TANF in Georgia, also referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, it the primary financial assistance program available within the state. If you are wondering, “What is TANF?” then be aware that it is a cash assistance program that provides aid to families who are well below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). It is also intended to promote work and help families becoming more self-sufficient.
Before you submit a TANF application, be sure to review the program’s eligibility requirements, as well as how much cash assistance your family may be entitled to and how long a family can participate in the program. To learn more about TANF benefits, eligibility and how to apply, review the sections below.
Who qualifies for TANF in Georgia?
Before you apply for TANF in Georgia, it is important to familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to receive initial benefits and then to continue receiving assistance once you have been approved for the program. TANF eligibility requirements include but are not limited to:
- Having a child in the home.
- Being a citizen or permanent resident.
- Meeting income limits.
- Fulfilling work requirements.
To meet TANF qualifications, each family member must be a United States citizen or a legal resident, as well as a resident of Georgia. Additionally, there must be a minor child living within the home in order for the family to be eligible for TANF assistance. All preschool children within the home must be up to date on immunizations. Additionally, all children who are between the ages of six and 17 must be attending school and have a satisfactory attendance.
In addition to the above TANF eligibility requirements, a family must be able to meet income and resource limitations. Income limits are far below Federal Poverty Level (FPL), as TANF is designed to assist the neediest of families. At this time, a Georgia TANF calculator is not available online, but income eligibility will be determined during the application process.
In order to apply for TANF, you must apply for other assistance programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid, which you may qualify for based upon your income and family situation. While receiving assistance from the TANF program, you must continue to meet the above eligibility requirements, as well as work-related requirements. In Georgia, adults within the home will be required to participate in work and training activities for at least 30 hours each week in order to retain benefits. Work requirements are set into place within the TANF program in order to promote work and aid families in becoming self-sufficient.
Note: Get details about qualifying for TANF in our in-depth guide.
How to Apply for TANF in Georgia
If interested in TANF in Georgia, it is worth knowing that an application may only be submitted in person at your local Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office. You cannot apply outside of the county in which you live, and online applications are not available at this time. When submitting a TANF application, you will need to provide additional documentation that includes but is not limited to:
- Proof of income.
- Proof of household expenses, including shelter costs and child care expense.
- Proof of identification.
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN).
Required documentation must be provided for each family member applying for TANF assistance.
After you complete the process to apply for TANF, your local Georgia DFCS will contact you to schedule an eligibility interview. This interview must be conducted before your family can be considered eligible to receive benefits. The interview will provide additional information about the program, answer any questions about the program that you may have and review your family’s eligibility for TANF.
How much cash assistance will I get in Georgia?
Georgia TANF benefits are made up of prominent factors that are established when you first submit an application. TANF benefits by family size refer to the amount of benefits a family is eligible for at maximum, based upon the number of family members. The larger the family, the higher that maximum amount may be. Other factors that are considered when determining benefit amounts include household income and applicable household expenses. However, it is worth knowing that a family that receives assistance from TANF for 10 or more months may not be eligible to receive an increase on benefits for the birth of additional children.
If you are wondering, “Do you have to pay back TANF in Georgia?” be aware that you will not be expected to pay any funds back, as long as you do not receive an overpayment and you remain honest throughout the application process and while receiving benefits from the TANF program. However, if you do receive an overpayment, falsify information on your initial application or do not report changes to your household, you will be required to repay any benefits that your family received that your family was not entitled to.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Georgia?
If asking, “When will I receive my TANF benefits in Georgia?” it is important to know that the amount of time that it will take to receive initial benefits will largely depend on you. The DFCS office has up to 45 days from the date that the office receives your application and all necessary documentation to make a decision on your case. Therefore, it is imperative that you work with your local DFCS office closely following your application and provide any and all documentation as required in a timely manner.
TANF benefits are distributed monthly through the use of an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. This card can be used like a debit card at authorized cash registers and ATMs to access cash benefits. The date of your deposits will be determined when your application is approved, and you can expect to receive benefits on the same day each month.
Learn more about TANF assistance in our comprehensive guide.
How long can you receive TANF in Georgia?
TANF in Georgia can generally only be received for a maximum period of 48 months throughout an individual’s lifetime. However, this limit does not apply to children who are younger than 18 years of age. The 48-month limit may potentially be extended when circumstances deem the extension necessary, such as in the event of certain hardships, mental incapacity, physical incapacity, domestic violence or another valid reason.
How can I check my TANF status in Georgia?
If you have applied for TANF in Georgia, the only way to check on the status of an application is by contacting the DFCS office in which you applied with. You can contact your local office by phone or in person in order to review the status of your application. As mentioned previously, it is crucial that you provide the office with the necessary documentation needed to process your application right away in order to expedite this process.