TANF in Utah is run through the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). The TANF Needy Families program offers qualified families services and support to promote self-sufficiency and independence, and these support services differ by county. While some counties offer transportation, services others offer ESL services. The state-wide basics that TANF families can expect are workforce training, educational resources and cash grants.
Maybe you have wondered “What is TANF?” if you are looking for assistance with expenses and think you are eligible to receive cash help for your family. You can learn more about the benefits and restrictions of the program by reading below.
Who qualifies for TANF in Utah?
Before starting a TANF application, candidates must determine if they meet TANF eligibility requirements. To qualify for assistance for low-income families, TANF applicants must live in Utah and be United States citizens or eligible noncitizen. Families must also have an income lower than the program limits, and the value of any owned assets must be less than $2,000.
Income limits are determined by family size, the number of caretakers and the value of the family’s assets. The property that counts towards the $2,000 limit includes homes, stock and insurance programs. Cars and other motor vehicles are considered exempt.
Further, all applicants will be subjected to a drug screening to judge their eligibility during the application process. If the screening suggests any substance use, the candidate will be asked to meet with a clinical therapist to complete an evaluation and treatment. Refusing to participate in a drug test or program can result in a denial of benefits.
How to Apply for TANF in Utah
To apply for TANF in Utah, petitioners must sign up through the DWS website. With a MyCase account, applicants can input their information directly into the service and manage their case number and benefits information. Applicants who require language assistance have the right to an interpreter at no charge, though a Spanish version of the application is available.
To receive TANF benefits, you should be prepared to supply information confirming your financials and identity. Before beginning your application, gather these materials in advance:
- Family members’ Social Security Numbers.
- Verification of employment and income.
- The value of any assets, excluding motor vehicles.
- Proof of expenses, including child care, medical bills or utilities.
Applicants must complete the application in its entirety and answer every question, or they will not be able to receive assistance even if they meet TANF eligibility requirements. Note that the program for food stamps in Utah does accept partial applications while you gather any additional information to complete it, but TANF requires full completion.
For more information about how to apply for TANF in your state, download our guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Utah?
Families that meet TANF qualifications and complete the application process will be able to start collecting the determined amount of cash benefits. The total value of the assistance is determined by family size. There is no Utah TANF calculator available for needy families, but recipients can expect the amount to be based on the family size and number of caretakers. Typically, families can receive a few hundred dollars per month.
Families that begin accepting regular payments may wonder, “Do you have to pay back TANF?” TANF beneficiaries only have to pay back the DWS if they receive an overpayment. This money must be returned to the state immediately. Recipients may owe interest on the overpayment if they were at fault for the error.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Utah?
After receiving a confirmation for Utah Needy Families assistance, it is time to ask “When will I receive my TANF deposit?” Families qualified for assistance can begin collecting their benefits the same day their application is approved. TANF cash grants are typically distributed on an EBT card the same way as food stamps. A loaded EBT card will either provide beneficiaries with their first month of payments or the funds will be directly loaded to an EBT card the family already owns. Use of this card is restricted to the benefits holder and any violation of the terms may result in reduced financial aid.
Many applicants who meet TANF income limits also qualify for SNAP benefits and should ask a DWS caseworker about qualifying for multiple support services.
How long can you receive TANF in Utah?
There is a 36-month lifetime limit on TANF benefits in Utah. However, the state of Utah counts the months of adult beneficiaries, and applicants who benefited from TANF as children may be able to collect again as parents. A DWS caseworker will determine qualification on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, if a UTAH resident moves to another state, the number of months they collected from TANF in Utah will be counted against the federal limit of 60 months in a lifetime. Conversely, Utah will count any months of assistance collected in other states towards the state 36-month limit.
Utah begins counting months in accordance with the TANF payment schedule and will mark the first month when the candidate first receives benefits, even if it is a partial month. Utah will also count the months that funds are reduced, but there a few exceptions to the time count. These exceptions include the time a parent needs to obtain employment after completing a workforce program or time spent caring for a disabled family member, among other things. Some qualified individuals may be eligible for additional benefit months, so applicants should make sure to get information about TANF extensions.
How can I check my TANF status in Utah?
The website used to complete the TANF online application also allows applicants to check application status and manage their benefit details. Individuals enrolled in several support services in Utah can also manage Medicaid and SNAP through the Utah DWS website.
Once registered for the site, you can access your account details at any time. To check your benefits or communicate with DWS about your case, you will need your Social Security Number or TANF number to confirm your identity. For more information about how to apply for TANF in your state, download our guide.