TANF in Hawaii is the primary cash assistance program that is provided to eligible residents within the state. If you are wondering, “What is TANF?” it is important to learn more about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including who is eligible to receive benefits, what those benefits entail, how long an individual can receive assistance from TANF and how to apply for benefits.
Therefore, before submitting a TANF application, you are highly encouraged to review information related to benefits and TANF eligibility. By learning more about eligibility requirements, you will be better prepared for the application and process and thus will have everything that you need when you apply, which can expedite your application. Furthermore, reviewing TANF benefits will help familiarize you with the assistance that this cash assistance program provides as well as how long you can receive assistance through the TANF program.
Who qualifies for TANF in Hawaii?
Before you apply for TANF, it is strongly recommended that you review the program’s eligibility requirements in order to determine whether or not you and your family may be eligible to receive assistance. TANF eligibility requirements include familial makeup, income, residency, citizenship and work related requirements.
To meet TANF qualifications, there must be at least one minor child living within the home that is under the age of 18 years old. That child must be up to date on scheduled vaccinations as well as attending school if 6 years of age or older. If there is no child within the home, you cannot receive assistance from the TANF program. In addition to meeting family makeup requirements, applicants must all be residents of Hawaii and be either U.S. citizens or legal residents of the country.
While a Hawaii TANF calculator is not available online to determine whether or not you and your family meet income levels, it is worth knowing that TANF only provides assistance to families that are well below the federal poverty line. However, as of April 18, 2013, the state has chosen to disregard asset and resource limits in order to encourage asset building and promote self-sufficiency.
How to Apply for TANF in Hawaii
TANF in Hawaii can only be applied for in person at a local Benefits, Employment and Support Services Office. Online and by mail applications are not accepted at this time. When submitting a TANF application, you will be required to provide several documents that support your application, including, but not limited to:
- Proof of income for all household members.
- Proof of identity for all household members.
- Proof of Social Security number for all household members.
- Proof of household shelter expenses, such as rent, mortgage and utilities.
- Proof of other applicable household expenses, such as child care.
After you apply for TANF, your local office will schedule an eligibility interview, which you must participate in before benefits can be provided. Your case worker will provide you with more information about the program as well as review your family’s eligibility. If any additional documentation must be provided before a decision is made on your case, your family’s case worker will notify you. To learn more about applying for TANF, download our free guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Hawaii?
Hawaii TANF benefits are determined by several factors. TANF benefits by family size refers to the maximum amount of benefits that a family can receive, based upon the size of the family. Your family’s case worker will review your eligibility and potential benefits after conducting your eligibility interview with you. In addition to considering the maximum amount of benefits that your family can receive, the case worker will also consider your family’s income as well as applicable household expenses, such as the cost of shelter and child care.
If you are wondering, “Do you have to pay back TANF?” it is worth knowing that, in most cases, TANF cash assistance does not need to be repaid. However, you will need to repay any benefits that your family receives that you are not entitled to. This includes overpayments, even if the error was made by your local office. The most common reason for a required repayment is in the event that false information was provided on an initial application or that you did not report a change to your household in a timely manner, such as in the case of a change in income or a loss or addition to the household.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Hawaii?
The question, “When will I receive my TANF benefits in Hawaii?” is a common one, but much of that answer relies on your cooperation with your case worker and local office. The Benefits, Employment and Support Services Office has up to 45 days from the date that the office has received your application, documentation and an eligibility interview has been completed to make a decision on your family’s case. Therefore, by submitting documentation in a timely manner and participating in your eligibility interview, you can expedite this process.
After you begin to receive TANF benefits in Hawaii, you will receive benefits on the same date of each month for as long as you remain eligible for the program. Benefits are provided through the use of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This card can be used in a similar fashion as a debit card and can be used at authorized cash registers and ATMs. However, an EBT card cannot be used in certain establishments, such as liquor stores, adult entertainment stores, gambling establishments and tobacco outlets.
How long can you receive TANF in Hawaii?
TANF in Hawaii can only be received for a maximum of 60 months (five years) throughout an adult applicant’s lifetime. This lifetime limit does not apply to children who are under the age of 18. The lifetime limit will also consider any TANF assistance that you may have received outside of Hawaii. Once you have reached the lifetime limit, you will no longer be eligible to receive assistance. To learn more about TANF benefit limits, download our guide.
How can I check my TANF status in Hawaii?
After submitting a TANF application, it is worth knowing that you can contact your assigned case worker over the phone should you like to learn of the status of your application. If you have not yet been assigned a case worker, you may contact the Benefits, Employment and Support Office that you applied with either in person or over the phone in order to request an update on your application.