Texas TANF Application Information

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is Texas main program to provide cash assistance to low income families with children. Families with dependent children under 18 years will be eligible for the program if they meet other eligibility criteria. Similarly, pregnant women will also be able to qualify for temporary assistance if they are on low income.

TANF benefits are time-limited. Once a family's benefit period ends, it will receive an application for renewal of benefits. Families choosing to continue being on TANF aid will have to complete the application and send it for renewal.

TANF provides a time limit for cash assistance. For relative caretakers and parents, the time limit for TANF benefits is 12-36 months. The exact time for TANF benefits depends on education, economic situation, and work experience. For children, TANF does not have any time limit.

If parents or caretaker relatives agree to receive TANF assistance, they will have to agree to:

  • Train for employment if capable of working
  • Cooperate with Child Support
  • Stay away from alcohol and other drug abuse
  • Not to quit any job voluntary
  • Take classes related to job preparation and parenting skills, if needed
  • Immunizations of children and complete medical screening

One-Time TANF Benefits

With one-time TANF aid, families will get $1,000 instant help. This sub-program provides aid only to families facing financial crises. This payment is once for 12 months. Families will not be able to apply for it once they have used it within last 12 months.

Families looking to get one-time payment will have to qualify for regular TANF requirements. If a family is already receiving TANF aid, it will not be able to apply for one-time TANF payment.

Using the Lone Star Card

Lone Star Card is a plastic card that works similar to how a debit card works. You will receive your monthly TANF amount in the card, which you can use to buy things or simply withdraw using a machine. At the time you receive your card, you will have to activate it by signing it at back and then calling 1-(800) 777-7328. If you received your card from SSHC office, then you will not have to activate it. All the cards issued in person are already activated.

You will be responsible to use your TANF card with care. You will get a PIN to access your account. When you enter your PIN at a machine, make sure that no one else is watching it. You will also have to make sure that you are using card yourself. If you are disabled and need someone else to use your card to bring money or good to you, you'll be required to apply for a duplicate card. All the money spent from the second card will be deducted from your primary card, automatically.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive TANF benefits in Texas, you will have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • U.S citizen or eligible alien
  • Social Security Number
  • Resident of state of Texas
  • Meet all the income requirements for the program
  • Families applying for TANF must have dependent children less than 18 years of age

If you are a pregnant woman, you can qualify for TANF if you meet financial requirements for the program.

TANF Application Instructions

To apply for the Texas TANF program, you will have two options:

Apply Online

You can apply online for the program by simply going to Your Texas Benefits and completing the application. If you are a first time visitor, you'll have to create an account before you can fill out the application.

Apply in Person

You can also apply in person by visiting HHSC office near you. You can also apply by finding a start here near you that works with HHSC benefits.