TANF For Single Mothers In Arkansas

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a low-income family in Arkansas experiencing a financial crisis? The Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) program may provide temporary financial support while you work towards achieving self-sufficiency.

As part of the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) initiative, Arkansas is committed to helping families in need improve their lives and reach their full potential through employment and training opportunities.

With the help of TEA and other TANF initiatives, Arkansas is dedicated to helping families achieve financial stability and improve their overall well-being. In the following article, we will explore the benefits and eligibility requirements of Arkansas TANF, the limitations, and how to apply for this program. 

Understanding the Benefits of TANF

If you’re a low-income parent in Arkansas, understanding the benefits of TANF can make all the difference in gaining workforce skills and pathways to high-paying jobs. The purpose of TEA is to reduce dependence on public assistance. Thus, the TEA program is designed to be an essential resource for families in need, as it helps them to break the cycle of poverty and achieve greater financial security.

In addition to cash payments, TANF offers other supportive services, such as child care assistance and transportation assistance, to help low-income parents gain workforce skills and find employment.

In other words, TEA serves as a safety net for low-income families in Arkansas, offering them a chance to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on public assistance. 

Understanding The Benefits Of Tanf

Qualifying for Arkansas TANF Benefits

To qualify for TANF benefits in Arkansas, you must meet specific financial and resource requirements and other eligibility criteria. The program serves low-income single mothers, families with minor children, and pregnant women. Single-parents and two-parent families are welcome to apply as long as all members of the household must be U.S. citizens or legal aliens.

Eligible families must meet certain income and activity requirements. The household must have a gross income below the federal poverty level to be considered a low-income family. Family size also affects eligibility, as larger families may have higher income limits. Countable income is also taken into consideration. These forms of family income are earned and unearned incomes from work, child support, and other sources.

As part of the federal requirements, able-bodied adult family members must participate in work-related activities. This employment service program includes job training or search, education, or community service. Thus, unemployed and under-employed applicants can apply to the TEA program.

Arkansas Career Pathway Initiative Program

The Arkansas Career Pathway Initiative Program is designed to help eligible families receiving Arkansas TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) achieve self-sufficiency through education and work-related activities.

The program offers various services, such as job skills training, education, and career counseling, to help families increase their countable income and decrease their dependence on public assistance. The maximum payment for Arkansas TANF cash assistance recipients varies based on family size and other factors. Still, the Career Pathway Initiative program can help families earn more and reduce their need for cash assistance.

Meeting work-related activity requirements is a crucial aspect of maintaining eligibility for benefits under the Arkansas TANF program. To be eligible for monthly cash assistance, recipients must participate in work-related activities for at least 30 hours per week. Unless they have a child under age 6, the requirement is 20 hours per week.

Qualified aliens with specific eligibility criteria can also take part in the work-related activities of the TEA. By participating in these activities, TANF recipients can gain skills and experience that can lead to higher-paying jobs, ultimately helping them achieve financial stability.

Additionally, the program provides childcare assistance to minor parents pursuing education or employment. To participate in the program, families must work with their county office to develop an individualized plan that outlines their goals and the steps they will take to achieve them.

Overall, the Arkansas Career Pathway Initiative program is a valuable resource for families looking to improve their financial situation and achieve long-term success.

Application For TANF In Arkansas

The application process includes completing an online application or visiting your local DHS office, providing documentation of income, expenses, and household members, and participating in a community service program or job training if required. If approved, cash assistance recipients may receive monthly cash assistance and child care assistance while also being required to cooperate with child support requirements.

Once approved, you will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT card. Cash assistance payment is issued via direct deposit in this debit card.  

Limitations of Arkansas TANF

Despite its limitations, the TANF program in Arkansas provides eligible families with financial assistance and support to help meet basic needs.

The program offers regular TEA cash assistance and child care assistance to eligible TEA families. However, the program does have limitations, such as the strict twenty-four-month time limit and non-compliance penalties, including termination of TEA cash benefits and potential loss of child support payments.

Additionally, the program’s funding has not kept pace with inflation, leading to a decrease in the number of families receiving benefits over time. Despite these limitations, the TANF program in Arkansas remains a vital lifeline for low-income families in need. 

Limitations Of Arkansas Tanf

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the amount of Arkansas TANF benefits determined?

To determine your Arkansas TANF benefits, the state considers your income and household size. The benefit amount is calculated using a percentage of the federal poverty level. Additional factors, such as childcare costs, may also be considered.

What is the maximum time a person can receive TANF benefits in Arkansas?

You can receive TANF benefits for a maximum of 60 months in Arkansas. This time limit can be extended in certain circumstances, such as if you have a disability or are caring for a disabled family member.

Can a person receive other government assistance while receiving Arkansas TANF benefits?

You can receive other forms of government assistance while receiving Arkansas TANF benefits. However, the TANF benefits you receive may be reduced depending on the type and amount of assistance you receive from other programs.

Can a person receive TANF benefits if they are not a U.S. citizen?

Yes, a person who is not a U.S. citizen may be eligible for TANF benefits if they meet specific criteria, such as being a lawful permanent resident or refugee. However, eligibility may vary by state.

Can a person receive TANF benefits if they have a criminal record?

You can receive TANF benefits in Arkansas even with a criminal record. However, certain offenses may disqualify you. Contact your local DHS office for more information.

Are there any additional resources or programs available to TANF recipients in Arkansas?

As an Arkansas TANF recipient, you may be eligible for additional programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and childcare assistance. Contact your local DHS office for more information and to see if you qualify.


So, now that you know about Arkansas TANF, your next courses of action will help shape your family’s future.

Remember, TANF provides temporary financial assistance to low-income single mothers and families with dependent children facing difficult times. This assistance can help with expenses like food, shelter, and utilities and provide job training and education opportunities to help you become self-sufficient.

While there are limitations to this program, it can be a valuable resource for those in need. Don’t hesitate to ask if TANF can help you and your family during tough times.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!