Time Limits In Missouri
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The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 dramatically altered the social safety net. The federal legislation ended cash assistance as an entitlement program, shifted the funding stream to state block grants, and introduced time limits for individuals receiving cash assistance. According to federal guidelines, persons may not receive cash assistance for more than 60 months. Although states possess the option of implementing shorter time limits, Missouri, like many other states, adopted the federal guidelines of 60 months. Other states varied on both the length of a periodic time limit and the lifetime limit. Arizona, for example, does not have a lifetime limit but does not allow for more than 24 months of cash assistance within a 60 month period of time. Because of these variations in guidelines, the largest number of cases closed due to time limits are concentrated in states with shorter time limits such as Connecticut (21 months), Idaho (24 months), and Utah (36 months). Missouri's welfare plan was signed into law on July 1, 1997 and because of that time limits were first exhausted in July, 2002. This brief provides specific information regarding caseload trends in Missouri, including the length of time cases have been receiving benefits, the number of cases reaching the time limits, and the geographic distribution of case closures in Missouri.
Mosley, J. & Stokes, S. (2004). Time Limits in Missouri, Report No.40-2004. Retrieved 10-02-09, from University of Missouri - Columbia, Institute of Public Policy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/publications/briefs.html