If you are a single mother that lives in the United States, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help you manage to make ends meet. On this page we’ll be discussing what exactly TANF is, how it works, and cover the basics of how you can apply for benefits.
What It Is:
The TANF program aims to assist needy families and single mothers with reaching self-sufficiency. The program is funded at government level, and block grants are distributed across the U.S’s States in order to serve local communities.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program assists families with children by helping them secure their housing, but it can also help single mothers prepare for working life, in order to help them ensure that they’re building sustainable futures for their children.
How It Works:
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All States across the U.S. have local Assistance Offices (usually located within their Department of Human Services division). This means that TANF can be referred to as different assistance programs from one state to another. Single mothers are served by their local TANF Programs, and may be eligible for short term cash assistance, with which they can pay for basic needs such as food, housing, and educational expenses.
Participants of the TANF program have to participate in work activities (which are required to be no less than 30 hours per week) in order to benefit from the cash assistance program. There are, however, a few exceptions that apply to single mothers with children aged 6 years and younger. If you cannot find suitable childcare facilities for your minor children, you cannot, by law, be penalized for not meeting the work requirements of the program. You can qualify for a reduced 20-hour work week in order to meet program requirements.
TANF benefits are only granted for a maximum of 60 months (or 5 years). This timeframe ensures that single mothers have enough time to find suitable employment and start building their career, so that they can become self-reliant before getting off the program.
How to Apply:
The United States Office of Family Assistance (which forms part of the Office of the Administration for Children and Families) funds the TANF program, making it available to local communities via their Department of Human Services. Should you wish to apply for TANF benefits, you can get in touch with your local office. Program contacts can be found by visiting the ACF website and then selecting your State.
Alternatively, you may also get in touch with the Family Assistance Help Center by calling the office at 202-401-9275 if you have problems with locating or contacting your local DHS office.
If you’re looking for a little more information on the TANF program and how you can benefit from it as a single mother, you can check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
We hope that this page has been helpful in showing you how you can benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, and that it has also guided you in the right direction when it comes to applying for assistance.