The TANF Program provides benefits for families with needy children under age 18. The TANF Program is a workforce development and training program 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 childcare and transportation expenses are available to help the adults in the family prepare for employment and promote self-sufficiency.
The purpose of the TANF program is to:
- To provide assistance to needy families with children so that they can live in their own home or the homes of relatives;
- To end the dependency of needy parents on government benefits through work, job preparation, and marriage;
- To reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and
- To promote the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
Questions about your TANF case?
For questions about your TANF case, contact your caseworker directly.
Caseworker information can be found at the top right corner of any notice received from the agency.
For additional assistance, please call TANF/SNAP support at 800.948.3050.
Who is eligible for TANF cash assistance?
To be eligible for TANF, a family must have at least one child living in the house under the age of 18 and a monthly income that is at or below the following gross monthly income limit:
(185% of the poverty level).
Documents you may need for the application and verification process
- Driver’s license
- Work or school ID
- Work badge
- Health insurance ID
- ID for another assistance program
- Voter registration card
- Birth certificates
- Draft cards or military ID
- Medicare Card
- United States Passport
- Proof of where you live
- Rent or lease receipts from landlord
- Utility bills
- Mortgage payment book
- Tax receipts
- Documents showing home address
- Rent or lease receipt from the landlord
- Utility bills (gas, electric, water, etc.)
- Telephone bill
- Property tax statement
- Home owner’s insurance policy
- Mortgage payment books
Proof Of Relationship
- Birth certificates
- Marriage licenses
- Insurance policies
Social Security Numbers
- Social Security Card for each member of the household
- An official document containing the Social Security Number
- Social Security Award Letter
- SSS form for newborns
- Court orders
- Deeds or other documents by which the trust was established
- Childcare or daycare receipts or statements from provider
- Check Stubs
- Statement from employer
- Benefit award letter from Social Security
- Veterans Administration
- Unemployment Compensation
- Business records for self-employed
- Lay off or termination notice
- IRS 1040 Form – for self-employment
- INS 1-151 Alien Registration Receipt Card
- 1-551 Re-entry Permit; 1-94 Arrival-Departure Record
- Medical bills from hospitals or clinics
- Printouts from pharmacist
- Health insurance premium receipt or stub
- Payment agreement with doctor, and/or hospital
- Sold or Transferred
- Sale or transfer papers
- Statement from a licensed physician or medical personnel in a public health or outpatient clinic
Who can receive TANF?
Provides up to 60 months of benefits. Helps with expenses when you are out of work. Builds work-readiness skills. You may also be eligible for the Child Care Payment Program. Serves any size family. Assists with finding a job through the TANF Work Program (TWP).
Families must meet both financial and non-financial requirements established in state law. In general, families must include a child under age 18 and be residents of Mississippi. Children under age 7 must comply with TANF immunization requirements, and children ages 6 to 17 must attend school and have satisfactory attendance. Children age 18 that are included in the Assistance Unit (AU) because they are in school full-time, must have satisfactory school attendance.
Adults who receive TANF and who do not meet a work exemption are required to participate in work activities such as work experience, job search and/or others.
Mississippi provides assistance for 60 months. The maximum allowed by Federal law. States may extend assistance beyond 60 months to up to 20 percent of their caseload provided for hardship.
A hardship exists when both of the following criteria are a barrier to the family’s attainment of self-sufficiency:
- The disability of the grantee relative, other eligible adult, or a household member is a barrier to employment for the grantee relative or other eligible adults; and
- The household’s income does not exceed the Basic 100% Requirement for the TANF Program.
The 60-month time limit is reduced to 24 months for TANF recipients who are determined to be work-eligible individuals but fail, without good cause, to participate satisfactorily in the TANF Work Program (TWP).
This checklist gives examples of the information that may have to be verified to determine your eligibility for SNAP and/or TANF. Use this checklist to help you gather the items needed for your interview.
- Identity of person making application and authorized representative, if applicable
- Divorce decree, marriage license, death certificate for spouse
- Proof of relationship of children to you (TANF only)
- Alien Status for any non-U.S. citizen
- Checking or savings account, or union or bank statement
- Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and places of employment of the absent parent(s) of your children
- Trust funds
- Medical expenses for anyone age 60 or older or disabled
- Stocks and/or savings bonds
- Social Security number for all individuals
- Proof of where you live
- Property owned, sold, or transferred
- Dependent care (child/disabled or aged dependent care)
- Rent and Utility expenses
If you have any current medical documentation to verify a current medical condition, please bring it to your appointment. At the time of your interview, you may be asked to furnish additional information and/or verification, depending on your circumstances.
Failure to keep your initial SNAP or TANF application appointment will cause your SNAP or TANF application to be denied.
You must bring or send verification for each of the items needed to determine your eligibility.
What is a Mississippi Debit MasterCard Card (ePayment/Way2Go Card)?
It is a way of delivering TANF benefits and TANF Work Program supportive service payments to TANF recipients and Child Support payments to custodial parents without issuing paper checks. Cardholders can use the debit card at merchant and bank locations worldwide.
The debit card has a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free Customer Service. The number is 1-855-709-1079. You can call the automated response unit (ARU) to find out how many benefits are left in your account or to inquire about child support payments. You can also report lost, stolen, or damaged cards, get your transaction history, pin or re-pin your card or discuss any problems you are having with your debit card.
You are allowed five (5) free calls to Customer Service each month to ask about your balance or to hear your transaction history. After the fifth call each calendar month, each call will cost you $0.50 (50 cents).
Do not call this number to discuss your TANF eligibility or child support case. Call your worker at the county office to discuss questions about your case. You can find your local county office contact information here.
Helpful Resources & Websites
Federal Student Aid
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)
TANF-ACF-PI-2022-05 (Eligibility of Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees for TANF) | The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)
Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Outreach for State TANF Grantees | The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)
Links open to sites outside of MDHS.ms.gov
Public Hearing Transcript – TANF Drug Testing
Important 2014 TANF Law Change
TANF Policy Manual