Enrolling for TANF Benefits. Who is Eligible?

Many families who are in need are not aware of the benefit program referred to as TANF. In this article we discuss the eligibility requirements for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF).

Because of the economic hard times due to the impact of the Corona Virus we have updated this article to give a you a more current guide on the application process of TANF in 2020. 

What is TANF?

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is a program for families with children that have low-incomes. TANF offers cash to families in need on a monthly basis.

TANF program is funded by the federal government with each state setting their own rules and guidelines.

Who is Eligible for TANF Benefits?

The federal requirements for TANF changed in the year 2017. Before 2017, a child must be deprived of some parental support in order to receive TANF benefits.

Currently, two parent families are eligible for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).

Adults who receive the TANF must also participate in the ASPIRE program, an education program and training ran by Fedcap.

Parents who are eligible to attend post-secondary school or college can have these same benefits. They can also receive support services via the Parents as Scholars (PaS) Program.

TANF Eligibility Requirements:

If you are a family in need read below for the TANF eligibility requirements we have provided.

  • Age

TANF was created to assist children, a child must be below 18 years of age on the application date. A child can be 19 years as a are a full-time student.

  • Application required for other benefits

A TANF recipient or applicant has to apply and accept other forms of assistance benefits such as: Workman’s Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, Child Support, SSI – Supplemental Security Insurance and much more.

  • Citizenship

A TANF recipient or applicant must be a lawful resident alien or a US citizen.

  • Deprivation

Generally, a child has to be deprived due to various below-mentioned reasons:

  • Death of the parent
  • Missing of any one parent for continuous days and have no source to survive
  • Metal or physical health issue of at least one parent

  • Social Security Numbers

All household members on the application must have have or apply for a social security number. Unless religious views decline enumeration.

  • School Attendance

A student must have a satisfactory attendance percentage. In case you do not have have a certificate of the high school equivalency or not graduated from high school must have to attend school and get proper attendance.

  • Immunization
    All immunizations must be up to date.

How To apply for TANF 

If you believe that you may be eligible for TANF click here to go to the Office of Family Assistance website and then select your state. You can then contact the office nearest to you to begin your application.  


    • Hi Raphael,

      If you think you might qualify for TANF click here for the Office of Family Assistance website, choose the state you live in. You will then be provided with the contact information and website to the TANF office in your state.

  • Is there any program I would fit into? I’m disabled and have grown children. My rent was raised at the beginning of the pandemic to 450.00 and I receive 783.00 in SSI. My ongoing situation is precarious at this point. I’m unable to pay all of my bills or have enough food even with the amount of food stamps I have. Please respond.

    • Hi Tammy, Sorry to hear of your troubles. We can’t say for sure whether you will qualify for rental assistance but your situation does sound like it would be in your best interest to apply for section 8 housing choice voucher. Check out our article on Steps to Section 8

      You should contact your nearest housing authority agent and apply after reading the article, it could save you a lot of time and hassle.

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