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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 household.)
  • 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.