You Need To Know About Temporary Assistance For Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, is a program that is funded by the federal government. It provides assistance to families who have children. It can also be used by women who are in the last three months of their pregnancy. It not only provides people with financial assistance, but it also helps people find jobs.
TANF replaced Aid to Families and Dependent Children in 1998. Today, TANF gives out grants to tribal governments, territories, and states. The funds are used to pay for services and benefits to help needy families.
The Purpose of TANF
In order for a state to get a grant, they have to prove that they are using the funds in a way that will accomplish the goals. TANF has the following goals:

  • Assisting families so that they can care for their children in their homes
  • Reducing the need for dependency by promoting work, job preparation, and marriage
  • Discouraging people from having children out of wedlock
  • Encouraging people to form and maintain two-parent families

How to Apply for TANF
The Federal Administration for Children and Families is the one who is responsible for the TANF program. However, every state is responsible for setting its own eligibility requirements. They are also responsible for reviewing and accepting each application.
General Eligibility Requirements
This program is for families and women who are in the last three months of their pregnancy. You have to be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen to apply. You also have to live in the state that you are applying in. Your resources, income, age and the age of your children will determine whether you can get help from this program. If you have a child in high school or college, then this can also affect whether you will be eligible for this program.
Financial Eligibility
This program is for people who do not have enough resources and income to care for their children. Every state has its own resources and income requirements.
School and Work Requirements
TANF recipients are required to be job-ready within two years of getting assistance. However, there are a few exceptions to this. Disabled people and seniors can get a waiver so that they do not have to work. There are also requirements that unmarried teen parent and children have to meet. They need to have satisfactory school attendance.
Single parents have to work for at least 30 hours a week. Two-parent families have to work for at least 35 hours. If you are receiving child care assistance, then you will have to work for 55 hours per week. You will not be penalized for not meeting the work requirements if you cannot find childcare. However, your benefits may be cut if you do not meet the necessary requirements.

Work Activities That Count

  • On-the-job training
  • Subsidized and unsubsidized unemployment
  • Vocational training
  • Educational training related to your job
  • Providing child care to other people

Benefit Limits for TANF
It is important to remember that TANF is designed to provide temporary assistance. People are supposed to use this program while they are trying to get the resources to support themselves. Families who have an adult in them who have received assistance for five years will not be able to get assistance.
There are some states that will allow you to get assistance for more than five years. They may also use their own funds to provide these services.
Applying for TANF
The application process can vary depending on the state that you live. You will have to be screened to ensure that you are eligible for TANF. You will also need to submit an application. You can submit the application online. However, some states require that you come inside of the Department of Social Services office. It can take a few weeks for you to know whether your application has been approved. You can contact the office if you have any questions.
How to get in Touch With TANF
Mailing Address
Office of Family Assistance
Administration for Children and Families
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
Washington, DC 20447