Release 73:  Effective April 1, 2014

N.  Tribal TANF


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  1. Overview

    Under the current federal welfare reform law, the 1996 Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), Indian tribes are granted the authority to establish and operate tribal TANF programs.

    This authority is similar to authority that granted to states in that tribes are allowed to determine their own TANF eligibility criteria, benefit standards, program services and sanctions (disqualifications) for noncompliance. Unlike states, tribes have the option to implement or not implement TANF programs. In addition, PRWORA accords tribes considerable discretion in designating both their TANF service areas and service populations.

    Service area refers to the geographic area in which tribal TANF services are to be provided.

    Service population refers to the ethnicity and/or tribal affiliation/membership of the residents in the service area who may apply for and receive tribal TANF services.

    Example 1:  A tribe may elect to provide TANF services to all (TANF-eligible) Indian families in its service area, or limit its TANF services to just enrolled tribal member families.

  2. Tribes operating TANF programs

    Two tribes in Oregon currently operate tribal TANF programs:

  3. Tribal TANF service areas and service population

    The TANF service areas and TANF service populations of these tribes are as follows:

    1. Klamath Tribes

      Service Area: Klamath County.

      Service Population:

      Single-parent families: The custodial parent is a Klamath Tribes member, or at least 50 percent of the dependent children are Klamath Tribes members.

      Two-parent families: Both custodial parents are Klamath Tribes members, or one of the two custodial parents is a Klamath Tribes member and at least 50 percent of the dependent children are Klamath Tribes members.

      Caretaker relative (nonparent) families: At least 50 percent of the dependent children are Klamath Tribes members. (The caretaker relative's Klamath Tribes membership status is not a consideration.)

      Specific Requirements; TANF: 461-135-0070

    2. Siletz Tribe

      Service Area: Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill counties.

      Service Population:

      Single-parent families: The custodial parent, or at least one dependent child, is an enrolled Siletz tribal member.

      Two-parent families: At least one custodial parent or shared dependent is an enrolled Siletz tribal member.

      Caretaker relative (nonparent) families: At least one enrolled Siletz tribal member is a minor.

      Pregnant tribal member: Enrolled Siletz tribal member in her eighth month of pregnancy.

    Specific Requirements; TANF: 461-135-0070

  4. Tribal TANF and Department of Human Services (DHS) TANF

    Families must apply for TANF serves through the Siletz or Klamath Tribes if they:

    They do not have the option of applying to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for TANF services. The tribes, in turn, determine whether these tribal families meet their tribal TANF program eligibility criteria. Such criteria are established by the each TANF tribe and need not be consistent with the DHS TANF program.

    Only when a tribal family fails to meet the tribal TANF eligibility criteria (as determined by the tribe) may it apply for and receive DHS TANF services.

    Note:  If a tribal family is determined ineligible for tribal TANF services solely due to the imposition of a tribal TANF sanction (disqualification), that family is not eligible for DHS TANF services.

    Specific Requirements; TANF: 461-135-0070

  5. Tribal TANF and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    The Siletz and Klamath Tribes do not operate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance programs. DHS administers SNAP for all state residents, including members of Indian tribes. Siletz and Klamath tribal TANF families must apply to DHS to receive SNAP benefits. These tribal TANF families have the same categorical eligibility for SNAP benefits as do DHS TANF recipients.

    Categorical Eligibility for SNAP: 461-135-0505

  6. Tribal TANF and Child Care

    Tribal TANF participants are not eligible for DHS TANF child care support services. When child care financial assistance is needed, tribal TANF participants must seek that assistance from the TANF Tribe. However, when tribal TANF participants lose their TANF eligibility due to employment, they are eligible for the Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC) program provided they meet ERDC eligibility requirements.

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