How to Apply for TANF


A TANF application is used to apply for the national Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Specific instructions for how to apply for TANF program vary between states, because each because each state oversees their own benefits systems. However, TANF eligibility requirements must follow basic federal guidelines, as the federal government provides funding for the program. Before submitting a TANF application form, seniors can review the sections below for more information on eligibility requirements for TANF and application methods.

TANF Application Eligibility Requirements

Completing the TANF application and receiving approval for benefits allows families and seniors with minor children to claim financial assistance and related support services. When seniors sign up for TANF program benefits, eligibility requirements can vary between states, although there are basic requirements for agencies all across the country. When submitting a seniors TANF application, elderly applicants must meet these federal qualifications:

  • A senior submitting a TANF application must be a legal resident of the state he or she is applying in.
  • Seniors must be a legal U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant.
  • Seniors signing up for TANF program benefits must be the guardian of a child under 19 years of age.
  • Elderly applicants who complete a TANF application must also meet low-income or underemployment requirements.

When signing up for the TANF program, eligibility requirements and benefits vary somewhat in every state. In Georgia for instance, adults who receive a TANF application approval must participate in required work or training activities for 30 hours a week while receiving benefits. On the TANF application, the maximum earnings that a family with one working adult and two children in Georgia can earn are quite low. In Washington, however, not all applicants who submit a seniors TANF application have to participate in a work program unless mandated by the state’s social service office.

Information Needed to Submit a TANF Application Form

Despite state variations in TANF application requirements, there is some general information and evidence required during the application process for all petitioners. On every TANF application form, basic demographic information such as your name, address, phone number, and email address will be necessary. Most importantly, you will be required to show proof of residency in the state in which you are submitting the TANF application form. Your recent work history, including tax information on earnings and withholdings, is necessary to make sure you meet the state eligibility requirements. On your TANF application form, you may need to detail your additional living costs, like medical or transportation expenses, depending on the rules of the state agency. When you submit a TANF application, you should also be prepared to share information about any forms or income or other resources. Your TANF application will ask that you provide demographic and work related information for everyone in your legal household or under your care.

How to Apply for TANF Program

The submission methods for your senior TANF application vary by state, but usually include both online and in-person options. Because each state manages their own social assistance, each has its own name and web platform for submitting a TANF application form. In California, for example, the state has named their social services program CalWORKS. Their TANF application maintains an online platform and several offices throughout the state to help residents submit TANF application forms. Specific details about how to apply for TANF program in your area can be found through state agencies. Before attempting to submit a TANF application form online or in-person, make sure to gather all of the necessary documentation and evidence. To learn about the necessary requirements for submitting a TANF application, you must look into your local requirements.

When can you apply for TANF?

There is no limit on when you can apply for TANF. The national government created the TANF program to help seniors, children and needy families in times of need. Many states guarantee a short response time for submission of a seniors TANF application, usually between 15 and 45 days depending on your needs and the benefits you are requesting. If you are already in a difficult situation or you foresee yourself facing difficulty in the near future, you should submit your TANF application form as soon as possible to start processing. It can take weeks before you have access to all of the TANF benefits for which you qualify. If your TANF application is denied, you can learn more about the TANF appeal process if you disagree with the decision made by your state agency.

You should also note that you cannot receive assistance from TANF indefinitely. As such, every state has different limits for how long your TANF application is active. Sometimes, you can renew your benefits by completing certain steps as stipulated by the state government. When this is the case, most state will only allow you to renew your TANF application for a certain numbers of times within a specific period of time (such as five years) or sometimes within a lifetime. To get more details on TANF enrollment procedures, click here to download our comprehensive guide.

What Financial Services Are Available for Seniors?

There are various financial services available to eligible seniors who may need assistance. These services include Social Security benefits, employment insurance and food stamps. Find out what services are available for eligible seniors by downloading our guide today.

What Eligibility Requirements Do Seniors Have to Meet to Receive Financial Services?

Eligibility requirements vary according to each financial service. However, seniors are typically required to meet age, residency and citizenship criteria to receive financial assistance. Learn more about eligibility requirements for seniors by downloading our guide now.