Florida Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA & TANF) Application Information

Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program provides cash assistance for low-income families who are taking care of children under the age of 18. The program intends to keep children at home so that they can become a useful part of the society and contribute to it positively.

Individuals with U.S. citizenship or non-citizens with qualified status can apply for TCA. Pregnant women can also apply for TCA when in their third trimester. However, they will have to have a medical suggestion not to continue work in order to receive benefits under TCA.

You can apply online through Department of Children and Families' Access Florida. The online website of the department will give you all the necessary links required for applying online and gaining benefits. You will find a prescreening section where you can check your qualifications. Similarly, you can use the website to go back to your applications to complete them if you didn't complete them the first time. You can also apply for Temporary Cash Assistance program in person as well.

Individuals and families receiving TCA benefits can receive one-time severance payment in case they choose to terminate TCA. However, this will not be available to everyone and those choosing severance payments will have to sign an agreement saying that they will not be applying for TCA in the next six months.

Cash Severance Benefits

If certain beneficiaries choose to terminate their TCA benefits, they may be eligible to receive Cash Severance Benefits of $1000. Individuals seeking cash severance benefits much have a job and should expect to maintain such employment for a period extending to six months. One must sign an agreement not to apply for Cash Assistance Program during next six months. In case a family reapplies for TCA due to some emergency, it will have to refund the entire reverence payment within eight months.

Relative Caregiver Program under TCA

A relative, having custody of a child under the age of 18 by an order to a Florida court and transferred custody by the Department of Children and Families Child Welfare based care provider, will be able to receive cash assistance through Relative Caregiver Program. The monthly cash aid received under this program is higher than amount of TCA. However, this amount will be lower as compared to the amount paid for a child in the foster care program.

Monthly payments under Relative Caregiver Program depend upon the countable income and age of the child.

  • For children up to five years of age, $242 will be paid
  • For children between 6 and 12, $249 will be paid
  • For children between 13 and 17, $298 will be paid

Child will have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for Relative Caregiver Program:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Must live in the state of Florida
  • Child should not have assets exceeding $2,000
  • Relative caregiver should be a blood relative of parent or stepparents
  • Children between 6 and 18 years should attend school to receive benefits under this program

Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive benefits under TCA, one has to meet all the qualifications. Here are some basic qualifications in order to receive benefits through TCA.

Time Limits

For child only cases, TCA program has no time limit for benefits. However, cash assistance is limited to 48 months during lifetime of an adult.

Work Rules

Most people applying for TCA will have to do work or register with Regional Workforce Boards in order to receive benefits. However, some applicants may not be required to work, such as pregnant woman.

Some individuals may have exemption from work eligibility:

  • Individuals with a child under three months of age
  • Individuals receiving benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI
  • Federal regulations provides definition for people being not work eligible. Individuals falling within this definition will be exempted from work eligibility for Temporary Cash Assistance program.

Income and Deducations

To receive benefits under TCA program, applicants will have to have gross income less than 185% of the federal poverty level. On the other hand, the countable income should not be greater than the payment standard according to the size of family applying for benefits.

Applicants will get $90 deduction from their gross earned income before they calculate income for the purpose of TCA program.

Citizenship

Only U.S. citizens will be able to receive benefits under TCA program. However, qualified non-residents will also be able to receive benefits under TCA in most cases.

Resources

A family applying for TCA benefits will have to have resources below or equal to $2,000. Some resources are exempt for the purpose of resources eligibility for TCA program. However, applicants needing a vehicle for the purpose of work should ensure that value of their vehicle is less than $8,500.

Social Security Number

All the members of household must provide social security number. In case of underage children, applicants will have to prove that they have applied for social security number.

Residency

Applicants should be residents of Florida in order to receive benefits under TCA program.

Relationship

In order to receive benefits under TCA, a child must be living with parents or in a home maintained by a blood relative.

Child Support Cooperation

Parents will have to ensure that they are cooperating with child support. Child support cooperation will require establishing the identity of children's parents in case they do not live with their children. Relatives or caretakers applying for TCA for children will have to ensure that they are helping child support cooperation in all such affairs.

Attending school

Children between the age of 6 and 18 will have to attend school so that their household can receive benefits under the TCA program. Parents of such children should attend school conferences in order to qualify for benefits under TCA.

Families receiving benefits from TCA program will have to show responsibility with new births. With one more child born to the family, only half of the normal increased income. With a second child born to the family, TCA benefits will not be permitted for that child.

Temporary Cash Assistance Application Instructions

Apply Online

If you are looking to apply online for Temporary Cash Assistance, you can do so by visiting the Department of Children and Families Access Florida website.

You will find the link to apply for benefits on the website. Click the link and you will be able to apply for Cash Assistance, Medicaid, and Food Stamps through the same link.

You can also go through prescreening in order to see if you qualify for the program or not. You can use THIS link to go through prescreening process.

You can go back to your application if you had not completed it the first time. You will be able to access you incomplete applications HERE.

Apply in Person

You can easily apply in-person by contacting Social Security Office. You can also apply by calling at 1-866-762-2237 and requesting a form by snail mail. Once you have the form and brochure, you can follow rest of the process. However, you should consider applying online since it is not just easy but it has many features available like Electronic Funds Transfer, completing incomplete application etc.