Twenty years ago “welfare as we know it” was fundamentally changed with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. New requirements and responsibilities are now a standard rule, along with the availability of a number of supportive services. Yet, after two decades, information is not be readily disseminated so welfare clients can make informed decisions in their efforts to become self-sufficient.
Every applicant for cash assistance is given a handbook which gives an overview of the program, available support services, as well as information on time limits, income disregards, work activities, deferrals and sanctions.
The handbook also details the many programs that individuals and families may receive both while receiving assistance and for the two year period following case closing. A number of these programs are under-utilized. They include: Supplemental Work Support (SWS), Career Advancement Voucher Program (CAVP), Transitional Child Care (TCC) and transportation services.
Available for downloading is the most current edition of the WFNJ Handbook, (revised April, 2016). Also available is a Spanish version.
This is the first in a series of articles and documents to be issued pertaining to welfare and workforce development.