“What is TANF in Wyoming?” is a reasonable question for needy families to ask, particularly when the program has a different name in every state. Wyoming’s Personal Opportunities with Employment Responsibilities (POWER) program provides block grants and career resources to help low-income families become independent.
The TANF benefits in Wyoming are meant to help families cover basic necessities like shelter, clothing, personal items, utilities and travel costs. Additional government assistance programs, such as the SNAP and Medicaid programs, provide assistance to cover costs not included in TANF.
Who qualifies for TANF in Wyoming?
Any resident of Wyoming has the right to file a TANF application if they believe they are eligible to receive benefits. For a family to claim cash assistance in Wyoming, they must:
- Live and care for a legal relative who is younger than 18 years of age.
- Meet state TANF income limits.
- Not possess assets over $5,000 in value, excluding the value of two vehicles.
- Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen.
In Wyoming, pregnant women with no other children do not qualify for POWER assistance. Additionally, the earnings of a minor child are exempt when determining TANF benefits in Wyoming.
How to Apply for TANF in Wyoming
To apply for TANF, download the application from the website or pick up a paper copy at a Department of Family Services office. The application must be completed in print and written in dark pen. To complete the application, you will need:
- Proof of income and expenses.
- The Social Security Number of each family member.
- Proof of relationship to the minor children.
- To sign a statement agreeing to cooperate with Child Support Enforcement.
- To register with the Department of Workforce Services.
- Paid receipts for childcare cost.
- Proof of identity for all household members.
Because families that meet the TANF eligibility requirements are automatically qualified for SNAP benefits, the Wyoming POWER application includes a food stamps application in the same form. At-risk families should apply for both as quickly as possible, as cash assistance will be dated to the day the application was filed. Additionally, families can apply for food stamps immediately, even if the form is incomplete.
Candidates who meet the TANF qualifications will be invited to an interview to determine eligibility before they can claim benefits. Following the interview, participants must sign an Individual Responsibility Certificate of Understanding (IRCU). This document states the work requirements for participants to keep their benefits.
To learn more about how to apply for TANF in Wyoming, download our free guide.
How much cash assistance will I get in Wyoming?
Income and work requirements will determine the value of the grant a family receives. To determine the TANF benefits value, a Department of Family Services (DFS) caseworker will subtract any deductions from the family income. For example, a family of three can claim a maximum cash value of $657 per month. If that family of three has a net income of $200 per month after the caseworker completes deductions, then they are entitled to $457 per month.
A single parent is entitled to a $600 disregard from their gross monthly earnings, and a two-parent household is entitled to a $1,200 deduction.
Payments may increase or decrease each year. The maximum amount of cash assistance is adjusted for each fiscal year based on the cost of living in Wyoming. Additionally, POWER participants are reassessed each year. Wyoming determines TANF benefits by family size and income and any shift in gross earning or family status can affect benefits.
How long does it take to get TANF benefits in Wyoming?
Ask the DFS “When I will receive my TANF benefits?” if your family is approved for POWER. A qualified family should receive benefits no more than 30 days after the submission of their application. A case manager may be able to provide a more specific day and can instruct you on any additional steps that may be required, such as a program orientation.
Additionally, POWER participants collect a prorated benefit amount in the first month. This reduced number is calculated by the number of days remaining in the month. How quickly a family can claim benefits will also be determined by the day of the month they are authorized for assistance.
How long can you receive TANF in Wyoming?
A family may collect cash assistance in Wyoming for 60 months, provided that they have a child and meet TANF income limits during that time. Any TANF assistance collected in other states will count towards the 60-month lifetime total in Wyoming. Families are no longer eligible for TANF benefits if their children age out of the program, even if they still meet income limits or TANF extension requirements.
However, TANF time limits do not affect children. Dependents on a Child Only TANF option are not restricted by any month limits or required to participate in work activities. Additionally, even if the parents in a household exhaust their lifetime limits, the children will still be able to apply for TANF as adults.
There are extensions available for qualified families that are considered to have “good cause.” Good cause might include caring for a disabled family member or fleeing a violent living situation.
If your TANF payment schedule was terminated or disrupted unjustly, then you have the right to appeal the decision with the DFS.
How can I check my TANF status in Wyoming?
Call the TANF office near you to check your application status. The state of Wyoming does not offer a TANF online application option for benefit management, so speaking directly to the DFS is the easiest way to access your case details. Participants will need their TANF number and proof of their identity to access their case details.
If you are unsatisfied with the decision on your TANF application, then you have the right to appeal that decision. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial notice.
Learn more about TANF denials and appeals by downloading our comprehensive guide.