Apply For Alabama TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Alabama TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Alabama Family Assistance Program, may help you become self-supportive while receiving monthly cash benefits to meet your everyday needs such as rent, utilities, clothes, transportation, or additional expenses.

Sometimes you may not be eligible to receive TANF for yourself, but a child or children in your household may. The TANF program is administered by the Department of Human Resources. In most cases, in order to qualify for TANF you must meet both types of eligibility, categorical and financial.

Additionally, to qualify for TANF there are work requirements. The AL TANF program requires most adults be employed or participate in certain work-related activities, which you will be assigned for a certain number of hours on a weekly basis in order to continue receiving TANF benefits.

The total number of hours needed to fulfill your work activity requirement depends on your family composition. Qualified state residents are required to produce information including household income, age, citizenship and resources.

Only household members who are eligible for Alabama TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for AL TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Alabama.

Alabama Temporary Cash Assistance

The Alabama Family Assistance Program provides temporary cash assistance for basic needs for low income families with children under age 18 or age 19 if she/he is a full time student in a secondary school or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training. Assistance is issued on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

Alabama Family Assistance Program eligibility requirements

Persons who apply for or receive cash benefits must meet certain requirements. They must help determine eligibility for benefits. They must participate in activities that will help them become able to support and better care for their families. This includes cooperating with child support, JOBS and drug screening. Persons who do not cooperate may be denied or may lose benefits. Below are the technical requirements for this program:

  • The child must live in the home of a parent or other close relative
  • A person can only receive FA benefits as an adult for 5 years in his or her lifetime
  • The child must be under age 18 unless in school. If in school, the child may receive benefits through the month before the 19th birthday or the last month in school, whichever is earlier
  • The child must be a US citizen or a legal, eligible alien
  • The child must live in Alabama. A person who has been convicted of giving a false address to get help from two States at the same time cannot receive benefits for ten years
  • The child cannot be receiving foster care from the Department of Human Resources
  • The child must not be participating in a strike. No family member may receive FA if a parent or stepparent is on strike
  • The relative must cooperate with Child Support unless the Department decides he/she has a good reason not to
  • The relative must turn over all child support payments to the State
  • The relative must give a Social Security number for each member of the assistance unit. If a member does not have a Social Security number, the relative must apply for a number. The number must be provided when received
  • The relative must participate in the JOBS program. The relative must accept a job unless the County Department tells him or her otherwise. Parents under age 18 who are dependent children are required to participate
  • The relative must apply for any other benefits for which they may be eligible, such as Veteran's Benefits, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, etc
  • A parent who is under age 18 and his or her children must live with an adult. This adult must be a relative or a legal guardian. If an adult relative or guardian is not available, the parent under 18 and his or her children must live in an adult-supervised supportive living arrangement
  • The relative must tell the worker about family circumstances. The relative may be asked to prove some or all of the family circumstances with documents
  • A parent under age 18 with a child that is at least 12 weeks old must have a high-school diploma or be in school or a training program
  • The child or relative must not be breaking a condition of parole or probation. The child or relative must not be a convicted felon who is on the run to avoid arrest, trial or jail. The child or relative must not have been convicted of a felony for the use or sale of a controlled substance or having a controlled substance unless his or her sentence has been completed
  • A parent must sign and meet the terms of their Family Responsibility Plan
  • The applicant must participate in job search activities during the application process unless exempt or good cause exists not to do so
  • A parent or stepparent grantee must cooperate with drug screening activities. This means providing information and taking and paying for drug screening(s). Activities are determined on a case by case basis

Family Assistance Program financial requirements

The child must be in need by agency rules and not have parents or stepparents who can support him/her. In need means the family does not have net monthly income that equals or is more than the payment standard and is eligible for at least $10.

TANF benefits by family size

The payment standard is listed below. In determining need, the income of all persons in the assistance unit is counted. Before earned income is counted, a 20% work expense and childcare are subtracted from gross income.

Family Size Payment Standards
1 $165
2 $190
3 $215
4 $245
5 $275
6 $305
7 $335
8 $365
9 $395
10 $425
11 $455
12 $485
13 $515
14 $545
15 $575

Family means all persons included that make up the family size. Generally, persons to be included are the parents and brothers and sisters of the children living in the home. Other children related to the parent(s) such as stepchildren and nieces, etc. may be included.

If a child in a group of brothers and sisters is included, all his/her brothers and sisters who live in the home must be included if eligible. The income of all persons in the unit is used to determine eligibility. A family with income that is equal to or more than the payment standard for the family size is not eligible for FA. Examples of income include:

  • Wages, commissions, salaries
  • Child Support
  • Social Security, VA, and Unemployment compensation
  • Contributions

Family assistance will be paid for recipients who are eligible for at least $10 for up to five years. Benefits are not paid for less than $10.

Where to apply for the Family Assistance Program

You must apply for FA at the Department of Human Resources in the county where you live. The application interview may start with a general explanation of the program to a group of applicants. You must take part in an in-office, private interview with a worker. To find an office near you search the list of Alabama DHR offices.

Reporting requirements

Below list the requirements to report any changes in your family's situation.

  • Applicants
    You must report any changes in your family's situation before your case is awarded
  • Recipients
    You must notify the Department of any change in your family's situation within 10 days. You must give the Department all information needed for a complete review at least every twelve months. The County Department may ask for some of the information needed in a group interview with other recipients

Applying for the Alabama Family Assistance Program

If you want to apply for FA benefits, then click here to download the application form. Once you download the application form, you only have to fill in your name, address, then sign and date. Complete as much of the form as possible.

If you need help, you can contact your local Alabama DHR office and a worker will help you complete the rest of your application. If you need interpreter services due to language or a hearing impairment, let them know so your worker can arrange for help at no cost to you.

FA Program over payments

If you get an over payment for any reason, you will have to pay it back. If you receive an over payment due to fraud you may be subject to prosecution or other penalty.

Issuing FA benefits and restrictions

Benefits are issued through an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. There are restrictions on where the card can be used and what can be bought. Places the card cannot be used are in a liquor, wine or beer store, gambling establishment, strip club, tattoo or body piercing store or a place providing psychic services.

Benefits cannot be used to buy liquor, wine or beer, tobacco products, or lottery tickets. Misuse of the card and benefits results in loss of benefits and payback of monies misused.

Alabama JOBS Program

The Department of Human Resources welfare to work program is called the JOBS program. It provides services and work supports for parents receiving Alabama TANF benefits to assist them in finding and retaining employment.

The goal of this program is to address barriers such as lack of adequate child care, poor access to transportation, domestic violence and substance abuse, all which greatly limit the ability to obtain and retain employment.

Services offered also include employability assessments, job readiness and job skills training, disability assessments and adult education. Following an initial interview which involves individual and family assessments, JOBS case managers provide services directly or by referral to other agencies.

I was denied TANF benefits. What can I do?

State and local agencies are responsible for establishing the eligibility criteria and procedures that apply in their programs, not the Federal government. If you disagree with a decision regarding welfare benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. For more information about your state's appeals procedures, contact the AL TANF office.