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


Population: universe or sample

Section 2: Closed

Families no longer receiving assistance


Population: universe or sample

Section 3: Aggregate

Families applying for, receiving, and no longer receiving assistance


Population: universe

Section 4: Stratum

Families receiving and no longer receiving, by stratum


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 Categories1: Active
(77 data elements)
2: Closed
(30 data elements)
3: Aggregate
(18 data elements)
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 activities, time limits) x x    
Counts of families (e.g. Approved, denied, open, closed, two-parent)     x  
Counts of families, 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
PublicationFrequency1: Active2:Closed3: Aggregate4: 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 with details like:
      • Fiscal year and quarter (that you were reporting on)
      • File name
      • Transmission date and method
  • Contact 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.