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”What is TANF welfare?” seems to be a common question among Texas benefits petitioners. Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that offers cash assistance to low-income families with children in school and younger than 19 years of age. The goals of TANF assistance is to allow children to be taken care of in the home of the parent or other family member. There are three TANF assistance programs: one-time TANF, One-Time TANF for grandparents and TANF for families. Temporary assistance for needy families is a monthly cash allowance for parents and children who meet eligibility requirements of the program. The one-time TANF for grandparents is a $1,000 payment for a grandparent who currently has a grandchild living in the home with them. A one-time TANF assistance is for families in a crisis who have recently lost a job, lost a home or had a medical emergency.

In all TX TANF assistance cases, money must be used for essentials such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, laundry, phone and utilities. Benefits can also be used to purchase supplies for the home, medical supplies that are not paid under Medicaid and any basic needs that will better the home in which the child resides. When applying for TANF assistance, petitioners will also be enrolled in other welfare programs like SNAP and Medicaid. Texas TANF benefits for families can last up to 60 months when the beneficiary follows all program stipulations.

To be eligible for TANF assistance on a monthly basis, applicants must follow child support rules, look for a job and not voluntarily quit the job once found and not abuse alcohol or drugs. The parent must attend parenting classes, ensure child vaccines are up to date and that the child is regularly attending school. Parents ask, “what is the TANF program and how does it work?” The TANF program has been established to help beneficiaries become self-sufficient and eventually move off the program. Eligibility for TANF assistance is determined using financial and non-financial factors. Petitioners will need to attend an interview with a case manager and provide verification documents such as paystubs, citizenship documents and medical records. Petitioners can apply for TANF assistance online, in-person, by phone and by mail.