(MoneyHippo.com) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funds a free benefit for low-income families to receive assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The program gives grant money to state and territorial governments, which administer programs, cash assistance, and services to benefit eligible families. Although requirements and resources vary depending on where you live, eligibility centers around income and residency. To participate in the program, one of the following conditions must apply: you must
- Have a child age 18 or younger
- Be pregnant
- Be 18 years old or younger and the head of your household
To find out what TANF help is available to you, navigate here and click on where you live. Contact information and links are available for the appropriate state agency to walk you through the application process. You can also quickly check eligibility here before getting started.
The program helps qualifying families with childcare costs, job training, and finding employment. With some exceptions, obtaining or improving gainful employment is usually a requirement to continue participating in this temporary program.
The goal is to provide struggling families the tools to meet their basic needs, reduce their dependency on assistance, and ensure they continue to thrive. TANF program administrators consider the grants a hand up rather than a handout.
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