Apply For North Dakota TANF

This page provides the North Dakota 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.

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

What information do I need to provide?
To speed up the processing of your application, turn in with your application or bring to your interview the following items. Your work may be able to help you obtain these things if needed.

Proof of Alien or Citizenship Status such as (original documents required if applying. for Health Care Coverage):

You will be asked to provide information about the SSN and citizenship or immigration status for all persons for whom you want to receive assistance. This information may be subjected to verification by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and that the submitted information received from USCIS may affect the household's eligiblity and level of benefits. For HCC, verification will be required if not available electronically.

For TANF, if an individual who is required to be included in the TANF household does not want to give information about their SSN, citizenship or immigration status, the entire household will be ineligible to receive benefits.

What is TANF?

TANF makes a payment on behalf of needy children residing in North Dakota.

Who may be eligible?

If you are a relative taking care of a child, you and the child may be eligible if the child is:

You may also be eligible if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy. A child born after July 1, 1998, who was conceived while the parent received benefits, will not be eligible, unless the child is conceived as a result of rape or incest.

Effective with all TANF applications received on or after April 1, 2009 for four (4) months, beginning with the month of application, the initial TANF grant for a month will include benefits for the child(ren) only, unless the caretaker is not required to participate in the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program or is participating in the Tribal NEW Program.

NOTE: Benefits for the caretaker during the first four (4) months of TANF eligibility can only be paid (as a supplement), when your Eligibility Worker receives verification from the JOBS Employment Contractor that the caretaker has met their work participation requirements in the JOBS program.

If you are a fleeing felon, in violation of your parole or probation, or have had a drug related felony within the past seven (7) years, you may not get benefits.

What are the income and asset limits?

Monthly income from wages, child support, social security, pensions, veterans' benefits, or other sources must be less than the TANF income limits. Please contact your local county social service office for the current limits.

The asset limits are $3,000 for one individual, $6,000 for a household of two individuals, and an additional $25 per person for households of three or more. Some assets are not counted such as:

When will I receive my benefits?

If you are eligible, you will get your benefits no later than 30 days from the date your local county social service office receives your signed application. After your application is approved, your benefits will be available on the 1st working day of each month.

How do I receive my benefits?

You will receive an Electronic Payment Card (EPC) in the mail. The EPC is a prepaid card issued by U.S. Bank called the ReliaCard. Benefits are deposited into your ReliaCard account, much like a bank account. (See the ND ReliaCard Cardhold Hand-book for more information. You may view this handbook online at or obtain a copy from your local county social service office).

Where can I use my TANF ReliaCard?

You can use your TANF ReliaCard to make purchases at millions of places that VISA debit cards are accepted such as:

Note: Federal Law prohibits the use of the TANF ReliaCard at:

How long can I receive TANF benefits?

You may receive TANF up to 60 months. There are some exceptions for families to go beyond 60 months. You may contact your local county social service office about these exceptions.

What is Diversion Assistance?

Diversion Assistance provides short-term emergency benefits and services to families during a "specific crisis or episode of need". These benefits and services are designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need, are not intended to meet recurrent or ongoing needs, and will not extend beyond four months in a 12 month period. This will allow individuals to clear up problems that might push them further into poverty. TANF rules that do not apply to Diversion Assistance will be explained during your interview with your worker.

What is Transition Assistance?

Transition Assistance promotes job retention by providing an extended period of cash assistance to qualified TANF households. TANF households with earnings from employment exceeding the allowable standard of need for their household size may remain eligible for Transition Assistance for up to six months. Transition Assistance provides a safety net of financial support during this six-month period to assist households in attaining self-sufficiency; thereby eliminating the need for future government benefits.

What are the program rules?

Before you can recieve benefits you must:

Once you are eligible you must:

Are there Additional Financial Incentives availabe to my Household?
Individuals under age 21 who are eligible for Medicaid and TANF and screened through the preventive health program known as Health Tracks, are eligible for a $25.00 incentive per individual. The incentive is available after the completion of the initial screening and each annual Health Tracks screening. Completion of the screening, for this purpose, does not include the follow-up appointments or referrals to other physcians that are generated from a screening.

Do I get my child support while I receive TANF?
All child support that becomes due while your family is receiving TANF is assigned to the State of North Dakota. North Dakota will keep assigned child support up to the amount of TANF benefits your family received.

If you receive a child support payment from any source other than North Dakota Child Support Enforcement (such as directly from the absent parent or from another state’s child support enforcement agency), you must immediately give the payment to Child Support Enforcement. Failure to do so is fraud and prosecution through the state’s attorney’s office will be pursured.

Do I get my child support when I stop receiving TANF?
After you stop receiving TANF, the State of North Dakota will not keep any child support payments, unless the payment received is for a month in which you received TANF. Child support received for a month in which you did not receive TANF will be sent to you.

What if I have more questions about my child support?
See the Child Support section for more information. You may also contact Child Support Enforcement or your local county social service office.

What information do I need to report if I am eligible?
Once you are eligible, the following changes must be reported within 5 days of the time you learn of the change. Report changes in:

You will also need to report:

Family Violence Screening

TANF households will be screened for domestic violence. You may choose to discuss domestic violence with your worker at any time. This information will remain confidential.

At your request, a referral may be made to a local domestic violence program where services and options will be discussed. You may not have to meet TANF work and child support requirements while you receive services related to domestic violence. Choosing not to discuss domestic violence will NOT result in the denial of TANF benefits.

What is the definition of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity by physical force, assault, or the fear of any of the above. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can occur between family members, household members, or people in a dating relationship.

North Dakota Employment Search

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

Apply Online For North Dakota 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.