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This is the first installment of TDC's Federal Reporting Fundamental Series for staff that may be new to TANF reporting or for anyone who wants a refresher. In this posting, we go over the basics of the ACF-199, one of several required forms for states and territories receiving federal TANF funding. Future posts will focus on other required reports.

What is the ACF-199/TANF Data Report?

  • Contains disaggregated and aggregate information about TANF Caseloads (e.g., size, composition, characteristics, work participation, etc.)
  • It is organized into four sections:
Section 1: Active Families receiving assistance
Disaggregated
Population: universe or sample
Section 2: Closed Families no longer receiving assistance
Disaggregated
Population: universe or sample
Section 3: Aggregate Families applying for, receiving, and no longer receiving assistance
Aggregated
Population: universe
Section 4: Stratum Families receiving and no longer receiving, by stratum
Aggregated
Requires approved sampling plan
N/A for states submitting data on universe population

What's included

  • The report includes a range of data categories, including basic reporting information, family/case information, person information, counts of families, and counts of families by stratum.
Data Categories Section 1: Active (77 data elements) Section 2: Closed (30 data elements) Section 3: Aggregate (18 data elements) Section 4: Stratum (6 data elements)
Basic reporting information (e.g. state, county, reporting month) x x x x
Family/case information (e.g. case numbers, type, status, assistance types and amounts) x x    
Person information (e.g. social security numbers, demographics, work activites, time limits) x x    
Counts of familes (e.g. Approved, denied, open, closed, two-parent)     x  
Counts of familes, by stratum (e.g. new, ongoing, closed, two-parent)       x

Why is it important?

  • Provides a better understanding of the TANF population
  • Legislatively mandated reporting to help the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) to monitor the program's performance and compliance
  • These data are used in the several ACF/OFA published data tables and reports
Publication Frequency Section 1: Active Section 2: Closed Section 3: Aggregate Section 4: Stratum
Caseload Quarterly     x  
Characteristics and Financial Circumstances Annually x x x x
Work Participation Rates Annually x   x x
Time Limits Annually x   x x
TANF Annual Report to Congress Annually x x x x

When is it due?

  • Due within 45 days of the end of each fiscal quarterFiscal QuarterDue Date
1 02/14
2 05/15
3 08/14
4 11/14
  • Sampling plan is due when sampling methods change
  • Data must be complete and accurate - you'll receive monthly feedback from OFA to help!

How and to whom do I send questions?

  • States can submit multiple ways:
    • Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) (all sections
    • Cyberfusion (all sections)
  • Allow 2 business days after transmission for confirmation receipt
    • Transmission reports for each section file are emailed within 2 business days. Please review them - there may be errors in your data.
    • If you don't receive a report, contact tanfdata@acf.hhs.gov with details like:
      • Fiscal year and quarter (that you were reporting on)
      • File name
      • Transmission date and method
  • Contact tanfdata@acf.hhs.gov with any questions about the transmissions process, data elements, instructions, and Feedback reports. Please include your OFA TANF Regional Contact on the email as well.