The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program helps needy families become self-sufficient. States are given block grants to design and run programs that fulfill one of the four purposes of TANF:
- Provide help to families so children can be cared for in their own homes.
- Reduce the parents’ dependency by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage.
- Prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
- Encourage two-parent families.
General Program Requirements
To qualify, you must either be pregnant or responsible for a child under age 19.
You and your qualified child must be one of the following:
- U.S. citizen,
- Non-citizen national, or
- Qualified alien.
You must also be in one of the categories below:
- Low income and under-employed (working for very low wages), or
- Unemployed or about to become unemployed.
Check with the TANF agency in your area to learn if you qualify.
- Each state decides the benefits it provides.
- Each state sets the criteria you must meet to get benefits and services.
Visit the Help for Families page to get application information for your state, territory, or tribe.