Vol. 35 Iss. 9 - December 24, 2018

Chapter 293
Fast-Track Regulation

Title of Regulation: 22VAC40-293. Locality Groupings (amending 22VAC40-293-10).

Statutory Authority: § 63.2-217 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: January 23, 2019.

Effective Date: February 7, 2019.

Agency Contact: Mark Golden, TANF Program Manager, Department of Social Services, 801 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 726-7385, FAX (804) 726-7357, or email

Basis: Section 63.2-217 of the Code of Virginia places responsibility on the State Board of Social Services to make rules and regulations necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of the Code of Virginia as related to social services. Item 342 O of the 2017 Appropriation Act provides, "The Board of Social Services shall combine Groups I and II for the purposes of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash benefits and use the Group II rates for the new group."

Purpose: This regulation establishes criteria for local departments of social services to change Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) locality groupings. Each local area is placed in a locality grouping, which determines payment levels for recipients of TANF in that locality. The regulation provides the required data and the criteria to determine if a locality may switch to another locality grouping and change payment levels. The TANF Program provides an important safety net to low-income families and is essential to protecting the welfare of eligible citizens. The locality groupings regulation ensures that localities administer the program in a manner that best meets the needs of citizens.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Rulemaking Process: The 2017 General Assembly action amending the budget language was not controversial nor was it controversial when the change was implemented effective July 1, 2017. Because this regulatory action updates the regulation to reflect the intent of the budget change, it is not expected to be controversial.

Substance: References to three separate groups is being replaced with reference to "one of two groups." This approach was determined to be a clearer, more streamlined change that is in keeping with practice, as opposed to eliminating "Group I" and having the regulation reference just Groups II and III.

Issues: Localities are divided into two groups for the purposes of determining payment levels for recipients of TANF. Previously, there were three groups of localities. The definition of "locality groupings" is being amended to reflect two groups. Amending the regulation will ensure that it is reflective of the 2017 Appropriation Act (Chapter 836 of the 2017 Acts of Assembly) and current practice, and that program rules are transparent to the public. There are no disadvantages to the public or to the Commonwealth.

Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The State Board of Social Services proposes to amend the definition of locality groupings to reflect a statutory change.

Result of Analysis. The benefits likely exceed the costs for all proposed changes.

Estimated Economic Impact. This regulation contains a definition for locality groupings, which is used in determining the amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in different geographic locations. Originally, there were three distinct locality groupings: Group I, Group II, and Group III. Item 342 O, of the 2017 Appropriation Act1 moved all localities in Group I into Group II, which went into effect on July 1, 2017. The proposed change merely reflects that statutory amendment. Since this regulatory action does not reflect any change in administration of TANF benefits, no economic effect is expected other than eliminating conflicting information between the Code of Virginia and the regulation.

Businesses and Entities Affected. There are approximately 21,000 TANF families of which 72% are in Group II localities and 28% are in Group III localities.

Localities Particularly Affected. The proposed regulation reflects the fact that a recent statutory amendment moved Group I localities (i.e., Counties of Accomack, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Carroll, Charles City, Charlotte, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Essex, Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Gloucester, Goochland, Grayson, Greene, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover, Henry, Highland, Isle of Wight, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Matthews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Nelson, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Richmond, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Surry, Tazewell, Washington, Westmoreland, Wise, Wythe, and Cities of Bristol, Buena Vista, Clifton Forge, Danville, Emporia, Franklin, Galax, Norton, Suffolk) into Group II localities (i.e., Counties of Albemarle, Chesterfield, Henrico, Loudoun, Roanoke, Rockingham, Warren, and Cities of Chesapeake, Covington, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Radford, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Winchester).

Projected Impact on Employment. No impact on employment is expected.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. No impact on the use and value of private property is expected.

Real Estate Development Costs. No impact on real estate development costs is expected.

Small Businesses:

Definition. Pursuant to § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia, small business is defined as "a business entity, including its affiliates, that (i) is independently owned and operated and (ii) employs fewer than 500 full-time employees or has gross annual sales of less than $6 million."

Costs and Other Effects. No costs or other effects are expected on small businesses.

Alternative Method that Minimizes Adverse Impact. No adverse impact on small businesses is expected.

Adverse Impacts: 

Businesses. No adverse effects are expected on small businesses.

Localities. The proposed amendments will not adversely affect localities.

Other Entities. The proposed amendments will not adversely affect other entities.



Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The Department of Social Services concurs with the economic impact analysis prepared by the Department of Planning and Budget.


Item 342 O of Chapter 836 of the 2017 Acts of Assembly, the 2017 Appropriation Act, eliminated the Group I Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) Services locality grouping and moved all Group I TANF localities to Group II as of July 1, 2017. The amendment changes the definition of "locality groupings" to be consistent with the Appropriation Act, eliminating the reference to Group I.

22VAC40-293-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Locality groupings" means the placement of a locality into either Group I, Group II, or Group III one of two groups, which determines the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payment level for families residing in that locality.

"Standard of assistance" means the TANF payment standard that is graduated by family size.

"State board" means the State Board of Social Services.

VA.R. Doc. No. R19-5462; Filed November 27, 2018, 11:58 a.m.