Florida financial assistance programs can help families get back on their feet and allow children to remain in their homes. While Florida offers various assistance programs, the Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides funds to families in immediate need.
What is the Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program?
Florida’s TANF program provides temporary cash assistance to families with young children. The goal is to help families in need get back on their feet and to keep children in their homes.
TANF is one of the few assistance programs in Florida that can help with paying bills (including rental assistance and utility bills), health care, childcare and other living expenses.
Who Qualifies for the Program?
To qualify for emergency assistance through TANF, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a resident of Florida, AND
- Have a child who is 18 years of age or younger.
- Be 18 years of age or younger and head of the household, OR
- Be pregnant.
Children aged five and younger must be up to date with their childhood immunizations. Children between 6 and 18 years of age must be in school, and their parents or guardians must actively participate in school conferences.
Additionally, you must meet income and work requirements to be eligible for benefits.
Four types of families may be eligible for benefits under TANF:
- Two-parent families
- Single-family parents
- Child-only families
- Relative caregivers
The family category will determine the work requirements to be eligible for TANF.
To receive TANF, adults in the family must work or participate in work-related activities for a certain number of hours each week. Work requirements depend on the number of adults and the age of the children.
- Single parent with a child under six years old: 20 hours
- Families with one disabled parent: 30 hours per week, with a minimum of 20 hours in core work activities
- Married teens or a teen head of household under age 20: Regular attendance at a secondary school (or an equivalent), or at least 20 hours in employment-related education
- Two-parent families without subsidized childcare: 35 hours per week (between both parents), with a minimum of 30 hours in core work activities.
- Two-parent households with subsidized childcare: 55 hours per week, with a minimum of 50 hours in core work activities
Core work activities can include work experience, community service, job training and subsidized private sector employment (see the complete list here).
Family applicants may not have more than $2,000 in assets. Licensed vehicles may not exceed $8,500.
How Long Do TANF Benefits Last?
Florida limits TANF assistance to 48 consecutive months. However, there are exemptions for hardships, such as:
- Victims of domestic violence.
- Individuals who have been actively trying to gain employment but have been unsuccessful.
- Teen parents who have been meeting work requirements and need additional time.
- Cases where minor children in working families may be at risk of being placed in foster care or an emergency shelter if benefits are terminated.
How Do You Apply for TANF in Florida?
To apply for TANF, visit the Florida Department of Children and Families website. The application can be filled out and submitted online.