What is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)?

Today, there are many programs the government provides to help struggling citizens in the United States. With the advent of Covid, these programs have become ever more necessary, and many Americans rely on them for sustenance, financial support, and quality of life. One program that targets families in need is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

What is TANF?

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program gives funding and support to struggling families on the government’s money. Congress adopted TANF in 1996 to replace the AFDC, which had primarily delivered cash payments to low-income families since 1935. The federal government distributes TANF funds to state governments, and each state is given authority to manage its TANF program. The help can come in financial assistance and cash payments or support programs like childcare services, career and work services, etc. With TANF, states are given agency regarding how they choose to spend government grants for citizens and families in need.

The support program is intended to assist financially troubled families with children in achieving financial security. The program is aimed at US people with families who are working but not getting paid enough, trying to find a job, or are unable to work due to hardship. Furthermore, the program attempts to create stable family units with two parents and support marriage while avoiding and reducing pregnancies outside of marriage.

Benefits of TANF

The TANF program will offer low-income families monthly cash payments or required assistance such as daycare and work/career programs such as job preparation. States have utilized the funds for various purposes, including education, transportation, support for children at risk of abuse or neglect, and wage supplements for low-income families. This program’s flexibility provides a wide range of helpful services, ensuring that families are not just given money but also cared for in other ways. The federal government limits payments to a maximum of sixty months per family with an adult living in the home. States can, however, establish exceptions to this rule. The program aims to get families back on their own two feet to be financially and economically stable.

TANF Eligibility

The TANF program is for families with children that live in the United States. To be eligible, you must be pregnant and/or have a child under eighteen. You must either be a state resident or a qualified immigrant to qualify for the program. To be eligible for TANF payments, you must be jobless or not receiving enough hours from your present job; you must also have a low income.

How to Apply for TANF

Since TANF is a state-based program, you must apply through your local social or community services department. Each state’s application forms are also available online. Application requirements differ by state; however, in certain conditions, such as New York, you can also call the Temporary Assistance hotline for eligibility and application information. If you have an emergency or want immediate assistance, you will be contacted and interviewed on the same day you apply. You should receive an interview within seven days after applying for regular aid (non-emergent) and a final determination on your application status within 30 days.

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) could be able to help you and your family get to where you need. There are various advantages available to assist you in receiving the money you need to offer an education for your children and money for transportation and extra cash for health care, among other benefits. In terms of eligibility, make sure you meet the requirements above. If you believe you are eligible for TANF and want to know more, click here.