Since March 2020, Covid-19 has a created a public health crisis that has changed all aspects of everyday life ranging from education to work-life, social life, and economy. Many families have lost family breadwinners, negatively affecting their financial ability. Many others have lost jobs as businesses close temporally or permanently. The cases of bankruptcies and loan defaults are on the rise as the effects of the Corona pandemic hit home in 2021.
Thankfully, the government has put in place measures to help cushion businesses and individuals from the adverse effects. Although applying cash from the government assistance programs will not cater to all your financial needs, it will help you pay for the basic necessities.
If you are unemployed or struggling to meet your daily basic needs, you can apply for cash assistance or any other government aid for needy families. You can use the government programs to pay for food, health care, housing, and basic living expenses. The government offers a host of programs that include welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. We look at how you can apply for cash assistance and TANF requirements to help you mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic effects.
What Is Cash Assistance Program And Who Should Apply For Cash Assistance?
Cash Assistance Program is a government initiative that offers short-term assistance to help needy families transition and overcome difficulties. Also, with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), the recipients can qualify for food, child care, housing, home energy, and job training. Every state runs a TANF program under a different name but is also available under qualified tribal groups. Federally-recognized Indian tribes can administer and operate their TANF programs. Eligible Indian tribes can design their TANF programs uniquely to help promote work, responsibility and strengthen families. The tribes receive government grants to fund their programs to accomplish the program’s purpose.
The cash assistance program seeks to meet four main purposes. It offers assistance to needy families to ensure children are cared for in their homes or relatives’ homes. It further aims to end the dependency of needy parents by promoting marriage, work, and job preparation.
Furthermore, the program seeks to prevent and reduce incidences of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Tribes running their TANF programs have greater flexibility in determining the elements of their program, including service area, time limits, service population, family composition, benefits and services, and eligibility criteria.
- What Is The Difference Between Secured And Unsecured Credit Card?
- Best Banks With Free Online Checking Account No Opening Deposit
Eligibility And How To Apply For Cash Benefits?
States and tribal groups determine the TANF requirements and the range of services. The program administrators can set varying eligibility requirements for different services. For example, very low-income families can apply for cash benefits while working families can apply for TANF-funded child care. The administrator sets policy choices, including benefit levels, work-related activities for applicants and recipients, determining financial need, time limits, and sanctions imposed for failure to comply. The program administrators have the flexibility to set benefit levels, which means applying for cash assistance in different states can lead to varying benefits.
The TANF cash benefits are low and do not meet the basic needs of families. The maximum benefit people who apply for cash assistance can receive should alleviate a family of three to 60 percent below the federal poverty line. The recipients must engage in work activities, and the states should reduce or terminate the benefits, among other sanctions, if the beneficiary fails to meet the requirements without a good cause. Although the states set their guidelines, most TANF programs use full-family sanctions that terminate benefits for all family members if the parent does not meet the requirements.
Those applying cash assistance must take part in vary from one state to another, but they are under the guidelines of the federal TANF work participation rates. The states in their work requirement formulation must refer to the detailed provisions of federal law. Failure to meet the federal work provisions will result in a fiscal penalty. The federal work guidelines every TANF program must meet include 50 percent of the families that apply for cash assistance must work at least 30 hours a week or 20 hours for single parents with children aged six or below.
How you can apply for cash benefits varies among states. We recommend that you check with your state to find the TANF requirements you must meet and the procedure you should follow to receive the benefits.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) In Delaware
TANF is the main cash assistance program in Delaware and seeks to offer beneficiaries temporary assistance until they get a job. A team involving the Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware Department of Transportation, Division of Social Services (DSS), and Department of Labor administers the program. Applying cash assistance in Delaware requires you to accept working towards self-sufficient and self-supporting. The program is limited for most people and runs for 36 months. The beneficiaries must work for 30 hours.
Delaware TANF requirements people must meet to apply for cash assistance include having a minor child or taking care of related minor children. The state extends eligibility to 18-year-old high school students in line to graduate before turning 19 and pregnant women in their ninth month. Furthermore, the administrators must determine that the family is eligible for cash benefits by meeting the Delaware TANF income guidelines. You can receive the maximum grant amount from $201 for one family member to $819 for a ten-member family.
What Are The Delaware Cash Assistance Rules?
In addition to meeting the TANF requirements, Delaware has a few rules that you must adhere to when applying for cash assistance. Once you apply for cash benefits, the state will determine your net income by subtracting $90 for work-related expenses and up to $200 for child care. You must also;
- Seek and accept employment
- Attend parenting classes
- Sign an agreement to commit yourself to keep children in school and their vaccination up to date
- Cooperate with the Division of Child Support Services
- Get information on family planning
- Meet other requirements set by DSS Case Manager
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) In Arizona
Arizona residents experiencing difficulties in meeting their basic needs can apply for the cash assistance program. The program aims to improve the well-being and safety of residents while providing a path to self-sufficiency. It offers temporary cash benefits and supportive services to needy Arizona children and their families. The Arizona TANF requirements and eligibility depend on citizenship, residency, qualified noncitizen resident status, resources, and monthly income eligibility. Before applying for cash assistance in Arizona, the adults must sign a personal responsibility agreement. The agreement mandates applicants to comply with the jobs program and child support services.
Interested individuals must complete and submit the required documents. They may also complete an eligibility interview by phone. Some of the documents that you may need to submit to prove your eligibility include Social Security numbers, proof of citizenship, Alien registration cards for non-US citizens in the family, proof of relationship, address, and daytime phone number of the landlord or neighbor. The financial documents you should give include:
- Evidence of all household income in the last two months.
- Proof of employment end.
- Bank or credit union statement.
- Proof of utility bills.
- Proof of child care expenses.
Arizona Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) for Cash Assistance
All adult applicants must sign the Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) in Arizona to qualify for cash assistance or a two-parent employment program. Failure to sign the agreement will disqualify you from the program. You must also cooperate with the agreement conditions once approved; otherwise, you will be penalized. Failing to cooperate for the first time will lead to a 50 percent reduction of the cash assistance benefits. All subsequent non-cooperation after reapplication will lead to the stoppage of the cash assistance benefits. Some of the things you agree to when you sign the personal responsibility agreement include:
- Prepare for and accept a job
- Not to illegally sell, use or possess a controlled substance
- Ensure all children between 6 and 15 attend school
- Cooperate with child support services
- Keep children immunizations up to date
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The requirements vary from one state to another. They also vary among tribal groups that administer the program. However, the applicant should commit to plan for and accept a job to receive the cash benefits. The beneficiary must also keep children in school and immunizations up to date.
The cash assistance program is a government initiative to help needy families meet the basic needs. Respective states and qualified tribal groups run the program. The amount you can get varies among programs as states and qualified states can set their limits. However, the amount is not adequate to meet the family basic needs.
TANF cash assistance program has a few behavioral requirements families are expected to meet. Some programs have family cap policies that deny additional cash assistance to families that have another child while receiving the benefits. They also do not require recipients to use illicit substances.
The cash assistance program by states and tribal groups helps needy families to improve their well-being towards self-sustaining. The program offers short-term cash assistance, but applicants must meet TANF requirements to apply for the cash assistance benefits.