Whether our work is unpaid or underpaid, we work hard to meet our needs and pursue our goals. We each contribute in our own unique ways to our loved ones and our community. We all deserve to get the help we need, no matter what. When we have a solid foundation to meet our needs, we can take opportunities to build the life we want.
This session, you have the opportunity to help tens of thousands of Washingtonians access the help they need to meet their most basic needs: housing their families, putting food on the table, finding a pathway out of poverty. Rep. Peterson has put forward HB 1447 to make important improvements to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Specifically, HB 1447 works to:
- Allow families to access help when they need it: Make permanent TANF hardship time limit extensions for all households and eliminate time limits for child-only cases.
- Facilitate a path out of poverty for TANF recipients: Tie income limits and cash grants to the Needs Standard and inflation to keep up with the cost of living and smooth the benefits cliff by disregarding 6 months of gross income.
- Allow families to build up savings: Expand asset limits for cash assistance programs and waive the value of one car.
- Give families time to stabilize without losing benefits: Introduce stabilization waivers for families by allowing hardship as an exemption for WorkFirst requirements.
This legislation would not just help families meet their basic needs, but also facilitate a path out of poverty for TANF recipients by giving families the tools they need to seek gainful employment, build up savings, and get back on their feet after experiencing hardship.
But Wait, There’s More TANF Improvement to Do
Under current policy, TANF recipients are only able to receive $50-100 of their child support payments. Rep. Taylor has introduced HB 1652 to change this unfair policy and ensure that TANF recipients receive 100% of their child support payments.
Urge your lawmakers to support this critical legislation!