Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) (Audio-MP3)
Authored By: Northwestern Legal Services
This audio recording provides a basic summary of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Benefits in Pennsylvania, how to qualify, work requirements, how to obtain job-training or educational assistance, and information on how to apply for TANF. The full text of the audio recording appears below.
TANF, or Temporary Aid to Needy Families, is a welfare program that helps households with children by providing them with money when there is no other income in the home. Typically, Food Stamps and Medical Assistance are offered along with TANF. The amount of money you receive from TANF is based on the size of your household, and it is usually enough for some, but not all, of your basic needs.
In order to qualify for TANF, an adult must do some type of work activity for a certain number of hours each week. Typically, an adult must be in a work activity 30 hours per week, and for a household with two adults, a combined 55 hours of work activity each week. Work requirements may vary, depending on the situation in your home.
If people getting TANF cannot find a job, they can enroll in a job-training program or school of their choice. Welfare may pay for many of the costs for higher-education and provide TANF while you get up to a four-year college degree.
TANF also offers many benefits to help you get a job or to assist you in your education. These are called Special Allowances, and they help remove barriers that keep you from working or going to school. Special allowances include childcare costs, transportation, clothing or uniforms, union dues, and other needs.
To apply for TANF, you can complete an application with PA Department of Public Welfare at a county assistance office where you live, or apply online using the PA COMPASS link below.
The COMPASS site is available in many languages in addition to English.