The ASSETS program streamlined the administration of Alabama’s Food Stamp Program (FSP) and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and provided services to increase assistance recipients’ self-sufficiency.
ASSETS was one of the demonstration projects made possible by Section 1115 waivers to the rules in effect at the time for the AFDC program. These Section 1115 waivers allowed states to test new approaches to advance the objectives of the AFDC program.
First, ASSETS consolidated AFDC and FSP into a single program and administrative process. This resulted in a more streamlined approach in which benefits from these programs were offered in the form of a single cash grant, rather than as coupons or separate checks. In addition, financial eligibility criteria and program participation requirements were simplified and standardized. This meant that two-parent families whose children met FSP income eligibility requirements could be eligible for AFDC.
Second, ASSETS extended the requirements for recipients to participate in employment and training programs. Specifically, parents in families only receiving FSP faced the same employment and training participation requirements as parents in families receiving AFDC.
Third, ASSETS required FSP recipient cooperation to establish court-ordered child support obligations, matching the requirement of AFDC recipients.
Finally, case managers administered all income assistance programs, determined Medicaid eligibility, and provided recipients with access to employment and training services. ASSETS was implemented in Limestone, Clark, and Madison counties.