Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Organization: DC Department of Human Services (DHS)

The District’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides cash assistance to families in need, along with a suite of services to facilitate their path to success. Families enrolled in the District’s TANF program may receive benefits so long as they are income eligible and have a child in the home. TANF also offers access to a variety of supportive services they can bundle together to meet their individual needs. DHS employs a Two-Generation Approach to reaching and serving families so children and parents can rise together.

Through the TANF program customers gain access to supportive services including but not limited to:

TANF Employment Program (TEP) – provides coaching towards education and employment goals, but can also coach parents on goals they have for their child(ren) and families
Child Care Subsidy – allows parents to enroll their child(ren) in quality childcare, including before and aftercare
Behavioral, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Support – connects customers to Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) to obtain counseling to cope and manage behavioral, mental, emotional, or substance abuse issues for parents or their child(ren)
Tuition Assistance Program Initiative for TANF (TAPIT) – financial assistance to enroll in post-secondary educational programs or professional certificate and/or licensing programs
Service Category: Money
Service Eligibility: Income-based
Application: Individuals interested in applying for one or more TANF, SNAP, or Medicaid/Medical Assistance program will complete the Combined Application For Public Benefit. For more information on how to apply, visit https://dhs.dc.gov/page/apply-benefits. To qualify for TANF you must be: A resident of the District of Columbia; Either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age; A U.S. citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident; Meet income requirements based on household size (see Income Requirement table below); Complete orientation and assessment through the Office of Work Opportunity (OWO); and Develop an Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP). If you are approved for TANF, unless you are exempt, you must engage with a service provider and maintain compliance with your IRP. Some customers enrolled in the TANF program may seek an exemption from work requirements. Examples of exemption reasons include but are not limited to: Being pregnant Having a child under age one Experiencing domestic violence Having a physical disability that limits work