Alaska Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP) Application Information
The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program is shortened ATAP. ATAP is provided through the Alaska Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant. ATAP aids low income families with children with cash assistance and employment. The goal is to enable them to become self sufficient. With ATAP, the beneficiaries feel more as part of the solution since they will be able to fend for themselves after aid ceases. This is in comparison to the previous regular public assistance program whose main focus was financial aid.
ATAP gives temporary assistance to families with children, which is to say that:
- The assistance is given for not more than 60 months
- During the months of July, August and September when there are relatively more employment opportunities, benefits for families with two parents are reduced and additional benefits for second parents limited.
- During the period of assistance, families are required to complete a Family Self Sufficiency Plan which shows goals for achieving self sufficiency and activities to be undertaken to achieve those goals.
Families will have to cooperate with Child Support Services to confirm the children's paternity as well as establish and collect any child support an absent parent ought to be paying (where applicable).
If there is a change in income in your household, you are required to report it within 10 days to the Department of Health & Social Services. If a child leaves, you must report it within 5 days. More specifically, you must report the following:
- If you stop or start a job, if your wage changes or if your work plan changes from full-time to part-time and vice versa
- If income you receive from other sources besides your job deviates by above $50
- If anyone leaves or joins your household
- If you move (in order for new housing costs to be factored in determining benefits)
- If the household acquires a vehicle
- If, in cash at hand and/or at bank, your household has above $2000
- If your obligations towards child support change
- If there are changes in your or any of your household members' medical insurance and if any member gets Medicaid
Failure to report any of these or misrepresentation of any facts may amount to fraud. This means that one may be discontinued from the program for 6 months for their first offence, 12 months for their second and permanently for their third. A person may also face criminal charges in addition to being required to repay any benefits received.
A worker from the Department of Public Assistance may visit your home at any time to verify details or to ensure that you are sufficiently engaging in activities stipulated in the Family Self Sufficiency Plan. If your household is not engaging in these activities, it is upon them to establish if you have a good cause not to.
ATAP ensures children in successful applicants' families receive proper childcare so the adults can work towards self sufficiency without extra financial burdens.
Also, if a successful applicants' family includes a job-ready adult, they may receive a diversion payment. Rather than receive ongoing ATAP benefits, the diversion payment will cater for the immediate needs of the family. A diversion payment is approximately the value of three months of ongoing benefits. It can be received just once in 12 months and just four times in a lifetime.
In order to be eligible for ATAP, the family must have no more than $2000 in resources that are categorized as countable' or no more than $3000 if an individual aged 60 and above is part of the household. Resources that are not countable' include most vehicles, the home itself and household goods.
If the applying family does not have more than $2000 (or $3000 where applicable) in countable income, for them to be eligible the income must also be less than the stipulated income limit according to the number of individuals in the household. The income limits and maximum payments are set as follows:
- A household consisting of 2 persons must have an income of $1347 or less. They would receive a maximum of $821 through ATAP.
- A household consisting of 3 persons must have an income of $1516 or less. They would receive a maximum of $923 through ATAP.
- A household consisting of 4 persons must have an income of $1685 or less. They would receive a maximum of $1025 through ATAP.
- A household consisting of 5 persons must have an income of $1854 or less. They would receive a maximum of $1127 through ATAP.
- A household consisting of 6 persons must have an income of $2023 or less. They would receive a maximum of $1229 through ATAP.
There are further guidelines on ATAP benefits based on whether the household has two parents, whether it includes an adult, whether it only has a child and whether it has a pregnant woman. The complete table of maximum ATAP payment standards can be downloaded by clicking here.
The focus of ATAP is self sufficiency so able family members are required to immediately seek paid employment opportunities in order for the family to gradually cease from receiving financial aid.
If they can not immediately find jobs, they are required to engage in activities that would enable them to gain skills that would make them eligible for employment. Such activities include community work, skills training, GED preparation and adult education.
Alaska Temporary Assistance Program Application Instructions
One may apply for ATAP by downloading a printable form, filling it and mailing it to the nearest Public Assistance office.
The form may be downloaded by clicking here.
You will need Acrobat Reader to view and print the form from your computer. The software can be downloaded for free here.
The online form can be used to apply for a number of Alaska Public Assistance programs including ATAP, Medicaid and Food Stamps. To apply for ATAP, you will need to tick Temporary Assistance in Part A of the form. After that, you are supposed to fill out the whole of the remaining part of the form.
After filling it out, you may mail it or hand-deliver it to a Public Assistance office. You can obtain a list of Public Assistance offices and their addresses by clicking here.