Last Updated on July 4, 2023 by Lori Pace
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides monthly cash benefits to eligible families in the state of Indiana. It is a federally funded program administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and aims to assist families in achieving self-sufficiency through various support services.
To be eligible for TANF, you must meet categorical, financial, and specific non-financial criteria. Work requirements also exist for TANF, which requires most adults to be employed or participate in certain work-related activities.
This article will provide an overview of the Indiana TANF program, including its eligibility requirements, benefits, and the services available to recipients. So, if you are struggling to make ends meet, keep reading to learn more about how Indiana TANF can assist you.
What is Indiana’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program?
The TANF program provides monthly cash assistance and other supportive services to low-income families with children under the age of 18. The program’s main goal is to help needy families to meet their everyday needs and become self-supportive. That is why, apart from cash assistance, TANF provides job readiness training and job placement opportunities for eligible adults to acquire a decent livelihood.
TANF benefits are based on income and family size, and the assistance group size determines the income needed to meet the family’s needs.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Indiana TANF?
To qualify for federal funding from Indiana TANF, you must meet the following categorical and financial conditions of eligibility:
- Must be a resident of the state of Indiana
- Must be a U.S citizen, a qualified alien, or a permanent resident
- Families with children under the age of 18 years living with parents or relatives
- Pregnant women (eligible one month before their expected due date)
- Eligible adults must be unemployed or under-employed
- Assets not exceeding $1,000
- Must meet countable income based on income guidelines
How Is the TANF Cash Assistance Amount Determined?
To determine the amount of cash assistance a family receives from TANF, their countable monthly income is considered and compared to the maximum benefit amount allowed for their family size. This includes income from wages, Social Security and unemployment benefits, and child care support.
For reference, this is the usual amount of cash assistance you will likely receive per month:
|Family Size||Recipient Parent or Adult Caretaker||Children Only|
How to Apply for Indiana TANF Assistance?
There are three ways to apply for TANF assistance in Indiana: online, by phone, or in person. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, consider the following table:
|Online||Convenient and can be done from home||Requires internet access and basic computer skills|
|Phone||Easy to access and assistance is available||May have longer wait times|
|In-person||Personalized assistance and the ability to ask questions||Requires transportation and may have limited hours|
Regardless of your chosen method, the application for assistance requires accurate and complete information about your countable family income, household composition, and other eligibility criteria. Remember that income guidelines and need standards are based on the federal poverty level and vary based on family size.
If approved for Indiana TANF, you may be eligible for additional services such as food assistance, healthcare coverage, medical assistance, child care services, and energy assistance.
It’s important to note that changes in circumstances must be reported within 10 days, and the decision to grant or deny benefits will be made within 60 days of application. If you’re denied TANF benefits, you can file an appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of work-related activities count towards fulfilling the work requirements for TANF in Indiana?
Indiana TANF requires most adults to participate in work-related activities. These can include employment, job training, education, community service, and work experience. The number of required hours depends on family composition.
Can non-citizens apply for Indiana TANF?
Non-citizens may be eligible for Indiana TANF if they meet specific criteria, such as having a qualified immigrant status. However, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for TANF benefits.
Are there any restrictions on how TANF benefits can be used?
You must use TANF benefits for basic needs such as rent, utilities, clothes, and transportation. Restrictions may vary by state, but the program is designed to help families become self-sufficient through employment and training programs.
How long can someone receive TANF benefits in Indiana?
You can receive TANF benefits for a maximum time limit of 60 months in Indiana. However, exceptions may apply for certain circumstances, such as disability or domestic violence. Work requirements must be met to receive benefits.
What happens if someone fails to report changes in circumstances within 10 days of their occurrence while receiving TANF benefits?
Failure to report changes in circumstances within 10 days of their occurrence while receiving TANF benefits may result in an overpayment of benefits or termination of assistance. It is your responsibility to keep DFR informed.
TANF is more than just a cash assistance program designed to help single mothers and families in need meet their everyday needs and ultimately become self-sustaining. By participating in TANF, families as well as single mothers have the opportunity to learn and apply new skills that can lead to long-term success. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, consider exploring the Indiana TANF program to see if it is a good fit. Remember, eligibility requirements and benefits may vary by state, so be sure to check with your local TANF office for more information.