TANF in South Dakota stands for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It is a joint federal and state public assistance program that caters to struggling families. The program provides many TANF benefits, both financial for immediate concerns and through services. While it does provide cash benefits to those who are struggling to provide financially for their families, it focuses on employment assistance. The purpose of the program is to help heads of household in eligible families find adequate employment opportunities. Through mandatory weekly work activities, including resume building workshops and job training, recipients will work toward finding sustainable careers. TANF in South Dakota helps beneficiaries reduce their dependence on public assistance and gain financial stability.
The South Dakota TANF program has income and residency requirements to qualify, along with family structure. In the sections below, you will find out what is TANF program in South Dakota, along with the application process and eligibility requirements.
Who qualifies for TANF in South Dakota?
Before you submit a TANF application, you must first determine if you qualify. While the program is federally funded, it is state officials that determine who is eligible for TANF benefits in the state. The TANF program is geared toward low-income families who have limited assets and resources. As such, there are income limits that applicants must meet to qualify. If the value of the family’s total resources is more than a certain amount, then they may not qualify.
In addition, family structure also plays a role in eligibility. Only families with dependents younger than a certain age can receive assistance due to unemployment, death or disability. To be eligible for TANF benefits, there are also residency requirements. Applicants must currently live in South Dakota and be legal residents in the United States.
How to Apply for TANF in South Dakota
If you know you meet TANF eligibility requirements, then you can apply for TANF. To do so, there are two processes you must complete, as the program focuses equally on providing financial support and employment assistance. One is through employment specialists at your local South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) county office or Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR). The employment specialists will help eligible recipients find employment opportunities through mandatory work activities. To waive the required work search participation, you must:
- Be a child younger than 16 years of age.
- Have a newborn younger than a certain number of months.
- Receive approval for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability.
- Be a veteran with 100 percent disability.
You can complete the application for TANF in South Dakota online through the online portal or in person. The second part of the application is through caseworkers at the DSS office in your county. Typically, applicants will need to provide personal information on themselves and all family members for which they are requesting assistance. Required documentation includes income, employment and household expenses. Download our free guide for a comprehensive look at how to apply for TANF in South Dakota.
How much cash assistance will I get in South Dakota?
A common question among TANF applicants is, “How much money do you get from TANF?” to which the answer varies. It is difficult to provide a specific amount, as there are several factors that determine the amount a family will get. TANF caseworkers base the amount of TANF benefits by family size, household expenses, income and a series of other factors. As such, there is no universal amount that everyone gets.
In regards to what time does TANF deposit the benefits, that can also vary. While the time may fluctuate, the monthly TANF payment schedule date tends to stay the same.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in South Dakota?
You may wonder, “When will I receive my TANF benefits?” and the answer depends on when the application process is complete. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month-and-a-half to fully review an applicant. After this time expires, the law requires that TANF officials notify applicants of their status. If an applicant receives entry into the program, then he or she may begin immediately. Those who are rejected must know the reasons for the TANF denial with information on how to request an appeal hearing.
Once you start receiving cash assistance, do you have to pay back TANF? The answer is usually no. TANF is a joint state and federal program that serves financially underprivileged communities. With this in mind, repayment is not a required part of the program. However, there are exceptions. If a caseworker suspects that a recipient is defrauding the program, then he or she may have to repay the TANF benefits. Violations such as selling cash benefits and allowing non-authorized members to use the card leave beneficiaries at risk of losing benefits and repaying the amount they have received.
Download our helpful guide for more information on the benefits you may receive while in TANF.
How long can you receive TANF in South Dakota?
The time limit for TANF benefits statewide is 60 months, or five years. Unlike in other states, TANF recipients in South Dakota may receive their benefits consecutively until they reach the five-year expiration date. Beneficiaries who left the program previously may also re-enter but only if their lifetime limit has not yet expired.
If recipients do not adhere to the rules of the program, then that may affect their TANF benefits. There are strict work requirements that entail weekly work activities between at least 20 to 30 hours. During the application process, applicants will learn more about beneficiaries’ responsibilities while in the program.
How can I check my TANF status in South Dakota?
As there is no TANF online application, you cannot verify your application status on the DSS website. Nevertheless, checking the status of your application can be simple. You must contact a caseworker from your local DSS office. First, you must locate the DSS office in your county. An easy way to do this is by searching “TANF office near me” on a search engine. The next step is taking note of their office TANF number and their hours of operation. From there, you can call in to learn more about your application. Keep in mind that you may have to provide information such as your Social Security Number or full name in order to obtain a status update.