Applying for TANF

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) application process has two components:

  1. The work component is handled by employment specialists at Department of Social Services (DSS) offices in reservation areas or Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) Local Offices.

  2. The eligibility component is handled by caseworkers at local DSS offices.

TANF is a work program. You begin the application process with an employment specialist, unless you are not required to participate in a work program. You are not required to participate if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are a dependent child under 16 years old or a
    full-time student in high school.
  • You are a parent taking care of a baby who is under
    12 weeks old. (This only applies to one parent per
  • You are approved to receive Social Security
    Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    payments from the Social Security Administration.
  • You are a veteran who has 100 percent disability
    and are approved to receive disability payments
    from the Veteran’s Administration.

Questions You Will Be Asked

When you begin the application process at your DLR local office or DSS local office, an employment specialist will complete an intake form and ask you the following questions.

You must sign and date the form once you have answered all of the questions.

  1. Are you applying for your own children? If yes, how many children and what is the birth date of your youngest child?

  2. Do you receive SSI or disability Social Security benefits? Are you a 100 percent disabled veteran?

  3. Have you received a TANF payment this month?

  4. Have you ever received cash assistance in another state?

  5. Is there another parent in the household? If yes:

  6. Is the other parent working 100 or more hours per month?

  7. Is the other parent disabled?

  8. Is there a child in the home without both parents?

  9. Have you quit a job, reduced hours or been fired in the last 60 days? If yes, what was the reason?

  10. How much money do you or your children have in checking, savings, CDs, etc?

  11. Are you currently employed? If so what is you total earned income? Do you receive child support, UI or BIA general assistance, or any other income? If so, what are the totals of each.

  12. Do you and your children live alone? Do you live in subsidized housing or get help from anyone else with your housing costs?

  13. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Are you running from the law to avoid prosecution? Have you ever been convicted of receiving duplicate public assistance?

  14. Are you a citizen of the United States?