The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, usually just called TANF in Mississippi, is controlled by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS). Many state residents wonder, “What is TANF known as in Mississippi?” This is an understandable question, since many states have their own name for this program, such as CalWORKS in California or CASH in Oregon. However, the state of Mississippi continues to refer to the program as TANF. Paired with the TANF Work Program (TWP), TANF aims to help low-income families support their children and achieve self-sufficiency.
In order to complete the TANF application in MI, you must fulfill several requirements. These typically include an interview to verify your eligibility, as well as a job evaluation. Since the aim of this program is financial independence for families, you must agree to participate in employment activities in order to receive benefits. Once you are approved, you are able to obtain both financial and employment assistance for a temporary period.
Who qualifies for TANF in Mississippi?
TANF benefits in MI are available to all residents who meet the established qualifications. Most importantly, an applicant must be the parent or guardian of a child younger than 19. Expectant mothers are generally included in this category, as well as minor parents. Several other factors are involved in determining applicant eligibility as well, including:
- Citizenship and residency: All applicants are required to provide proof of citizenship or legal presence, as well as state residency.
- Disability: Disabled applicants who cannot participate in the work program must provide the appropriate medical documents.
- Immunization: Children seven years of age or younger must receive all immunizations.
- Schooling: All children must attend school regularly.
- Income and resources: the MDHS outlines income and resource limits for applicants.
In addition to TANF eligibility requirements, income is also used to determine the level of benefits you qualify for. If you qualify for less than $10 in benefits, the MDHS will deny your application. In order to help with the income limit, the Mississippi TANF calculator may deduct any verifiable child care costs from your countable income.
How to Apply for TANF in Mississippi
In order to fully determine if you meet TANF qualifications, you must complete the entire application process. This includes a few different steps, including attending an interview and creating an employment plan for yourself. In order to complete these steps, you must visit your county MDHS office. To find your office, you can search the term “TANF office near me” or visit the MDHS website to view locations. When you are ready to begin the application process, complete the following steps:
- Submit your application along with all of the necessary verification documents. At this time, you can also apply for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) on the same application.
- Participate in a face-to-face interview with an MDHS case worker. A telephone interview is also possible if you are unable to attend in person due to a valid reason.
- Comply with a substance abuse screening, job search requirements or vocational rehabilitation. If you are unable to work due to a disability or another reason, you may be exempt from the work requirement.
It is possible to request other arrangements if you are unable to submit your application in person. However, you are currently unable to submit a TANF online application. As a result, you must contact your local MDHS office to determine how to proceed with the application process.
To learn more about the steps to apply for this program, download our comprehensive guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Mississippi?
The MDHS determines the level of TANF benefits by family size and household income. Applicants cannot make more than a set amount to qualify, but this amount also dictates the level of benefits available. In order to answer “How much money do you get from TANF?” the MDHS must compare your income with your family’s level of need. The difference between these two figures usually indicates your benefit amount. However, the MDHS is only able to issue benefits up to the state maximum TANF benefit amounts. For example, the maximum amount of benefits available for a family of three is $170.
If you are wondering “Do you have to pay back TANF?” the answer is no. These benefits are considered a grant from the state and do not require repayment. However, if you are caught falsifying information to receive benefits, you face serious consequences. This may include fines, jail time and repayment for any fraudulent purchases.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Mississippi?
If you are wondering “When will I receive my TANF benefits?” you must consider the date in which you completed all the application steps. After you attend the mandatory interview, the MDHS has 30 days to process your application. At the end of the 30 days, you can expect a notification in the mail announcing your approval or denial from the program. If you are approved, this notification will also outline the start date for your benefits.
Regarding the question “What time does TANF deposit my benefits?” it is generally the same for each recipient. Benefits are available on the first day of each month, including on holidays and weekends. Your funds are loaded onto a prepaid debit card from the MDHS for your convenience.
How long can you receive TANF in Mississippi?
Regardless of TANF income limits or other eligibility requirements, access to benefits through TANF are limited. As a temporary cash assistance program, TANF is only available to you for a maximum of 60 months in your lifetime. These 60 months are not necessarily consecutive, but are added up as long as you are receiving monthly benefit payments. In the meantime, the program aims to help you reach self-sufficiency so that you no longer need this aid.
It is important to note that this limit to the TANF payment schedule may be altered. Certain program extensions are made past this 60-month restriction for qualifying hardship cases. The MDHS begins to assess this around the 40-month mark of your enrollment.
Download our comprehensive guide for more information on TANF benefit amounts.
How can I check my TANF status in Mississippi
If you would like to view information regarding your TANF account, the MDHS provides access to a secure online portal. This portal contains your TANF number, details on your benefit history, the status of your case and information on other government programs you are enrolled in. Your case worker can help you create and activate this account upon request, or you can complete the process yourself. In order to do so, you must provide certain information, including your name and Social Security Number (SSN). Remember make sure that the SSN you provide matches the SSN on your application.