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Welfare benefits or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded, state-run program. Also known as welfare, TANF helps families financially after experiencing hardship.

Recipients may qualify for help with:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Home energy
  • Child care
  • Job training

Each state or tribal government runs its TANF program differently and has a different name.

Find out if you are eligible for TANF and apply

Every state or tribal territory has its own rules for who's eligible for financial help, services, or other benefits. You must be a resident of the state where you are applying.

Find your local TANF office

Check your TANF balance

Every state issues TANF benefits electronically on a debit card or through direct deposit. But some also issue benefits with paper checks. 

If you receive your benefits electronically:

  • Check the receipt from the store where you made your purchase using a TANF card. Many stores will print the amount of money left on your card.
  • Find out if your state offers a mobile app to help manage your benefits and check your available balance.
  • Look for a phone number on the back of your card. The number may be for your local TANF office, which can tell you your balance.

Report TANF fraud, ask a question, or file a complaint

If you suspect possible welfare fraud or have a question or complaint about TANF:

LAST UPDATED: December 8, 2023


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