Your Guide to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

A super helpful program is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This program aims to help eligible needy Americans get through financial struggle. TANF can help provide job support, relief, and even up to 60 months of financial assistance.

Is TANF the Same as AFDC?

If you are old enough, you may remember a program referred to as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). This program was essentially replaced by TANF to help those in need. AFDC is no longer an active program and TANF is the closest other option!

What Kind of Assistance Does TANF Provide?

TANF can help with a variety of assistance opportunities. The goal of this program is to help families reach financial independence. This can be done through a variety of means like educational services, vocational training, and rehabilitation if it’s needed. The financial assistance portion of this program can also help handle costs of basic monthly expenses like housing, food, utilities, etc. Recipients of TANF will also be eligible to receive food assistance like SNAP.

Are You Eligible for TANF?

You may be eligible for TANF! Both state and federal guidelines determine the qualification requirements for TANF benefits. This can vary by area since the level of “low-income” varies based on the average income of the location. There are some disqualifying factors like:

  • Criminal Records.
  • Falsified Information.
  • Broke Parole.
  • Already Received Maximum Amount of Assistance.

If you are interested in finding out more about eligibility criteria you can find details online.

Is TANF a Type of Work Program?

Unfortunately there is no direct answer to this question. It will vary by state. However, a majority of states do not require work program participation if a recipient’s situation meets criteria like:

  • The recipient is over the age of 60 years old.
  • They are the primary caregiver of a child who is younger than 12 months old.
  • The recipient is a veteran currently receiving disability benefits.
  • The recipient is an approved social security beneficiary for SSI or SSD benefits.

Are There Other Programs that Can Help Low-Income Families?

Yes! A family is not out of luck if they are unable to get TANF assistance There are plenty of other programs that help low-income families like:

  • Head Start
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)