Date: Thursday, July 25, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Kharfen (202)401-9215
HHS Approves Amendments to Utah Welfare Demonstration
HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced approval of amendments to Utah's Single Parent Employment Demonstration (SPED) welfare reform project. This is the second waiver application for Utah and 68th state welfare reform demonstration approved under the Clinton Administration.
"By approving Utah's new amendments today, the Clinton Administration carries on its commitment to state flexibility," said Secretary Shalala.
Under the amendments, children must attend school regularly, and preschool children must receive immunizations, unless there are religious objections.
To simplify the definition of household, all related persons in the household and all their incomes will be included in the case unit.
To help more families move off welfare, heads of households who have been barred from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) payments because of fraudulent activity will be eligible to receive help in finding and keeping employment if their children are still receiving AFDC payments.
Finally, income rules will be simplified to require families to report only monthly income fluctuations that exceed $100, an increase from $25 under current rules.
"Utah continues to build on its promising welfare reform program by promoting parental responsibility and simplifying rules to help Utah families achieve self-sufficiency," said Mary Jo Bane, assistant secretary for children and families.
The demonstration is authorized until Dec. 31, 2000.