Apply For Iowa TANF

This page provides the Iowa 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.

Iowa 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 Iowa welfare benefits. Read on for more information about applying for TANF. If you have additional questions or issues about this program, then contact TANF Iowa.

Family Investment Program (FIP) or Refugee Cash Assistance

The Family Investment Program (FIP) is also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). FIP provides temporary cash assistance to children and families. Refugees who do not get FIP may get Refugee Cash Assistance. Follow the steps below if you need help.

Step 1 Fill out an application
Anyone may fill out an application. You may apply on a paper application or you can apply online at If you decide to apply using this form, answer as many questions as you can. If you can't fill out the whole application today, fill out and turn in Page 1. But, then please fill out and turn in the rest of the application as soon as you can. If you need help filling out an application, please ask for help at your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.

Step 2 Return the application to us
You can bring or mail your application to a local DHS office. The date we get Page 1 with your name, address, and signature is your application date. This starts the time we have to work on your application. It is also the date your Food Assistance may start.

Step 3 Give us proof and come to an interview if asked
You may be asked to show us proof:

You may need to show us other proof. If you are not able to show us proof right away, you will be given time to get the information. If you can't get proof, ask DHS to help you get the information.

An interview will be set up for you, if necessary. You should come to your interview even if you do not have all the proof we need. Interviews are not needed if you are applying only for Child Care Assistance.

Information About Immigration Status

You can apply for part of your household even if some members do not have legal immigrant status. For example, parents who do not have legal immigrant status may apply for their children who are U.S. citizens or qualified legal immigrants. You may need to give proof of immigration status or U.S. citizenship for each person in your household for whom you apply.

Your household's alien status may be checked with the Citizenship and Immigration Service. Any information we get from the Citizenship and Immigration Service may affect your household's benefits. We will not contact the Citizenship and Immigration Service about the people you don't apply for. However, we may use their income and assets to see if the rest of the household can get help.

You Have the Right to Appeal

You, or the person helping you, may request an appeal hearing if you do not agree with any action taken on your case. For Food Assistance, you can appeal in person or by telephone. For all other programs, you must appeal in writing. To appeal in writing do one of the following:

Send or take your appeal to the Department of Human Services, Appeals Section, 5th Floor, 1305 E Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA50319-0114. If you need help filing an appeal, ask your county DHS office.

You can represent yourself. Or, you can have a friend, relative, lawyer, or someone else act on your behalf. You may contact your county DHS office about legal services. You may have to pay for these legal services. If you do, your payment will be based on your income. You may also call Iowa Legal Aid at (800) 532-1275. If you live in Polk County, call (515) 243-1193

Things You Need to Know

Within 10 days of the date the change happens, you must tell DHS about changes, such as:

If your application for FIP or Refugee Cash Assistance is approved, your Food Assistance may go down or stop. If you are approved for FIP, you will be registered with the PROMISE JOBS program. You agree that all members of your household who must cooperate with PROMISE JOBS will do so. Talk with your worker if you feel you have a reason not to cooperate.

If you choose not to take part in PROMISE JOBS, your FIP benefits will be limited. While you get FIP, you give up your rights to child support for the months you are on FIP. The state of Iowa will keep your child support to pay back the money you get from FIP.

Iowa Employment Search

Part of the requirement, while on the TANF program, is finding a job to help sustain your financial needs. Iowa provides an online job site for you to search for employment. You can view the job site by clicking here.

Apply Online For Iowa TANF

If you have questions about applying for TANF benefits, or you want to see if you can apply for TANF Georgia online, then visit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families website here.