TANF in Maryland provides temporary financial assistance to families in need who have earnings well below the federal poverty line. In order to fully answer, “What is TANF?” it is important to look to the goals, benefits and history of the program as well as how TANF promotes work and helps families obtain self-sufficiency. Before a TANF application is submitted, it is worth taking a look at the eligibility requirements for the program, as these strict guidelines will determine whether or not a family can receive benefits from TANF. Not only must initial eligibility requirements be met but there are also additional requirements for continued eligibility.
TANF benefits are primarily determined by family size, income and applicable expenses. However, it is important to not only learn more about beneficiary amounts and how soon benefits can be received but also how long benefits can be received for as lifetime limitations apply within the state.
Who qualifies for TANF in Maryland?
Before you apply for TANF in Maryland, it is strongly recommended that you review the eligibility requirements of the TANF program in order to determine whether or not you and your family may qualify for assistance. Maryland TANF eligibility requirements include:
- Familial makeup. In order to receive assistance through TANF, there must be a minor child living within the home that is younger than 18 years of age.
- Maryland residency. Only Maryland residents may apply for TANF assistance within the state. If you are not a resident of Maryland, then you will need to apply for your home state’s TANF program.
- Citizenship and legal residency. Maryland TANF can only be provided to United States citizens and legal residents of the country.
- Income and resource limits. TANF is designed to provide assistance to the neediest of families within Maryland. In order to qualify for assistance, you must have low to very low income and available resources.
In order to continue to meet TANF qualification after you begin receiving benefits from TANF, adults within the family must meet work-related requirements. Work-related activities, including job searches, are required of any applicant who is not exempt from these requirements. You may be considered exempt if you:
- Are a parent of a child who is younger than one year of age.
- Have a qualifying mental or physical disability that can be verified by a doctor or psychologist.
- Are caring for a mentally or physically disabled child or family member within the home.
- Are a parent of a child who is under the age of six and childcare is not available within your area.
Maryland TANF benefits could be discontinued if you fail to meet work-related eligibility requirements or if you no longer meet the initial TANF requirements. Likewise, you may receive a TANF denial letter and be required to payback benefit amounts if you provide false information.
How to Apply for TANF in Maryland
Applying for TANF in Maryland is a simple process, as the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides a number of ways that you can submit an application. Perhaps the simplest way to apply is by submitting a TANF online application. However, you may also submit an application to your local office in person, by fax or by mail. You can find a copy of an application online should you wish to print and mail or fax the completed application.
Once you have submitted a TANF application, a caseworker will be assigned to your family. Your caseworker will contact you to schedule an eligibility interview, which you must participate in before your application can be fully processed. Your caseworker will be able to provide you with further details about the TANF program as well as review your family’s eligibility for benefits. Additionally, your caseworker will provide you with a list of documents that must be submitted to your local office.
Your TANF application will not be fully processed until you have provided the documentation that is requested. By providing the documentation in a timely manner, you can expedite the overall time that it will take to process your application, which can help you to begin receiving benefits sooner. Documentation that may be requested includes, but is not limited to:
- Proof of income for all household members.
- Proof of identity for all household members.
- Proof of applicable household expenses, such as shelter costs and childcare expenses.
To learn more about applying for TANF benefits in Maryland, download our free guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Maryland?
TANF benefits by family size is a primary factor of the amount of benefits that you may be eligible to receive in Maryland. Maximum allotted benefits are determined by the size of your family with consideration to household income and applicable household expenses. You will also be required to report any changes to your household that may affect your benefits in a timely manner. Doing so can help you to avoid an overpayment of benefits.
If you are asking, “Do you have to pay back TANF in Maryland?” then it is worth knowing that you generally do not need to repay benefits. However, if you ever receive an overpayment of benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the overpayment, then you will be required to repay the amount that your family was not eligible to receive.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Maryland?
Maryland TANF benefits are deposited through the use of an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which will be provided to you once your eligibility has been established. This card can be used as a debit card at any authorized ATM or point of sale terminal. Benefits will be deposited on the same day of each month for the length of time that you receive TANF assistance.
Your TANF application can only be processed after your eligibility interview has been completed and you have provided your local DHS office with any information or documentation that the office may request of you and your family.
How long can you receive TANF in Maryland?
TANF in Maryland can only be received for a maximum of 60 months (five years) within your lifetime. This limit only applies to adults who are 18 years of age and older, as minor children are exempt from lifetime limitations. After you have received 60 beneficiary months, you will no longer be eligible to receive assistance from TANF for yourself. However, if you have a child who is younger than 18 years of age, then you may still be able to receive benefits for that child.
How can I check my TANF status in Maryland?
After your Maryland TANF application has been submitted, a caseworker will be assigned to your family. This caseworker should be considered a primary form of contact for you and your family should you have any additional questions or if you would like to check on the status of your application. However, if you are unable to reach your caseworker, then you may also contact your local DHS office to inquire about your application.
Discover more about the TANF program by downloading our comprehensive guide.