58,000 Tennesseans affected by proposed increase in TANF benefits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Fifty-eight thousand Tennesseans, most of them children, would be affected by proposed changes to a major state welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

It was part of the governor’s announcement Monday, making changes to another of the state’s major welfare programs–the state’s food stamp program called SNAP.

Previous story: Food stamp work requirement to return for most of Tennessee

The governor proposes two things for TANF.

“Number one, put some programs in place that prevent fraud and crack down on abuse and the second will adjust the monthly rate received by those folks,” he told News 2 after the announcement on Monday,

Forty-five thousand children and 13,000 adults make up those in Tennessee receiving monthly benefits from TANF.

The governor proposes the monthly benefits will increase for the first time in more than 20 years.

For a family-of-three, the amount would go from $185 monthly to $277, but there would also extension of a 60-month cap to receive benefits.

“What this proposes to do is to extend it out, maybe an additional 6-months just to give people that flexibility they need to become self-sufficient,” says Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle Barnes.

The additional funds for the increases would come from the federal government.

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