The Targeted Work Initiative (TWI) began in 12/95 as an AFDC demonstration project with experimental and control cases in certain counties. When the TANF program was implemented in 07/97, TWI became a regular program. The TWI program ended in 07/01.

TWI provided clients an incentive to work by placing time limits on their AFDC/TANF Cash benefits. Clients whose youngest related child in the home was age 13 or older were limited to 24 months of cash assistance. Clients, age 60 and over, were not exempt due to age. After reaching the limit, the family was ineligible for cash for the next 24 months unless they were participating in Work First or Work Experience.

The initial 24-month period for TWI started with the first regular roll month the case was in TWI. The period ended 24 months (2 years) later. The 24-month period did not change, as long as the case was in TWI. For example, a case placed in TWI for 02/98 had a 24-month period from 02/98 through 01/00. It did not change when the client went to work or the case was canceled or a child under 13 entered the home. Each adult in the case had the same 24-month period.

The 24-month period started over if the case was:

  • off TANF Cash assistance for at least 24 months or
  • taken out of TWI and then entered it again.

The system took a case out of TWI when:

  • all adults in the case were unable to work due to temporary or chronic illness or because they provided full-time care for another household member due to that person's medical condition; or
  • the case did not contain an adult.

During the first 12 months in TWI, a client who had not worked the required number of hours participated in Job Search/Job Readiness or in another appropriate activity(ies). An unemployed client who had been in TWI for more than 12 months was assigned to Work First. An employed client who worked less than the required number of hours participated in another appropriate activity after the 12th month.

An unemployed client who had been in TWI continuously for 24 months or more was required to participate in Work First to remain eligible for TANF. If a Work First position was not available, they could participate in Work Experience.