TANF in Alabama provides temporary financial assistance to needy families in order to aid them in rising from poverty. The program also seeks to support their work search in order to encourage self-sufficiency. If you are wondering, “What is TANF?” it is important to know that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is an assistance program that is available throughout the United States, though each state sets its own guidelines, requirements and benefit amounts. TANF is designed to give assistance to needy families whose incomes are well below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) through monthly cash assistance benefits.
A TANF application must be submitted and approved before you can receive benefits through this assistance program. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with eligibility requirements for TANF while learning how to apply to the program in Alabama. To learn more about the Alabama Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), review the information in the sections below.
Who qualifies for TANF in Alabama?
To be granted TANF benefits in Alabama, you must first meet eligibility requirements, as set by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). TANF Eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to the following:
- A child must live within the home. That child must be a U.S. citizen or a legal and eligible alien. The child must be younger than 18. However, if the child is still in school, TANF benefits may be received through the months prior to the child’s 19th birthday or the last month of school, whichever comes first. The child cannot be under foster care in order for a family to be potentially eligible.
- The family must live within Alabama. If beneficiaries do not reside within Alabama or are attempting to receive benefits from two states at the same time, that family will become ineligible to receive further assistance for a period of 10 years.
- No family member within the household may be participating on strike. If any family member within the household is participating in a strike, the family will not be eligible to receive TANF cash assistance.
- Relatives of the child must participate in the JOBS program. The JOBS program supports work within the household. Relatives must accept a job, unless the Department of Human Resources (DHR) tells that individual otherwise. Additionally, the child’s parents must participate in job search activities, unless exempt from this requirement.
- Parents, step-parents or legal guardians of the child must cooperate with drug screening. Failing to take a required drug screening will result in a denial of benefits. Drug screening can be requested at any time while receiving benefits from TANF.
TANF qualifications will also require families that are receiving benefits to report any changes related to the family’s situation or finances within a 10-day period. This includes changes to households, such as the addition or removal of a household member. Therefore, it is very important that you report any and all changes to the DHR right away.
Get the details on qualifying for TANF in our in-depth guide.
How to Apply for TANF in Alabama
Now that you have answered the question, “What is TANF in Alabama?” it is important to learn how to apply for assistance after you have met eligibility requirements. In Alabama, you can only submit an application at the Department of Human Resources (DHR) office that is located within the county that you live in. When applying for TANF in Alabama, you will be required to complete an eligibility interview. This interview will be conducted in person and will generally include other applicants, as the interviewer provides a wide overview about the program itself. After this portion of the interview, you will speak one on one in a private interview with a DHR worker.
If you receive a determination stating that you do not qualify for TANF in Alabama, you will have the right to follow the TANF appeals process should you disagree with the decision. To request an appeal, you will need to write a request to the county or state DHR saying that you are dissatisfied and request a formal hearing. This letter must be submitted in a timely manner following your denial. While an appeal does not guarantee that you will be eligible for benefits, it allows your application to be viewed again in order to determine whether or not the correct decision was made.
How much cash assistance will I get in Alabama?
The Alabama TANF calculator is a diagram that the DHR will utilize to determine the potential benefit amount that you and your family may be eligible to receive. TANF benefits by family size will widely determine the amount that a family may be eligible to receive, along with the income levels that an eligible family currently has.
If you are wondering, “Do you have to pay back TANF” it is important to know that you do not. However, if it is found that you are receiving an overpayment of benefits or if you provide incorrect information or fail to report changes in order to be eligible for the program or gain more benefits, you will have to repay any extra benefits you received. You may also be charged with fraud and endure other penalties.
If you are asking, “What time does TANF deposit funds?” then it is also important to review how cash benefits are provided to eligible families, as well as the restrictions revolving around TANF. When deemed eligible for assistance, your family will be issued an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. This card can be used to withdraw cash assistance or, alternatively, pay for items directly from the card at an approved register. However, you may not utilize an EBT card at liquor stores, tobacco shops, gambling establishments, tattoo or body piercing stores, locations providing psychic services or strip clubs. Doing so could result in a loss of benefits.
You can expect to receive TANF benefits on the same day of the month each month. This date will be determined and provided to you if your family is determined to be eligible for assistance.
Learn more about the TANF assistance you may receive in our comprehensive guide.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Alabama?
If you are wondering, “When will I receive TANF benefits in Alabama?” it is important to know that the date you may begin receiving benefits will largely depend on your cooperation with the Alabama DHR. Before your application can be processed and submitted, the DHR worker must be able to collect all the necessary information and documentation from you. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for your application and to comply with all DHR immediately. After you have received your first cash benefits, you will begin to receive regular assistance on the same day of the month each month for as long as you remain eligible for TANF.
How long can you receive TANF in Alabama?
TANF income limits and other eligibility requirements will apply as long as beneficiaries receive assistance through the program. Your payment schedule may also be affected by any other type of household change (or failing to report a household change) including an addition to the number of household members living within the household. However, it is worth knowing that an adult may only receive assistance from TANF for five years within his or her lifetime. After that five-year period, beneficiaries will no longer be eligible to receive assistance.
How can I check my TANF status in Alabama?
Without a TANF online application in Alabama, there is no way to create an account and review the status of your application online. However, you can contact the TANF number by phone by calling the local DHR office in which you submitted your application with. This will allow you to check the status of your current application. Alternatively, you may also do so in person by visiting your local DHR and speaking with a worker.