If you are thinking to yourself, “What is TANF?” it is likely because you do not understand how the program works. TANF in New York, known as Temporary Assistance (TA) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is a cash assistance program for families in need. There are a variety of ways a family qualifies for TA, but one of the most important eligibility requirements is having a household income that falls under a certain percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
If you are looking for financial assistance, one way to get it is to apply for TANF. There are a variety of steps in the application process, but the first step is to complete a TANF application. The form you fill out allows your local Department of Social Services (DSS) to know the type of TANF benefits your family requires. In the sections below, you can find information on the application process and eligibility requirements for TANF.
Who qualifies for TANF in New York?
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has TANF eligibility requirements you must meet in order to be eligible to enter the program, which include:
- Be a U.S. citizen, legal alien or permanent resident.
- Meet TA income requirements.
- Meet age requirements:
- Be a pregnant woman of any age or have a child younger than 18 years of age.
- You can have a child that is 19 years of age and qualify for TANF in New York if he or she is attending secondary school, vocational or technical training.
If your dependent child or family does not satisfy the TANF qualification listed above, you are ineligible to enter the program. For more details on the requirements to enter the program, download our free guide.
Additionally, TANF has work requirements that families who are enrolled in the program must follow. A parent or caretaker receiving assistance under the program must engage in work activities approved by the state. The program assesses and assigns work activities for adults to complete.
How to Apply for TANF in New York
To apply for TANF you must complete an application form. The TANF application requires you to fill out important information about yourself and your family, such as monthly income. When you complete the TANF application, you must file the form at your local DSS office.
When you submit your application, the next step is to complete a TANF interview. Your interview should be within seven business days from the day you submitted your TANF application. During the interview, a representative will ask you to provide details about your family. This is to get a better understand of the cash assistance benefits your family needs.
Additionally, when you are applying or going in for your interview, there are specific items a worker will ask you to bring with you, such as your driver’s license. This is to provide evidence of who you are and ensure all the information you put on your application is accurate.
For more information on how to apply for benefits, download and read our comprehensive guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in New York?
“How much money do you get from TANF?,” is a question many applicants have because they are unsure of how the state determines the funding each family receives. There are a variety of factors that affect how much TANF benefits a family will collect. New York determines TANF benefits by family size. A family of three with no income will not collect the same amount of benefits as a family of six in the same situation. The family of six will receive a greater amount of cash assistance because there are more people in that household who need basic essentials, automatically making their expenses higher.
Additionally, your local DSS will look at your family’s income. If you have no source of income, you will collect a greater amount of TANF benefits than a family that has employment.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in New York?
“When will I receive TANF benefits?” is something you may be wondering after submitting your documentation. In New York, the department that administers the program will let you know 30 days after filing your TANF application if your family was approved or denied. If the state approves your household, you will receive information on the amount of benefits you can collect and more.
How long can you receive TANF in New York?
There are TANF income limits that everyone enrolled in the program is subject to. You can receive TA benefits for up to 60 months in your lifetime, which include TANF-funded assistance you received in another state you may have lived in. Once you reach the 60-month limit, you and your family members are ineligible to receive TANF benefits. Also, the months do not need to be consecutive in order for you to reach your 60-month limit. For example, if you have collected benefits for 50 months and decide to leave the program, you have 10 months remaining. Whether you join the program two years later or 20 years later, you will have only 10 months of benefits left
“Do you have to pay back TANF?” is a question many applicants have because they have not received financial assistance from the government before. Families do not have to pay back any of the benefits they received. However, if you break one of the program’s rules or do not report any changes that affect your TANF income limit, you must repay the state the amount of extra money you collected.
How can I check my TANF status in New York?
You can contact or visit the Social Services facility through which you submitted your TANF application if you need to check its status. You will have to provide the representative with information, such as your TANF number in order for them to give you details about your status. Also, you can call or visit your local social services department for questions you may have about your TANF interview.