45 CFR 286.10 - What does the term “assistance” mean?
(a) The term “assistance” includes cash, payments, vouchers, and other forms of benefits designed to meet a family's ongoing basic needs (i.e., for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, household goods, personal care items, and general incidental expenses).
(1) It includes such benefits even when they are:
(i) Provided in the form of payments by a TANF agency, or other agency on its behalf, to individual recipients; and
(ii) Conditioned on participation in work experience or community service or any other work activity.
(2) Except where excluded under paragraph (b) of this section, it also includes supportive services such as transportation and child care provided to families who are not employed.
(b) It excludes:
(1) Nonrecurring, short-term benefits that:
(i) Are designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need;
(ii) Are not intended to meet recurrent or ongoing needs; and
(iii) Will not extend beyond four months.
(2) Work subsidies (i.e., payments to employers or third parties to help cover the costs of employee wages, benefits, supervision, and training);
(3) Supportive services such as child care and transportation provided to families who are employed;
(4) Refundable earned income tax credits;
(5) Contributions to, and distributions from, Individual Development Accounts;
(6) Services such as counseling, case management, peer support, child care information and referral, information on and referral to Medicaid, Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Food Stamp and Native Employment Works (NEW) programs, transitional services, job retention, job advancement, and other employment-related services that do not provide basic income support; and
(7) Transportation benefits provided under a Job Access or Reverse Commute project, pursuant to section 404(k) of the Act, to an individual who is not otherwise receiving assistance.
(c) The definition of the term assistance specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section does not preclude a Tribe from providing other types of benefits and services consistent with the purposes of the TANF program.