TANF in Illinois is a financial assistance program that provides support for pregnant women and families with dependent children living within the home. In order to fully answer, “What is TANF?” it is important for you to learn more about the program itself, including the history of TANF, the benefits that the program provides, how the program works with families to become more self-sufficient, how long benefits can be received and the eligibility requirements that a family must meet in order to qualify for TANF.
If you would like to apply for TANF, then you may do so online or at your local office. However, you can expedite your application and, if eligible, receive benefits sooner if you familiarize yourself with the documentation that must be submitted alongside your application. Before TANF benefits can be allotted, you must also participate in an eligibility interview with a caseworker that will be assigned to your family.
Who qualifies for TANF in Illinois?
Before you apply for TANF in Illinois, it is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the program’s eligibility requirements. By learning more about these requirements, you may be able to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive assistance from TANF before submitting an application. Illinois TANF eligibility requirements include familial makeup, residency, citizenship and income requirements.
You can only potential meet TANF qualifications if there is at least one child younger than 19 years of age who still lives within the home. If the child is between six and 18 years of age, then the child must be attending school full-time in order to be considered eligible. Families that do not have children that meet eligibility requirements will not be eligible to receive assistance from TANF, except in the case of pregnant women who are expecting a child soon. To qualify for TANF in Illinois, you must be a resident of the state as well as a United States citizen or meet certain immigration requirements.
A prominent TANF eligibility requirement revolves around income, as TANF is designed to provide financial assistance to the neediest of families within the state. While an Illinois TANF calculator is not available online, benefits are only provided to families who meet eligibility requirements and are well below the federal poverty line. In addition to TANF income limits, there are also resource and asset limitations.
If you would like assistance from TANF in Illinois but you are unsure whether or not you and your family qualify for benefits, then it is recommended that you submit a TANF application anyway, as a caseworker will be assigned to your family’s case. This caseworker will be able to determine whether or not you and your family is eligible to receive benefits as well as the benefit amount that your family may be eligible to receive.
How to Apply for TANF in Illinois
TANF in Illinois can be applied for online or at a local Family Community Resource Center. When submitting a TANF application, you will also be encouraged to apply for other government assistance programs, such as SNAP (food stamps) and medical assistance. If you intend to submit a TANF application, then it is important to review the documentation that you will need to provide alongside your application. This documentation includes but is not limited to:
- Proof of income for all household members.
- Proof of Social Security Number for all household members.
- Proof of identity for all household members.
- Proof of household expenses, such as shelter and childcare costs.
After you apply for TANF, you will be required to attend an eligibility interview with a caseworker that will be assigned to your family. Not only will this caseworker provide you more information about the program, but the caseworker will also review your family’s eligibility and potential benefit amounts as well as inform you if there is any additional documentation that must be submitted in order to finish processing your application.
Learn more about how to apply for TANF in Illinois by downloading our free guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Illinois?
Illinois TANF benefits by family size refers to the maximum amount of benefits that your family may be eligible to receive, based upon the size of your household. In addition to family size, your caseworker will also consider your family’s income and applicable expenses when making a determination about your benefits. Therefore, benefit amounts are primarily based upon a family’s circumstances.
If you are wondering, “Do you have to pay back TANF in Illinois?” then it is worth knowing that you do not generally have to repay benefits. However, should you receive benefits that you are not entitled to, you will need to repay that portion of benefits. Overpayment of benefits most commonly occurs if you provide false information on your application, fail to report a change to your household such as a change to household size or income or due to a system error.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Illinois?
TANF in Illinois is handled by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and your local Family Community Resource Center. From the date that your local office receives both your application and the documentation that is needed in order to process your application, the office will have up to 45 days to make a decision regarding your family’s eligibility for TANF and potential benefit amount. Therefore, when submitting a TANF application, it is imperative that you provide documentation in a timely manner in order to receive benefits sooner if found eligible for TANF.
If you are wondering, “What time does TANF deposit funds in my account once I am approved?” then you can expect to receive benefits on the same date of the month each month. Benefits are on a TANF payment schedule and deposited onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that will be issued to you. This card will require a pin number before use and can be used in a similar fashion as a debit card.
How long can you receive TANF in Illinois?
TANF in Illinois can be received for a maximum period of 60 months (five years). This limit only applies to adults who are 18 years of age or older and the limit is considered a lifetime limit. Beneficiary months need not be consecutive in order to count against your allotted beneficiary months. TANF benefits that are received in states outside of Illinois will also count towards the TANF limit within Illinois.
How can I check my TANF status in Illinois?
After you submit a TANF application in Illinois, you may check the status of your application by contacting the caseworker who is assigned to your case. Alternatively, you may also contact the TANF number for the DHS helpline or contact your local Family Community Resource Center by phone or in person.
Find out what to do if your TANF request is denied and how to appeal a denial by downloading our detailed guide.