SB 2791 approved first TANF increase in 21 years

(Jackson, Miss.) – Mississippians receiving benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will see their benefits increase by $90 beginning today, three months ahead of the originally published timeline of July 2021. On May 1, families of three will see their benefits increase from the current level of $170 per month to $260 per month.


In addition, retroactive TANF payments will be issued for the month of April 2021.  On April 30, payments will be issued to make up the difference between the TANF benefit amount issued April 1 and the new amount for which the household will be eligible.  For example, a three-person household that received the maximum amount of $170 April 1 will receive an additional $90 on April 30, for a total April payment of $260.


“I’m very grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for approving and signing the bill authorizing this historic increase,” said Robert G. “Bob” Anderson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. “Therefore, I felt it was critical to get this increase to the people who need it as quickly as possible.”


Prior to the senate vote, individual TANF disbursements in Mississippi had not seen an increase since 1999.


Implemented in Mississippi on October 1, 1996, TANF provides benefits for families with needy children under age 18. The TANF Program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency through employment and training activities provided by the TANF Work Program (TWP). TANF supportive services such as assistance with child care and transportation expenses are available to help the adults in the family prepare for employment and to promote self-sufficiency.


The goal of TANF is to end the dependence on public assistance by preparing recipients for a job by helping them with job readiness training, job skills training, vocational training, other educational training programs and assisting you in finding and keeping a job.


To be eligible for TANF, a family must have a dependent under the age of 18 and be residents of the state of Mississippi. The gross monthly income limit for a family of three is currently $680. Other requirements for TANF assistance include:

  • Cooperation with Child Support is a requirement of receiving TANF benefits.
  • Cooperation with the TANF Work Program (TWP) is a requirement of receiving TANF unless the adult in the family meets an exemption.
  • Registering with Mississippi Works and completion of the Substance Abuse Screening Inventory are required for TANF application approval.
  • TANF benefits and TANF Work Program Supportive Service payments are issued to a Mississippi Debit MasterCard® Card.  Paper checks are not issued.


To apply for TANF, you must submit a TANF application to the Department of Human Services office in the county where you live. The application is available online or you may request an application by phone, in person, or by mail from the county office.


For more information on the TANF program, eligibility requirements, and how to apply, visit




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