt to 24 cumulative months. After reaching the time limit, families become ineligible for 36 months. Months when a recipient is exempt from employment and training requirements do not count against the time limit. Exemptions are for: disabled and incapacitated individuals; those needed as caretakers for disabled individuals in the home; parents of a child under five years old (unless the parent is working more than 30 hours per week); individuals under 16 or over 65, 16 and 17-year-olds who are attending school; and individuals who can not participate because the state can not provide child care and reasonable transportation. Extensions will be available to participants who have substantially complied with the personal responsibility contract and have been unable, through no fault of their own, to find employment that pays as much as the AFDC grant. The state will set up local review boards which will make recommendations regarding applications for extensions. Statewide

Start: between 3/96 and 3/97

Duration: 5 yrs

North Dakota Under the Training, Education, Employment and Management (TEEM) program, families must develop a social contract specifying a time-limit for becoming self-sufficient and outlining responsibilities and requirements of household members and the agency. If such a contract is not signed within two months, the case will be closed. Agency staff will be given guidelines to help establish reasonable time periods, under which recipients will be classified into three tiers. The first tier will be eligible to receive benefits for up to 24 months, the second will be eligible for up to 42 months, and the third will be eligible for 43 months or more. If a recipient is not employed full-time by the end of the time period specified, she will be placed in a work experience program or granted an extension, based on an evaluation of her circumstances. 10 counties: Adams, Cass, Random, Richland, Sargent, Stark, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, and Williams.

Start: 10/96

End: 9/03

Ohio Ohio First will limit AFDC eligibility for assistance units headed by adults to 36 months out of an 60 month period. The local county department of human services may exempt up to 15 percent of the county's AFDC recipient population on the grounds that the time limit "would impose a hardship." The time limit will not apply to assistance groups headed by an individual who is exempt from JOBS, or where the head is unable to actively participate in JOBS because she is on a waiting list, or where "other good cause exists." Good cause will include the inability, through no fault of the individual, to find a job that pays as much as the family would receive under AFDC. Statewide

Start: between 6/96 and 12/96

Duration: 5 yrs

Oklahoma Mutual Agreement: A Plan for Success (MAAPS) time-limits AFDC receipt by cases with non-JOBS-exempt participants to 36 cumulative months in a 60-month period, followed by mandatory workfare participation of at least 24 hours a week. Extension is allowed for recipients making satisfactory progress in JOBS plan that will be completed within one semester or four months, including post-secondary education if combined with part-time employment. The sanction for refusal to accept a workfare placement is the JOBS sanction: the parent's needs will be removed from the grant, but the children will continue to receive AFDC. Six counties: Creek, Grady, Jackson, McCurtain, Okmulgee, and Seminole.

Start: 4/96

End: 3/01

Oregon Oregon Option limits receipt of AFDC to no more than 24 out of 84 months for families with employable parents. Any month in which one parent receives gross earnings in an amount equal to 173 times the hourly minimum wage shall be counted as two-fifths of a month. Time limit does not apply to caretakers other than parents, or to households where the parent is disabled or needed to care for a disabled person. The time-limit may be suspended for up to three months in a two-year period for the care of family members who suffer serious health conditions. The time limit does not apply to a person who is required to participate in JOBS but has not been offered the opportunity to participate in an education, employment or job training program, or to a person who is currently participating in a JOBS activity. No more than 1 percent of the families receiving aid in a month may receive an extension for making good faith efforts to find a job Statewide

Start: 7/95

End: 6/02

South Carolina The Family Independence Act time-limits AFDC receipt by families with able bodied adults to 24 cumulative months. Exemptions are available when: the head of the household is mentally or physically disabled; the head of the household is providing medically required full-time care for a disabled individual; the case head is under 18 and has not completed high school; child-only cases where the head of household is not the parent of the child; when the adult is providing a home for an abandoned child and the alternative is foster care; and when child care or transportation is not reasonably available. Extensions will be allowed of up to six months for a training program and up to 12 months for individuals who have made good faith efforts but can not find a job that pays equal to their AFDC benefits. When a family reaches the time limit, if the parent requests an extension, the state may require the family to relocate in order to accept a job offer in another part of the state. The state will provide relocation assistance, including funds for moving expenses, housing search, child care and rent for the first month. This provision would only apply to families living in counties where the unemployment rate is 50 percent higher than the rest of the state. The state will consider good cause exceptions. Statewide

Start: between 6/96 and 6/97

Duration: 7 yrs

South Dakota Under the Strengthening South Dakota's Families Initiative, all JOBS exemptions are eliminated except those for recipients with a disability or those needed at home to care for disabled family members. All other adults will be assigned either to a 24 month employment-readiness track or to a 60 month training track. At end of this period, adults who are not employed at least 30 hours per week, must perform 30 hours of approved volunteer service each week (fewer if good cause shown). Failure to comply results in JOBS sanction. Statewide

Start: 4/94

End: 3/99

Tennessee Families First imposes time limits on AFDC receipt of 18 consecutive months and 60 cumulative months. After receiving AFDC for 18 months, a household must wait at least three months before re-applying, unless the caretaker was employed at the end of the 18 month period, and lost her job through no fault of her own. An assistance unit which loses eligibility for any reason prior to the 18-month time limit may reapply without any waiting period, except that a unit that loses eligibility due to a work requirement or child support sanction will not be eligible to re-apply until after the sanction period ends. Extensions may be granted for one month at a time, up to a maximum of six months, to all families residing in economic hardship counties and in substantial compliance with their plans. Extensions will also be granted to assistance units who are in compliance with their plans, have been in substantial compliance for the entire current period of eligibility, have income less than the payment standard plus $90, and are not currently refusing employment without good cause. The following are reasons for exemption from the time limits: case does not include an eligible adult (unless the adult is excluded as a result of a sanction); the caretaker is age 60 or older; the caretaker is disabled; the caretaker must provide at-home care for a related household member who is disabled and requires full-time care; the adult has a functional literacy level of 8.9 or less, so long as the adult is enrolled at least 20 hours per week in an approved GED/ABE program and is making satisfactory progress or it has been determined that such a program is inappropriate due to a learning limitation. Statewide

Start: between 9/96 and 9/97

Duration: 11 yrs

Texas Under Achieving Change for Texans (ACT), AFDC receipt will be time-limited to 12, 24, or 36 cumulative months for all caretakers and second parents in AFDC-UP cases who are required to participate in JOBS, depending on the education and job experience of recipient. Time on AFDC will not be counted towards the limit while individual has good cause for nonparticipation in JOBS. Individuals who reach the time limits may not receive cash benefits for a five-year period. Extensions of up to six months at a time are available for severe personal hardship, or in cases where the state failed to provide supportive services, or in high-unemployment areas. The children will continue to be eligible for benefits. Statewide

Start: 4/96

End: 6/02

Vermont The Family Independence Project requires participation in subsidized employment after 30 cumulative months for single parent and AFDC-I families, and 15 cumulative months for two-parent (AFDC-UP) families. Community service will be on grant diversion, pay-for-performance model. Hours of service will be determined by dividing the grant amount by the minimum wage, but single parents and AFDC-I parents with a child under age 13 may not be required to work more than 20 hours a week. Parents in two-parent households and single parents and AFDC-I parents with no children under age 13 may be required to work up to 40 hours per week. Cumulative time on AFDC is reduced by six months for each continuous period of intervening non-receipt lasting at least 12 months.



As of mid-1995, approximately 60 percent of the statewide eligible caseload was subject to the time-limits.

Start: 7/94

End: 6/01

Virginia Under the Virginia Independence Program (VIP), AFDC receipt will be time-limited to 24 cumulative months for cases headed by non-exempt caretakers. The following case heads are exempt: individuals under age 16; individuals between 16 and 19 who are enrolled full-time in elementary or secondary schools, including vocational or technical programs (once an individual loses this exemption, she cannot requalify even if she returns to school, unless the case is closed and reopened); individuals incapacitated by a temporary medical condition, as documented by a physician; individuals incapacitated and receiving SSI or S.D. benefits; individuals over the age of 60; the sole caregiver of an incapacitated household member; a parent or caretaker of a child under 18 months (birth of a child excluded under the family cap only exempts the caregiver for six weeks); children receiving AFDC-Foster Care; families where the primary caretakers are not the adoptive or biological parents of the child; and females in their fourth through ninth month of pregnancy. Hardship extensions will be available for up to a year if the unemployment rate in the locality is greater than 10 percent or if the extension will allow the participant to complete a program of employment-related education or training, and for up to 90 days if the individual has been actively seeking employment and is unable to find work that will equal the AFDC cash benefit, or if the individual was fired without good cause. Extensions will not be available if the case head has been sanctioned more than once, or has voluntarily quit a job or rejected an offer of employment, without good cause. Statewide; will be phased in over 4 years.

Start: 7/95

End: 6/03

Washington The Success Through Employment Program (STEP) imposes a 10 percent grant reduction for cases with adult AFDC recipients who have received assistance for 48 out of 60 months, and imposes an additional 10 percent grant reduction for every 12 months thereafter. Exemptions are available for recipients who are participating in an unpaid work experience program, incapacitated, caring for an incapacitated household member, are needed in the home to care for a child under three, or are participating satisfactorily in JOBS and no employment opportunities or work experience are available. Once the grant reduction has been imposed, the unit is no longer subject to JOBS sanctions. Statewide

Start: 1/96

End: 12/05

Wisconsin Under Work Not Welfare, benefits are limited to 24 monthly payments and 12 months of transition benefits within a 48 month period. Time limits apply to all parents in the budget group and to parents not themselves eligible, with the following exceptions: case is headed by a teen parent subject to learnfare; the case head is a minor; the sole custodial parent or both parents are incapacitated; the parent is caring for an incapacitated person; the sole custodial parent or both parents are on SSI; the case head is a non-legally responsible relative not included in the grant; or the parent is caring for a child under one year of age who was conceived before the group first received WNW benefits. If a child is born more than ten months after beginning of program, there is no exemption from the time limit. After 24 months of payments, no additional cash payments are available for 36 months unless an extension is granted. Extensions may be granted taking into account voluntary quits, cooperation with program requirements, whether state met its obligation to provide services, and whether job opportunities exist. When cash assistance is terminated, rent payments may be provided for an amount no more than the AFDC grant for children, if children would otherwise be at risk for homelessness, and supportive services will continue to be provided through the Children's Services Network.

2 counties: Fond du Lac and Pierce.


These counties contain about 1 percent of the state's total AFDC caseload.

Start: 1/95

End: 12/06