Apply For Texas TANF
This page provides the Texas TANF eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet both state and federal guidelines for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Individuals who apply for TANF must meet the monetary and non-monetary state guidelines, complete work-related activities, provide paternity information about the children in the household and report as required by the state.
Texas residents who qualify for welfare are required to furnish information such as citizenship, income, resources, and age. Only household members who are eligible can receive Texas welfare benefits. Read on for more information about applying for TANF. If you have additional questions or issues about this program, then contact TANF Texas.
Application, Determination of Eligibility, and Furnishing TANF Cash Assistance
- Except in unusual circumstances, action on applications is taken within 45 days
- Assistance to eligible applicants begins on the date of authorization of payment or 30 days from the date of the receipt of a signed and completed application, whichever is earlier
- Assistance is not provided prior to complete determination of eligibility when facts support a presumption of eligibility
- The State re-determines eligibility at least every 12 months
- Upon notification by the IV-D agency of the amount of a support collection, the IV-A agency will use such amount to review eligibility of the assistance unit. The determination will be done during the month in which notice is received from the IV-D agency
- Assistance is furnished in the form of cash issued by Electronic Benefit Transfer(EBT) or warrant. Warrants are issued only on an exception basis when benefits are requested through a manual process in state office fiscal division, One-Time TANF benefits, and One-Time Grandparent benefits
Coverage and Conditions of Eligibility
Living with specified relative in a place of residence maintained by one or more such relatives as his or their own home. The following is a list of the relatives with whom a child may be living:
- Father or mother,including "step" relationship
- Grandfather or Grandmother, including "step" relationship, extended to degree of "great-great-great"
- Brother or sister, including "step" relationship
- Uncle or Aunt, extended to degree of "great-great"
- Niece or Nephew, extended to degree of "great-great"
- First cousin, extended to degree of once removed
The State's criteria for establishing "day-to-day care" and "care and control" are:
- Day-to-day care of a child occurs when there is actual day-to-day care for the child athome, such as feeding, dressing, transporting and other similar activities necessary for the growth and well-beingof the child
- Care and control of the child include financial support, planning and supervision of the child,and the ability to make decisions on the child's treatment, duration,and type
The definition of "temporarily absent" is when a person is out of the home temporarily:
- Attending school or training
- Employed or seeking employment away from home
- Hospitalized or receiving outpatient services
- In a privately funded, non-profit home for children
- Separated from other family members and the family has no regular place of residence, or
- on vacation
As specified in section 408(a)(10), Texasmay allow eligibility in situations of achild's absence that does not exceed 180 consecutive days; denies a parent or caretaker relative who fails to timely report a child's absence.
Continued absence of a parent usually occurs in divorce, desertion, abandonment, incarceration, deportation, hospitalization or unwed parent situations. However, the parent may be absent for any reason if the nature of the absence interrupts or terminates the parent's function as a provider of maintenance, physical care or guidance, and the duration of the absence precludes relying on the parent for the present support or care of the child. Deprivation based upon continued absence also may occur when these three factors are present simultaneously:
- A parent has been convicted of an offense and is under sentence of a court
- The sentence requires (and the parent is performing) unpaid public work or unpaid community service during working hours and
- The parent is permitted by the court to live at home while serving the sentence because of crowded jail conditions or for other reasons in the public interest
The parent may be absent for military service, employment or any other reason so long as an evaluation of all the facts results in a reasonable conclusion that the absence is not of a temporary nature. Absence of less than thirty days is considered temporary unless facts indicate that the absence will continue past thirty days. Parental absence based solely on active duty in the uniformed services is not a basis for establishing deprivation because of continued absence.
A child is deprived due to incapacity if the parent has a physical or mental disability supported by competent medical testimony, which is of such a debilitating naturethat it precludes him from substantial gainful employment for a continuous period of at least 30 days. A certification of Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) disability is sufficient proof of incapacity to establish TANF deprivation.
A child is deprived if both parents are in the home and one or both parents are unemployed or under-employed and a financial need exists.
A child is deprived if one or both parents are deceased.
The determination that a child has been deprived of parental support or care is made in relation to the child's legal parent.
The State agency's definition of an unemployed parent who is the principal earner includes a principal earner unemployed because of conduct or circumstances thatresult or would result in disqualification for unemployment compensation under the State's unemployment compensation law.
Assistance is provided to a needy and otherwise eligible 18-year-old child who is a full-time student in a secondary school, or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training, and who may reasonably be expected to complete the program before reaching age 19
To be eligible for TANF cash assistance in Texas, an unmarried minor parent must reside with a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative as specified in Section 408 (a)(5). A minor parent may reside elsewhere and be eligible for cash assistance if good cause is established by one of the following reasons:
- The parent(s), legal guardian, or other adult relative(s) are deceased or their whereabouts are unknown or
- The parent(s), legal guardian, or other adult relative will not allow the minor to live in the home or
- the State determines that the minor parent or thechild is or has been subjected to serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse,or exploitation in the adult's home or
- the State otherwise determines that it is in the child's best interest to waive the requirement that the minor parent andthechild live with a parent, legal guardian,or adult relative (example: moving in with a parent or other adult would result in the minor parent having to quit a job)
A child is not denied aid either initially or subsequently "because of the conditions of the home in which the child resides," or because the home is considered "unsuitable".
Eligibility is limited by the additional State conditions or requirements, as described below:
- TANF recipients may be required to participate in a work subsidy component in which their TANF and SNAPbenefits are used to pay a subsidy to employers who agree to hire them
- Transferring resources -Households are ineligible if within three months before application or anytime after certification they transfer a countable resource for less than its fairmarket value to qualify for assistance
- Texas requires by rule that adult TANF applicants must attend a Workforce Orientation prior to TANF certification. The orientation is provided by the Texas Workforce Commission throughLocal Workforce Development Boards (LWDB), or by service providers under contract with the LWDB. Failure to attend the workforce orientation will result in the denial of the household's application
- Texas requires that adult TANF applicants (including payees) sign a Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA). The PRA lists the TANF applicant's responsibilities. These are cooperation requirements such as with child support requirements, work participation, school attendance for minor parents and children, voluntary quit, compliance withTexas Health Steps and immunization schedules, attending parenting skills classes, and having no criminal alcohol or drug convictions. HHSC denies families whose adult members refuse to sign the PRA as well as TANF recipient families who subsequently failto comply with PRA requirements
Assistance payments are made in the situations and under the conditions below:
- Payments are made for the entire month to or for a family which, for any portion of the month, met all of the eligibility conditions, providedthe family was eligible on the date payment was made (except if a caretaker relative participates in a strike, or if other income or resources cause ineligibility)
- Initial payments are made on behalf of a child who goes to live with a relative within a period of 30 days from the receipt of the initial payment, provided that payments are not made for a concurrent period for the same child in the home of another relative or as TANF-Foster Care
- Payments are made for the entire month in the course of whicha child lives in the home of a specified relative, provided payments are not made for a concurrent period for the same child in the home ofanother relative or as TANF-Foster Care
- Payments are made to persons acting for relatives specified in 45 CFR, Sections 260.20 and 263.20 in emergency situations that deprive a child of the care of the relative,through whom he has been receiving aid, for a temporary period necessary to make and carry out plans for the child's continuing care and support
TANF Eligibility Criteria
Extent to which Standard of Assistance has been consolidated
The State agency has developed a fully consolidated standard of assistance. All needs are included in a flat amount per family size. In the process of developing the consolidated standard, grants were averaged for each family size.
The State standard of assistance does not contain other recognized needs or special circumstance items.
In the standard of assistance, area differentials do not exist. The same standard of assistance is applicable throughout the State
Grant Levels/Standard and Maximum Need Amounts
- The money amounts for the standard of assistance were increased most recently on March 1, 1994
- Texas adopted a single figure needs standard on March 1, 1973
- In establishing need, the presence in the home of other needy individuals who are not eligible in their own right but who are considered essential to the well-beingof the child recipient is not recognized
- The grant amount for the ongoing TANF cash assistance program is approximately 17% of the Federal Poverty Income Limit, Texas reviews grant amounts annually to ensure that they are at least at 17% FPIL and makes adjustments to these amounts every October 1
Income and Resources
The amount of real and personal property that can be reserved for each assistance unit is not in excess of $1,000 equity value excluding:
- Automobiles with fair market values not exceeding $4,650
- Income producing vehicles
- Bona fide funeral agreements not in excess of $7,500 cash value for each member of the assistance unit, and one burial plot for each member of the assistance unit.Burial plots are defined as the designated space in the ground, vault, or mausoleum reserved for burial of the TANF family.Bona fide funeral agreement is defined as a prepaid funeral plan or burial insurance policy to pay for services, facilities, and items needed for burial
- Real property that the family is making a good faith effort to sell. "Good faith effort to sell" is defined as using classified ads in newspapers,listing the property with a realtor, or accepting an offer that equals or exceeds the fair market value of the property
- Basic maintenance items
- Necessary non-liquid income-producing property as determined under the following criteria:Real property, stock, inventory, tools, equipment, and other non-liquid income-producing property which are usual and customary for a given trade, profession or business
- Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) established for the purpose of a home purchase, starting a business, or paying for a college education
- Income earned by an individual who marries an individual receiving TANF cash assistance at the time of the marriage. The earnings are excluded during the first six months following the date of the marriage only if the combined income of the TANF recipient and new spouse does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level for their family size
Policies provide for allocating an individual's income for his or her own support if the individual is not applying for or receiving assistance; for the support of other individuals living in the same household but not receiving assistance; and for the support of other individuals living in another household. Such other individuals are those who are or could be claimed by the individualas dependents for determining federal personal income tax liability, or those he or she is legally obligated to support.
Those included for allocation are all individuals living in the home who are not applying for or receiving TANF, and are not sanctioned for failing to comply with a program requirement.
Texas Employment Search
Part of the requirement, while on the TANF program, is finding a job to help sustain your financial needs. Texas provides an online job site for you to search for employment. You can view the job site by clicking here.
Apply Online For Texas TANF
If you have questions about applying for TANF benefits, or you want to see if you can apply for TANF Texas online, then visit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families website here.