Temporary Financial Help for Single Mothers: The Ultimate Guide
Temporary financial help is available for single mothers or low income families who are facing foreclosure, lost incomes, unemployment or underemployment through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of TANF is to enable families achieve self sufficiency through various ways including finding work, affordable housing, Medicaid insurance, etc. Welfare programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) prior to 1996 were replaced with TANF and the federal government provides funding to all states & territories so they can run TANF under their own banners. Thus, each state has its own rules for qualifying families to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Basic Requirements to Qualify for TANF
One of the most basic requirements that qualify families for TANF benefits is the willingness to participate in a working contract for at least 30 hours per week. This includes finding employment in your specialty area, attending job training & resume building services, etc. Once employed, you can receive TANF benefits while you become self sufficient. Note that TANF benefits can only be received for up to 60 months in a family’s lifetime. Benefits include cash payments, food and subsidized housing. Benefits received such as childcare assistance or transportation for employed families does NOT count towards the 60 month limit. If your family does happen to run out of the 60 month time limit for receiving TANF benefits, there are other options including food stamps for single mothers, child care assistance for single moms or government housing grants.
State TANF Websites
As mentioned above, each state maintains its own set of rules for application & eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Below, we did some research and found all webpages of TANF websites by State. Select your state from the list below, read on eligibility requirements and follow the instructions on how to apply. Most sites also have a pre-screening eligibility tool that will inform you if you are eligible right away, use it and learn about your financial situation. Good luck!