State Discontinues Work Incentive Subsidy Programs

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Photo: Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU, HAWAII – The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced today it will discontinue its work incentive programs for families who have received financial assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF) programs. 

These programs, which began in 2001, were designed to assist low-income working families as they transition back into the workforce. The Employment Subsidy, Exit Bonus, Retention Bonus and Earned Income Disregard Reimbursement programs will be discontinued effective December 31, 2011 affecting 580 individuals across the State. 


A $4.5 million annual reduction in State funding led to the program closures.   “We continue to look for ways to help Hawaii’s families achieve economic success through our job training and education opportunity programs,” said DHS Director Patricia McManaman.

The Employment Subsidy program provided stipends to income-qualified, working families who exited the TANF or TAONF programs after receiving full, term-limited 60 month benefits.  The Exit and Retention programs provided funds for income-qualified, working families who exited financial assistance programs before the 25th month.  The Earned Income Disregard Reimbursement program assisted income-qualified working families who were ineligible for these programs.   

The loss of these programs will not impact eligibility for other services clients may be receiving, including medical assistance through Medicaid or food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).    

Clients needing assistance or information may call 586-5732.  Clients with questions regarding the Earned Income Disregard Reimbursement, Exit, or Retention programs also may contact their First to Work case manager. Consult your eligibility worker for questions about the Employment Subsidy program.

                       Submitted by Kayla Rosenfeld, Communications Specialist, for the DHS