Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]
As the name of the welfare program clearly indicates, it is aimed at providing temporary cash assistance for families deemed needy. Those getting approved for benefits will be issued cash assistance in the form of Electronic Benefits Transfer card – EBT. The card would work just like a debit card and can be used to manage everyday expenses. The amount of benefits you will get approved for will depend on income, family size and other factors. Families applying for monetary help might also be able to qualify for childcare assistance, food stamps and a few other programs. The case worker at your local social services office will be able to guide you through all available programs and inform you of the necessary documents required to apply.
Important requirements to be met:
1. you must be an American citizen or eligible non citizen and a resident in the state where you are currently applying for TANF,
2. the income requirements – as already stated, income guidelines vary by state . Check out your state’s DHS official web site for information on exact requirements. Note that not just the household income is considered to determine your eligibility but also the assets you own. Documents will be required by the case worker at social services to prove income and assets you claim during the application.
3. Keep in mind that this program is targeted to improve the financial situation of the families who fall under the low-income category and have dependent children. Individuals will not be eligible to apply.
Contacting your local TANF office:
The name of this program also varies from state to state. You can find the full list of names by state below:
Getting a job after getting assistance is crucial
One of the requirements happens to be crucial, for violating it will lead to termination of benefits. The crucial requirement is that you must be working on gaining employment if you are currently unemployed. Remember that this is only a TEMPORARY assistance program. Those being given monetary help are expected to raise their financial position by constantly putting efforts towards employment. The state can terminate the benefits received if the applicant is found to be not complying with the same. If you are having a hard time finding a job despite consistent efforts, look into job skills training programs to see if they can assist you.
Assistance for dealing with a crisis:
Although a lot of people are well informed about the welfare programs in their state, many do not know that they can also get a hand at times of crisis. In case you lost a job suddenly or are not able to meet the expenses demanded by a medical emergency, this emergency assistance will be a godsend. The amount of assistance you will be offered is 1000 USD, and this kind of crisis assistance can only be obtained once in every 12 month period. Lastly, the requirements that need to met in order to become eligible are just the same as those set for receiving TANF for families. Those in dire need of emergency assistance are suggested to contact social services to know more on the same.
HHS provides a long list of these types of short-term benefits and the states in which they are offered in the page here:HHS link
What you need to remember is that some states offer financial support for a particular kind of emergency while others might offer a hand for a different kind of crisis. Call the local DHS office in your area to ascertain the availability of emergency assistance in your state.
As a single mother, handling emergencies all by yourself can be hard and overwhelming. This is all the more reason to prepare yourself for possible future crisis situations. Although doing so might appear paranoid, the truth of the matter is that it is better to equip yourself preemptively than to find yourself in crisis down the road. Preparation through putting an emergency fund in place and having a support system around you are just two of the possibilities. Connect with the local single mothers, or join a support group to mingle with other like-minded moms. In addition to having a financial support system, having emotional support from the outside can make a world of difference at times of great need.