Welfare Application Instructions for Tennessee



Application Instructions

To apply for TANF benefits in Tennessee, apply online or at the nearest Department of Human Services office. To print an application, click here. For more information, call the customer service link at 1-866-311-4287.


Available Benefits

TANF benefits are figured based on individual state guidelines and dependent on factors such as family size, earned and unearned income, and housing expenses. The state of Tennessee has a 60 month (5 year) cap on TANF benefits. In addition to financial benefits and help in securing employment, the Tennessee Families First plan also offers childcare assistance. In 2005, the maximum benefit for a family of three was $185 monthly or $2220 per year.


Am I Eligible?

In Tennessee, TANF applicants must meet both the state and federal guidelines for the program. The federal government requires that individuals 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. The federal guidelines have been built into each state.s program, as this is required in order for states to receive the block grants that fund TANF. Therefore, it is really only necessary that applicants be aware of and meet the requirements as outlined by the state of Tennessee. To read more about the federal TANF eligibility guidelines, click here. In order to qualify for welfare in Tennessee, applicants must sign a Personal Responsibility Plan in which the applicant agrees to keep childhood immunizations up to date, assist in establishing paternity, ensures that children attend school and participate in at least 30 hours of work-related activities each week. To pre-screen for TANF in Tennessee, click here.


General TANF information for Tennessee

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded program that helps American families by providing benefits, both financial and otherwise, to help keep family units intact. TANF benefits, sometimes referred to as welfare benefits, are intended to supplement a family.s earned and unearned income and can be used to purchase clothing, food, medication, and pay for housing and utility costs, for example. On the federal level, the Office of Family Assistance, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees and funds the TANF program. State governments are responsible for designing and implementing their own welfare programs, including the determining eligibility, providing benefits, and distributing cash allotments. This page outlines the state requirements for TANF benefits. To learn more about the Federal TANF program and its requirements, click here. The state of Tennessee administers Federal TANF benefits through the Tennessee Department of Human Services. To learn more about the Families First TANF program, click here.