Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Indefinitely postponed in Senate (06/16/1988)

(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate, H.R. 1720 passed in lieu)

Family Security Act of 1988 - Replaces the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) (part A of title IV of the Social Security Act) program with the Child Support Supplement (CSS) program.

Title I: Child Support and Establishment of Paternity - Subtitle A: Child Support - Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of title IV of the Social Security Act to require the withholding of child support payments from the non-custodial parent's wages upon the issuance or modification of a child support order for families receiving part D services. Waives such withholding requirement when both parents agree to an alternative arrangement or the State finds good cause to rely on an alternative arrangement. Requires immediate wage withholding for all new child support cases entered into after January 1, 1994. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study the feasibility of requiring immediate income withholding with respect to all child support awards.

Amends part A of title IV of the Act to exclude the first $50 of child support payments which were due for a prior month from the determination of a family's need for CSS payments in the month during which such payments were received.

Amends part D of title IV of the Act to require States to review State guidelines for child support award amounts at least once every five years. Makes such guidelines binding upon judges or other State officials unless the judge or official, pursuant to criteria established by the State, finds good cause to ignore such guidelines. Requires that child support awards for CSS families be reviewed and adjusted in accordance with such guidelines at least once every two years unless such review would not be in the child's best interest and neither parent requests such review. Requires such review and adjustment of a child support award for a non-CSS family upon the request of either parent. Gives parents at least 30 days notice of pending review or adjustment of a child support award. Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement with each of four States by April 1, 1989, to conduct a two-year demonstration project testing and evaluating model procedures for reviewing child support award amounts. Requires States to inform CSS families on a monthly basis, rather than annually, of the amount of child support collected on their behalf.

Subtitle B: Establishment of Paternity - Establishes State performance standards for the establishment of paternity which require the State's paternity establishment percentage for a fiscal year to be: (1) at least 50 percent; (2) the State's percentage for FY 1988 increased by three percentage points for each fiscal year after FY 1989; or (3) equal to or greater than the average percentage for all States. Authorizes the Secretary to modify such requirements to take into account variables which may affect a State's ability to meet such requirements. Directs the Secretary to report annually to the Congress regarding the data upon which State paternity establishment percentages are based and the performance of States in establishing paternity.

Raises the Federal matching rate to 90 percent (from 68 percent in FY 1988) for laboratory costs incurred in determining paternity.

Subtitle C: Improved Procedures for Child Support Enforcement and Establishment of Paternity - Requires the Secretary to establish time limits within which a State must accept and respond to requests for assistance in establishing and enforcing child support orders and distribute amounts collected as child support. Directs the Secretary to establish an advisory committee, composed of State officials involved in the Child Support Enforcement program, with which the Secretary must consult before issuing regulations regarding time limits on accepting and responding to child support establishment and enforcement requests. Requires the issuance of final regulations by the first day of the tenth month after this Act's enactment.

Requires States to establish automatic data processing and information retrieval systems to assist in the administration of the Child Support Enforcement program within ten years of the State's submittal (by October 1, 1990) of an advance planning document for such system to the Secretary, or, if earlier, by the date specified by the State in such document. Authorizes the Secretary to waive the Act's requirements for such documents and systems if the State has an alternative system which is in substantial compliance with the Act's requirements. Sets the Federal share of establishing such a system at 90 percent so long as time limits have not been exceeded.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to give the Secretary prompt access to wage and unemployment compensation claims information and data maintained by the Department of Labor and State employment security agencies. Amends title III (Unemployment Compensation) of the Act to require States to cooperate in making such information available.

Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Act to require States to collect the social security numbers of both parents when their child is born for use by State agencies administering Child Support Enforcement programs unless the State finds good cause for not requiring such numbers.

Establishes the Commission on Interstate Child Support which, by October 1, 1989, must hold one or more national conferences on reform of interstate child support procedures. Directs the Commission to submit a report to the Congress by October 1, 1990, containing recommendations for improving the interstate establishment and enforcement of child support and for revising the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act. Terminates the Commission on November 1, 1990. Authorizes appropriations for such Commission.

Title II: Joint Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program - Amends part A of title IV of the Act to require States to establish, within three years of this Act's enactment, a job opportunities and basic skills training program (Program) which helps needy children and parents avoid long-term welfare dependence. Requires private sector involvement in planning and Program design to assure that participants are trained for jobs that will actually be available in the community.

Requires non-exempt CSS recipients to participate in such Program if State resources permit such level of participation and necessary child care is available to participants. Allows exempt CSS recipients to participate on a voluntary basis. Authorizes States to require or allow absent parents who are unemployed and unable to meet child support obligations to participate in the Program. Exempts from Program participation an individual who: (1) is ill, incapacitated, or of advanced age; (2) is needed in the home because of the illness or incapacity of another member of the household; (3) is a parent or relative of a child under age three or, at the State's option, less than age three but not less than age one (such exception applies to only one parent in a two-parent family and may be made inapplicable to both parents if the State provides the family with child care); (4) works more than 30 hours or more per week; (5) is a child under age 16 or attending elementary, secondary, or vocational school full time; (6) is a woman in the third trimester of pregnancy; or (7) resides in an area of the State where the Program is not available.

Prohibits the requirement that the parent or a relative of a child under age six who is not the principal earner participate in the Program for more than 24 hours a week, except that such persons may be required to participate in Program educational activities for more than 24 hours a week. Provides that if an individual is attending a school or a course of vocational or technical training designed to lead to employment when he or she would otherwise commence participation in the Program, such attendance may constitute satisfactory participation in the Program, though the costs of such schooling or training shall not be covered by the CSS program.

Requires States to make an initial assessment of the education and employment skills of each Program participant and on that basis develop an employability plan for each participant which, to the maximum extent possible, reflects the participant's preferences. Requires that in the case of participants who have attained age 22 and do not have a high-school diploma an emphasis be placed on meeting educational needs. Authorizes the State to: (1) require each participant to then negotiate a contract with the State which specifies the duration of his or her participation as well as the activities the State will conduct and services it will provide in the course of such participation; and (2) assign to each participating family a case manager who is responsible for obtaining, on the family's behalf, any other services which may assure the family's effective participation.

Requires State Programs to provide a broad range of services and activities, including: (1) high school or equivalent education; (2) remedial education to achieve basic literacy and instruction in English as a second language; (3) post-secondary education as appropriate; (4) work supplementation programs; (5) community work experience programs; (6) job search, training, and placement services; and (7) other employment, education, and training activities as determined by the State and allowed by the Secretary. Requires non-exempt custodial parents who have not attained age 22 or successfully completed a high school education to participate in high school or equivalent education, or literacy or English language education. Authorizes States to require such parents to participate in training or work activities if they fail to make good progress in educational activities or if their participation in such activities is inappropriate. Requires that by FY 1995 one parent in each two-parent family receiving CSS benefits by reason of the principal earner's unemployment be made to work at least 16 hours per week in a community work experience program. Makes such work requirement applicable a year earlier in States that provide CSS benefits to such families by June 1, 1988.

Requires each work assignment to be consistent with the physical capacity, skills, experience, health, family responsibilities, and place of residence of each participant and not involve unreasonable travel. Prohibits: (1) wage rates for work assignments from being set at less than the greater of the Federal or State minimum wage; and (2) work assignments which displace a currently employed worker or position, fill established unfilled position vacancies, infringe the promotional opportunities of current employees, or impair existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements. Requires States to establish a procedure for resolving employee complaints regarding such work assignments. Prohibits States from requiring participants to accept a job which would result in a loss of income to the participant's family.

Requires that each Governor find his other State Program consistent with the criteria for coordinating activities included in the Governor's Coordination and Special Services Plan prepared under the Job Training Partnership Act before submitting it to the Secretary.

Authorizes any State to institute a work supplementation program under which such State reserves sums which would otherwise be payable to program participants as child support supplements and uses such sums instead to subsidize jobs for such participants.

Authorizes any State to establish a community work experience program to provide experience and training for individuals not otherwise able to obtain employment. Limits such programs to projects which serve a useful public purpose, utilizing, if possible, the participant's prior training, experience, and skills. Requires that other Program activities be coordinated with the community work program so that job placement has priority over participation in such program.

Authorizes States to require individuals to participate in job search activities for up to eight weeks after applying for child support supplements and for up to eight weeks in any 12-month period thereafter. Prohibits the requirement that individuals engage in job search activities for more than three weeks before the State makes as assessment of their education and employment skills.

Subjects the families of individuals who are required to participate in the Program and fail to do so without good cause to the reduction or elimination of child support supplements. Continues sanctions for a minimum of three months if such individual failed to participate on a previous occasion and for six months if such noncompliance has occurred more than one time previously. Requires the State to notify recipients of any failure to comply with work or training requirements and the actions which must be taken to terminate the sanction.

Requires States to establish conciliation procedures for the resolution of disputes involving an individual's participation in the Program and have a hearing process to resolve disputes not resolved during the conciliation process. Prohibits the termination or reduction of CSS benefits as a result of such dispute until the individual has an opportunity for a hearing.

Caps Federal funding for Program costs. Sets the Federal matching rate for Program costs at 90 percent of a State's costs which do not exceed its FY 1987 costs under part C (Work Incentive Program) of title IV of the Act and the greater of 60 percent or the Medicaid (title XIX of the Act) matching rate for additional non-administrative costs. Sets such rate for administrative and work-related supportive service costs at 50 percent. Reduces the rate of Federal reimbursement for all non-administrative Program expenditures to 50 percent if: (1) less than 50 percent of such expenditures are targeted at individuals who have received child support supplements for 30 of the preceding 60 months, are custodial parents under age 24 who have not completed and are not enrolled in high school, or had little or no work experience in the preceding year; or (2) State Program participation rates do not equal or exceed specified percentages.

Allows Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations to apply directly to the Secretary within six months of this Act's enactment to establish and administer their own Program.

Requires States to provide child care (or day care for an incapacitated individual living in the home of a dependent child) for families to the extent that it is necessary to an individual's participation in work, education, and training activities. Provides coverage for certain transportation and other work-related expenses.

Amends part C of title IV of the Act to extend work incentive demonstration programs until September 30, 1990.

Sets forth technical and conforming amendments.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) publish final Program regulations within one year of this Act's enactment; (2) submit recommended Program performance standards to the Congress within five years of this Act's enactment; (3) study State implementation of the Program; (4) select five States to participate in three-year demonstration projects to study the relative effectiveness of different approaches for assisting long-term and potentially long-term CSS recipients under the Program; and (5) study the application of the Program to Indians. Sets forth effectiveness study reporting requirements. Authorizes appropriations for the State implementation study for FY 1989 through 1991 and for the effectiveness study for FY 1989 through 1993.

Title III: Transitional Assistance for Families After Loss of CSS Eligibility - Provides a family which loses CSS eligibility due to an increase of earned income or employment hours, or a loss of earning exclusions with nine months of transitional child care if the State determines such assistance to be necessary for continuing employment and the family has received child support supplements for three of the preceding six months. Terminates transitional child care if the family ceases to include a dependent child or the parent or caretaker relative engages in certain conduct prohibited under the CSS program. Requires families to contribute to the costs of such care on the basis of their ability to pay for such care. Makes families ineligible for such care after 1993. Directs the Secretary to study and report by January 1, 1993, on the effectiveness of transitional child care in reducing welfare dependence.

Amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Act to require a State to continue a family's Medicaid eligibility for six months after the family loses CSS eligibility because of increased earnings or employment hours, or a loss of earning exclusions if the family has received supplement payments for three of the preceding six months, and for an optional six additional months if the family has received the entire six months of extended Medicaid coverage. Terminates extended Medicaid coverage if the family ceases to include a dependent child or the caretaker relative engaged in certain conduct prohibited under the CSS program. Authorizes States to provide the extended Medicaid coverage by paying a family's expenses for health insurance offered by the caretaker relative's employer (or, if more cost-effective, by the absent parent's employer) or a family's expenses, during the optional six-month extension period, for enrollment in a group health plan offered to the caretaker relative, a group health plan offered by the State to its employees, or a health maintenance organization. Denies a family the optional six-month extension period if its earnings exceed 185 percent of the Federal poverty level. Requires States to impose a premium on families receiving the optional six months of extended coverage, but only if the family's monthly earnings exceed the Federal poverty level and the premium does not exceed three percent of such earnings. Requires the Secretary to conduct a study and issue a report by January 1, 1993, on the impact of such Medicaid extension provisions.

Title IV: Family Living Arrangements - Amends part A of title IV of the Act to condition an unmarried minor parent's receipt of CSS payments on his or her residence with a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative, or in an adult-supervised supportive living arrangement. Makes such requirement inapplicable if: (1) such individual has no living parent or legal guardian or is not allowed to live with such parent or legal guardian; (2) the health and safety of the child or minor parent would be jeopardized if such individual lived with the parent or legal guardian; (3) such individual has not lived at home for at least one year prior to the child's birth or making a claim for CSS payments; or (4) the State otherwise finds good cause for waiving the requirement. Requires that (where possible) CSS payments be made to the parent, legal guardian, or adult relative on behalf of the minor parent and child.

Requires all States to provide child support supplements to every family which meets CSS program need standards and whose children are deprived of parental support due to the unemployment of its principal earner. Authorizes a State to limit the number of months for which a family may receive supplements under the unemployed parent program, but only if the State has a program to assist such parents in preparing for and obtaining employment. Prohibits States from denying supplements to such families unless they received supplements for six of the preceding 12 months on the basis of the principal earner's unemployment. Authorizes States to: (1) require unemployed parents to engage in Program activities for up to 40 hours per week; and (2) make supplement payments, at intervals no greater than one month, after the performance of Program activities. Authorizes States to count participation in specified training and education activities, including those established pursuant to this Act, towards up to four of the six quarters of work required in a 13-quarter period for eligibility on the basis of unemployment under the existing title IV program. Treats families who would be receiving supplements if not for the State's decision to set durational limits on such payments as continuing to receive such supplements so that eligibility with respect to the quarters of work requirement need not be reestablished. Amends the Medicaid program to require States to provide Medicaid coverage to families which would be receiving child support supplements on the basis of the unemployment of the principal earner had the State not set durational limits on such benefits. Directs the Secretary to conduct an evaluation of, and report to the Congress by October 1, 1993, on the unemployed parents program.

Requires each State to make scheduled reevaluations of its need and payment standards for CSS benefits at least once every five years and report to the Secretary and the Congress regarding the results of the reevaluations.

Requires the Congressional Budget Office to report, within one year of this Act's enactment, on its study into the implementation of a minimum national payment standard under the CSS program.

Title V: Demonstration Projects - Amends part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to establish a program providing grants to States selected to conduct demonstration projects testing whether CSS housing costs can be reduced by constructing and rehabilitating permanent housing for rental to CSS recipients who would otherwise require CSS emergency assistance in the form of temporary housing. Provides that, to be eligible for selection as one of two States authorized to conduct such a project, a State must: (1) be currently providing CSS emergency housing assistance; (2) have an acute need for Federal assistance by virtue of the large number of homeless CSS families, and shortages of low-income housing, in the jurisdiction(s) where such project would be conducted; and (3) submit a plan to achieve significant cost savings over a ten-year period through the conduct of such project.

Requires that such grants be used to provide permanent housing which is: (1) owned by the State, an instrumentality of the State, or a nonprofit organization; (2) available to families who have been unable to find decent housing at rents that can be paid with CSS aid for shelter; and (3) located in jurisdictions experiencing a critical shortage of such housing. Requires that: (1) the most costly temporary housing be retired from use in the emergency assistance program as permanent housing becomes available for occupancy, unless temporary housing is demonstrably needed; and (2) the costs of providing permanent housing be lower than costs which would be incurred if, instead, the State made CSS emergency assistance payments providing temporary housing.

Sets the State contribution to the cost of constructing or rehabilitating such housing at at least the current State CSS share increased by ten percent. Authorizes appropriations for the grant program for each of the first five fiscal years following FY 1988.

Amends part A (General Provisions) of title XI of the Act to authorize the Secretary to make grants to States for one- to five-year demonstration projects for CSS children testing financial incentives and alternative approaches to reducing school dropouts, encouraging skill development, and avoiding welfare dependence. Authorizes appropriations for such grant program for FY 1989 through 1993.

Requires the Secretary to make grants to up to five States for demonstration projects testing whether the employment of parents of dependent children receiving child support supplements as day care providers will facilitate the conduct of the Program and afford a significant number of families a realistic opportunity to avoid welfare dependence. Authorizes appropriations for such grant program for FY 1989 through 1993.

Directs the Secretary to enter into agreements with up to ten States for the conduct of demonstration projects testing, with respect to individuals who are CSS beneficiaries by reason of the principal earner's unemployment, the use of a number greater than 100 for the number of hours per month that such individuals may work and still be considered unemployed for CSS purposes. Sets forth reporting requirements.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States for demonstration projects designed to increase compliance with child access provisions of court orders. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 and 1990. Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress on the effectiveness of such projects by July 1991.

Directs the Secretary to make grants to between five and ten States for three-year demonstration projects increasing the availability of child care in communities by the acquisition or renovation of child care facilities, and the provision of child care transportation services. Favors States that propose to conduct the project primarily in communities having fewer than 50,000 inhabitants. Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding such projects by October 1, 1991. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 through 1991.

Directs the Secretary to enter into agreements with from four to ten nonprofit organizations for the conduct of three-year demonstration projects providing technical and financial assistance to private employers to assist them in creating employment and business opportunities for CSS beneficiaries and other individuals whose income is below the Federal poverty level. Requires the Secretary to submit evaluations of such projects to the Congress by October 1, 1989. Authorizes appropriations for such projects for FY 1989 through 1991.

Directs the Secretary to enter into agreements with four States for the conduct of demonstration projects under which each such State establishes a Teen Care Plan providing a range of non-academic services and self-image counseling to high-risk teenagers in order to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancy, suicide, substance abuse, and school drop-out. Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress by October 1, 1991, on State evaluations of the effectiveness of such projects. Authorizes appropriations for such projects for FY 1989 through 1991.

Directs the Secretary to extend until December 31, 1989, a waiver granted to Minnesota to conduct a prepaid Medicaid demonstration project.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants or award contracts to States for the conduct of one- to three-year demonstration projects testing whether CSS or Medicaid benefit credit cards (using computer chip design) can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations while ensuring that individuals receive correct benefit amounts on a timely basis.

Title VI: Payments to American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands - Amends part A (General Provisions) of title XI of the Act to include American Samoa in the CSS program. Limits Federal funding for American Samoa's program to $1,000,000 for any fiscal year. Increases the total amount of Federal payments which may be made to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands in any fiscal year under titles I (Grants to States for Old-Age Assistance for the Aged), X (Grants to States for Aid to the Blind), XIV (Grants to States for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled), XVI (Grants to States for Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled), and parts A (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Act.

Title VII: Miscellaneous Provisions - Requires that the programs under parts A and D of title IV of the Act be administered by an Assistant Secretary for Family Support within the Department of Health and Human Services who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Makes States responsible for: (1) assuring that benefits under part A and D of title IV of the Act are provided in an integrated manner; (2) assuring that parents who seek child support supplements are encouraged, assisted, and required to prepare for and obtain employment and to cooperate in establishing paternity and enforcing child support obligations; and (3) notifying CSS recipients of education, employment, and training services, and paternity establishment and child support services for which they are eligible.

Directs the Secretary to issue final regulations within six months of this Act's enactment requiring States to implement procedures to detect fraudulent applications for child support supplements prior to the establishment of eligibility for such supplements.

Makes miscellaneous technical corrections to the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988.

Title VIII: Tax Provisions - Amends the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 to extend until January 1, 1994, the authority of the Internal Revenue Service to offset against any refund of Federal taxes the amount of certain non-tax debts owed to Federal agencies.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce the deduction for meal and entertainment expenses available to individuals whose income exceeds $360,000. Eliminates such deduction when an individual's income equals or exceeds $440,000.

Extends from age five to age two the age at which a dependent who is claimed as an exemption on a return must have his or her taxpayer identification number included on such return.

Title IX: Technical and Conforming Amendments Relating to Replacement of AFDC Program by Child Support Supplement Program - Sets forth technical and conforming amendments relating to the replacement of the AFDC Program by the CSS program.

Title X: Reorganization and Redesignation of Title IV; General Conforming Amendment Relating to Such Reorganization and Redesignation - Reorganizes and redesignates the parts of title IV of the Act.

Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to extend until the end of FY 1988 the moratorium on the reduction of payments to States for high erroneous payment rates under the CSS program.