Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Application Instructions

If you want to apply for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash Assistance (CA) program, you need to take three steps:

1. Gather the necessary information you need to apply.

There are things you need to bring during the interview process that may help speed up the process, whether it is your first time applying or you're reapplying for the program. Bring all the things that apply to you:

  • Identification (I.D.) of applicant.
  • Proof of identity and citizenship for each one in your household applying for the program.
  • Alien Registration Cards (if there are household members that are not U.S. citizens).
  • Social Security numbers (if none, proof that it has already been applied for)
  • Birth certificates for everyone in your household.
  • Name and contact information of your neighbor or landlord.
  • Verification of address and all the names in your household (it must be made by a non-relative who you do not live with, dated and signed by the person who verified, including his/her contact details)
  • Proof of all income your household received in the past few months.
  • Complete statement of account from the bank or credit union.
  • Verification that your employment has ended, as well as the last date you were paid.
  • Proof of retirement plans, securities, life insurance, and savings bonds.
  • Proof of pregnancy, as well as the expected time of delivery.
  • Rent/mortgage and utility bills for the past few months.
  • List of child care expenses for the recent months.
  • Proof of medical costs for individuals who are 60 years old and above.
  • Verification of any medical insurance coverage aside from AHCCCS.

Get an application form and fill out all the necessary information.

You can get the application form in three ways:

  • You may submit your application online by clicking here. After this, there are still additional details that you need to fax to complete your application. You may download the fax cover sheets on the Providing Documents tab of the website.
  • Download the www.azdes.gov/AHCCCSCombinedApplication. You may submit it through fax or submit it personally to your local FAA office. This is the same application used when renewing CA benefits.
  • You may go to the nearest FAA office and ask for an application form; you may also call and request it to be mailed to your address.

3. Submit application and all the necessary documents.

After you have gathered all the needed documents and filled up the application form, you should submit it by fax, by mail, or in person to the FAA office near you. From here, the process starts.

The FAA will contact you for an Eligibility Interview, also known as the fact-finding interview. If there are more information needed, you'll be contacted by email or by phone. You will be informed of the eligibility decision by mail.

Eligibility Requirements

These are the individuals who may be qualified to receive Cash Assistance benefits:

  • Parents who are taking care of dependent children below 19 years old.
  • Identified relatives (such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, and the like) with dependent children 18 years old and below who are in their safekeeping (called Kinship Care)
  • Parents of a child who gets SSI or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
  • Individuals who are enrolled in the Kinship Foster Care Program.

The following are the requirements to become eligible for the CA program:

  • Must be living in the state of Arizona.
  • Has to be a citizen of the United States or a qualified non-citizen.
  • Has to fill up and sign the Personal Responsibility Agreement that can be found here
  • Must meet the income limit.

If you're not sure if you will qualify, you should still apply for the CA program as there is no exact amount of income limit.

Income is referred to as the money you receive from various sources including work and benefits. The income limit that will help determine your eligibility depends on the exact situation of your household.

There are two income limits in Arizona, depending on the size of your household:

  1. Needs Standard - this is the most you can make and still be qualified to receive child care services and jobs assistance.
  2. CA Payment Standard - this is the limit that you can make and be eligible for the Cash Assistance program, jobs assistance, and child care services.

Here are two tables that show these income limits with the given family size:

  1. Cash Assistance A1 Needs Standards - for households that pay rent/mortgage
  2. Cash Assistance A2 Needs Standards - for households that do not pay rent/mortgage

Assets are also taken into consideration when applying for Cash Assistance. Assets are the things that you possess such as savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and checking accounts. To become eligible, you must have assets that are worth under $2,000. The state excludes the following things listed when counting your assets because you can't use these to pay for your basic needs:

  • Your home where you and your family live
  • Personal goods such as clothing, furniture, appliances, tools, and jewelry
  • Your vehicle

Signing the Personal Responsibility Agreement or PRA is one of the eligibility requirements for the CA program. When you sign it, it indicates that you agree that the members of your family will:

  • Make preparations for a job and accept it.
  • Ensure that all children in the household between ages 6 and 15 attend school.
  • Oblige with all the rules and regulations of the CA program, the Child Care Administration, and the Jobs Administration.
  • Keep the immunization of the children up-to-date; and
  • Coincide with the Division of Child Support Enforcement, when appropriate./li>

If you do not sign this agreement, Cash Assistance benefits will be denied. If you have already been approved and you fail to meet the conditions of the PRA, it will result to a penalty:

  • First offense - reduction of 25% on the CA benefits of the household
  • Second offense - reduction of 50% on the CA benefits of the household
  • Third and all succeeding times after reapplying - benefits will be stopped

If you have a good reason for not complying with the requirements indicated in the PRA, you must inform your eligibility interviewer immediately.