Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a cash assistance program that is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This assistance program helps low-income families by providing cash for a temporary period. It also provides non-cash help such as job training for parents. The goal of the program is to eventually help families become financially self-sufficient.
The federal government provides TANF funding to states, which operate their own TANF programs. For this reason, there may be some differences among the programs in each state. Generally, however these are some rules for the TANF program:
- Beneficiaries can only receive TANF benefits for a certain amount of time.
- Participants are required to work in order to be eligible for TANF, unless they meet a work exemption.
- Households that receive TANF must have a child living in the household.
Families who receive TANF funding can only receive it for a limited amount of time.
Some of the basic TANF requirements include the following:
- Participants must be U.S. citizens or qualified non-citizens.
- Participants must live in the state in which they apply for and receive TANF funding.
- Participants must have a minimum amount of assets, for example, no more than $2,000 in countable assets such as cash or money in an account.
- Likewise, participants must meet minimum income requirements.
- Children who are under five years old and participating in the program may be required to get certain immunizations.
The amount of payment participants can receive will depend on the child’s age.