Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is Nevada’s welfare program that provides cash benefits to families with children. TANF cash assistance is defined as cash payments provided to cover a family’s ongoing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, etc. The TANF program is administered by the Department of Welfare and Social Services (DWSS).
There are two cash assistance programs available under TANF. These are NEON and the Child Only program. The NEON program is designed to provide monthly cash assistance payments to needy families with work eligible household members. Each work eligible family member must create a Personal Responsibility Plan and comply with the goals and work related requirements contained in the plan in order to remain elgibile.
Under the Child Only program, children are provided cash assistance while adults in the household who are not eligible to work are not. Examples of child only households that may be eligible for TANF cash assistance include:
- Ineligible Adults with Citizen Child(ren)
- Parents who receive SSI
- Non-Needy Relative Caregivers
- Kinship Care Program
If you are not eligible under one of the above categories, you may be eligible for other TANF programs, but these are not considered assistance programs. Other programs you may be eligible for include the Self Sufficiency Grant program, the TANF loan program, and the Temporary Assistance program. These programs are temporary in nature and require specific circumstances in order to qualify.
- SSG: The Self-Sufficiency Grant (SSG) is a one-time lump-sum payment designed to meet immediate needs until regular income is received from employment, child support or other ongoing sources. The goal is not to provide ongoing welfare benefits, but to provide an opportunity for families otherwise eligible for TANF temporary assistance before starting employment or receiving permanent recurring income.
- TANF Loan: The TANF Loan program is designed to provide monthly payments to TANF eligible households while they await an application for future benefits, such as social security benefits, or other source of future permanent income. The family must agree to repay the loan when they receive the future income either with a lump sum payment or monthly recurring payment.
- TEMP: Temporary Assistance is available for only 4 months to families experiencing a crisis situation.
To qualify for TANF benefits, you must:
- Have at least one child under 18 years old, or 18 and attending school and expecting to graduate before turning 19, or be at least 6 months pregnant.
- Meet Nevada State Welfare’s income and resource requirements.
- Be a United States citizen or eligible legal resident.
- Cooperate with child support enforcement.
Income Requirements: Income is any type of payment which is a gain or benefit to a household. Income is considered available both when actually available and when the individual
has a legal interest in the income and has the ability to make such sum available. Therefore, every applicant for benefits is required to pursue income that may be available to them before qualifying. Income may be earned or uneared. If income is earned, a household may be eligible for disregards of earned income that would have made them ineligible to promote working while receiving benefits. The amount and availability of the TANF benefit amount depends on the countable income determined by DWSS.
Resource Requirements: Resources are assets or possessions which an applicant can convert to cash to meet immediate needs. Income cannot be counted as both income and a resource in the same month (e.g., earned income is budgeted on the case and pay checks are also deposited in the bank each pay day). Examples of resources are cash, bank accounts, out-of-state Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cash accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles (RVs) not used as a residence, buildings, land and mineral rights. A household must not have over $2000 in countable resources to be eligible for TANF benefits.
You need to fill out and return the application form to your local welfare office. Application forms are available online, at your local welfare office, or you may request an application be mailed to you. You can turn in the application by mailing, faxing, or dropping it off at your local welfare office. A list of local offices can be found here.
- Participate in the NEON work program
- Report all changes in household, income, job, resources, or expenses by the fifth of the following month after they occur. The form to report these changes is available at the welfare office or online.
All recipients of TANF cash assistance must participate in NEON except:
- Single parents caring for a child under 1 year
- A parent caring for a disabled family member
- Single custodial parents with children under 6 years old who are able to prove appropriate child care is unavailable, unsuitable, or unaffordable
- Non-parent relatives who are over 60 years old and are getting TANF for themselves
- Head of households caring for an ill or incapacitated member of the household
- Anyone receiving only TANF-related Medicaid and not TANF cash benefits
Yes. There is a lifetime limit of 60 months (this does not have to be consecutive). In addition, in Nevada, after receiving TANF benefits for 24 months (this does not have to be consecutive) recipients are ineligible to receive benefits for 12 consecutive months. Time limits do not apply to households with no “work eligible” adults.
You have the right to appeal a decision regarding your benefits. You must be notified of the decision regarding your benefits or application in writing. If you disagree with the decision, you can request a conference, a hearing, or both. The request should be made in writing. The request must be received within 90 days of the decision. Nevada Legal Services may assist you appeal.