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What is TANF?

Authored By: Partnership for Legal Access


TANF is:

vTemporary Assistance for Needy Children (formerly AFDC, Aid For Families With Dependent Children)

vCash assistance, often called "Welfare," which is distributed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TxHHSC, formerly the Texas Department of Human Services)

vAvailable for single and two-parent families based upon financial need, as well as certain grandparents who care for their grandchildren

vOne Time Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (OTTANF):

ØOne time emergency assistance is available to households facing financial crisis or an emergency

ØOTTANF allows households to receive a lump-sum cash assistance payment of $1,000

ØThe household cannot currently be receiving TANF but must be eligible to receive TANF

ØThe purpose of the OTTANF payment is to help solve a short-term crisis and prevent households from receiving monthly TANF benefits

ØYou have a choice of whether you want to receive TANF or OTTANF.

ØIf you choose OTTANF, you cannot receive any other form of TANF for the next 12 months

ØTo receive OTTANF, the household must meet one of four crisis criteria:

§Recent loss of job - the parent/caretaker must have a loss of employment within two months of application, however,

·The parent/caretaker may not voluntarily quit a job without good cause, and

·Temporary leave without pay from a job does not constitute loss of employment.

§The dependent children in the household must have a loss of "financial support" from a parent or stepparent within the last 12 months through death, divorce, separation, abandonment, or through termination of child support

¨"Financial support" is help from another parent when paying for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, or food, and includes child support

¨The parent/caretaker must have been employed within the 12 months before the application or process month.

§The parent/caretaker graduated from a university, college, junior college, or technical training school within the last 12 months, and is unemployed or underemployed. The parent/caretaker must:

·provide proof of degree or certificate of completion from a technical training school, junior college, college, or university (including beauty, nursing, or vocational school);

·not currently be enrolled in an institution of higher learning; and

·have received TANF (in Texas) anytime in the 12 months before enrolling, or while attending a college, university, or technical training school.

§The parent/caretaker is currently employed but faces crisis situation because of:

·Loss or potential loss of transportation- The parent/caretaker is unable to get to work because of the loss of a vehicle. The loss of a vehicle can be because of needed repairs, lack of insurance, lack of necessary inspection, repossession, or threat of repossession.

·Loss or potential loss of shelter- The household may lose shelter because of foreclosure, eviction, condemnation, or threat of any of these.

·A medical emergency prevents the parent/caretaker from continuing to work because the parent/caretaker has a medical emergency or is needed to provide temporary care for a household member who is ill or injured. A normal pregnancy or maternity leave is not a medical emergency.