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  • TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

If the resource information above is incorrect, please notify your local HUD field office.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) offers funds to state governments and territories so that they can provide financial assistance and other crucial services to needy families. The program assists families with children whose parents are unable to fulfill their basic needs and requirements.

The primary goal of TANF is to assist needy families so that their children are fed well. The program also strives to end the dependency of parents on governments for their basic needs by promoting work, marriage, and job training.

In addition to this, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families encourages the maintenance of two-parent families and reduces the instances of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The state government is in charge of overseeing the type and amount of assistance payments and the range of services that will be offered to needy families under this program.

Eligibility for TANF

The applicants need to be residents of the state in which they are applying to be eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. In addition to this, you should be unemployed and have a low income. The other eligibility conditions are stated below:

  • 18 years of a child or older
  • Be pregnant
  • Is the head of the household

The eligibility requirements for pregnant women depend on income, source, citizenship, and alien status requirements. For instance, if you are a family of three and have no income, then you can expect to receive $654 per month.

Once any of your family members start working, half of their wages count against the grant. The family’s income should not exceed $ 6000 to qualify for assistance under the TANF program. The other family resources might include:

  • Your account balance
  • Investments made in mutual funds, stocks, or shares
  • Vehicle equity over $10000

If you are still unsure about your income or are eligible for the TANF or not, you can reach out to a case manager to get better insights into this.

TANF Time Restrictions

As the name indicates, The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) offers temporary financial assistance so that recipients can seek jobs for themselves and their families later on. Consequently, families who have received TANF assistance for 5 years or less do not qualify for cash assistance under this program.

Depending upon the state’s discretion it is possible to extend the benefits for more than 5 years and may use state-specific funds or other funds to extend support to such families.

The TANF benefits are only valid for a maximum of five years. It is highly recommended that single parents participate in work activities for at least 30 hours per week as soon as they receive assistance from TANF. The TANF recipients must be employed within 2 years as this is what the program aims at. The program strives to increase work participation, promote stable marriage and reduce out-of-wedlock births.

Support services by TANF

The program primarily focuses on giving financial assistance to needy families. Besides this, it also offers other support services to enable the recipients to become self-sufficient. The other support services offered by TANF include:

Child Care Assistance- The eligible families can expect to receive child care assistance under this program so that the parents can participate in work and attend training.

Transportation assistance- TANF program also offers transportation assistance to help recipients with transportation to work or job training.

Job training and educational support- TANF program supports needy people to enhance their skills and increase their earning potential by providing them with the desired job training and educational support.

Substance abuse and mental health services- Substance abuse and mental health issues can act as barriers for people. Consequently, TANF offers counseling sessions and mental health assistance to make people self-sufficient.

Medical assistance- TANF recipients are also eligible to receive medical assistance such as Medicaid to cover healthcare expenses but only under special circumstances.

Food assistance- The next popular support offered by TANF is food assistance. Needy people can also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to meet their nutrition needs.

Emergency assistance- Families facing serious crises like eviction, natural disasters, or utility disconnection can receive emergency aid from TANF.

Housing assistance- The eligible families may expect to receive housing assistance under TANF but not directly.

TANF benefits and services are not the same and might vary from state to state as each state has its own program. Contact your local TANF office to learn more about the TANF and available resources in your state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

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Section 202, Housing Act of 1959

  • 12 U.S.C.A. § 1701q

Section 811, National Affordable Housing Act of 1990

  • 42 U.S.C.A § 8013

Select HUD Regulations

  • 24 C.F.R. Part 247 (evictions)
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 891 (supportive housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities)

For more information, search to contact your local HUD .