Apply For Alaska TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Alaska TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP), 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 Health and Social Services. 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 AK 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 Alaska TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for AK TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Alaska.

Alaska TANF family eligibility

To be eligible for the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program, a family must have less than $2,000 in countable resources, or $3,000 if the family includes an individual who is 60 or older. A family's home, personal property, household goods and most vehicles do not count as a resource.

The family must also have countable income less than the ATAP income limit. When an adult goes to work, a portion of their earnings is disregarded as an incentive to work.

The amount of the disregards decreases over a 5-year period. The amount of cash assistance a family receives depends on the family's size, income and shelter expenses. Families with low shelter cost will have their benefits reduced. If both parents live in the same household and both work, only one parent can be included in the size of the household.

TANF benefits by family size

Family Size 185% Standard Need Standard Max Shelter Max Payment
Adult Included (This also applies to 2-parent families in which both parents are able to work. In such cases do not include the family size.)
2 $2,671 $1,444 $433 $821
3 $3,006 $1,625 $487 $923
4 $3,342 $1,807 $542 $1,025
5 $3,679 $1,989 $596 $1,127
6 $4,014 $2,170 $651 $1,229
7 $4,351 $2,352 $705 $1,331
Each Add. $338 $183 $54 $102
Two Parent Family (With one parent physically or mentally unable to work full time.)
3 $3,006 $1,625 $487 $923
4 $334 $1,807 $542 $1,025
5 $3,679 $1,989 $596 $1,127
6 $4,014 $2,170 $651 $1,229
7 $4,351 $2,352 $705 $1,331
8 $4,687 $2,534 $760 $1,433
Each Add. $338 $183 $54 $102
Child Only
1 $1,467 $793 N/A $452
2 $1,800 $973 N/A $554
3 $2,136 $1,155 N/A $656
4 $2,473 $1,337 N/A $758
5 $2,808 $1,518 N/A $860
6 $3,143 $1,699 N/A $962
7 $3,478 $1,880 N/A $1,064
Each Add. $338 $183 N/A $102
Pregnant Woman
1 $1,668 $902 270 $514

How to apply for Alaska TANF benefits

To start the process, click here to download the application form and see what public assistance programs you may qualify for. To get a benefit start date, simply fill out page 7 of the application form including your legal name, address and signature. To apply for Alaska TANF online, click here. It could take up to 30 days to process your public assistance application.

You will be required to go to an interview before they can determine if you are eligible for assistance. You may schedule an interview at the Public Assistance office. If you cannot attend an interview in person, contact the Public Assistance office so other arrangements can be made. Your application will be denied if you do not attend an interview within 30 days.

You may need to being the following information to your interview, we recommend when you call to schedule your interview at your local TANF office, verify with the staff what information you need to bring with you.

  • Identity
    Examples include a birth certificate, driver's license or state identification card, health benefits identification card, voter registration card or a passport
  • Earned income
    Examples include pay stubs, statement from employer as to gross wages income tax forms or self-employment bookkeeping records
  • Unearned income
    Examples include bank statement showing direct deposits, agency letter showing money received such as Social Security (SSI), Veteran's Affairs benefits (VA), child support, alimony, unemployment, and retirement
  • Proof of residency
    Examples include utility bills such as electric, gas and water, rental agreement or mortgage statement that shows your address
  • Immigration status
    immigration or naturalization papers (not required if you are only applying for children who were born in the US)
  • Child support
    Examples include paternity, custody and support orders divorce or dissolution decrees
  • Other documents
    You may need to bring additional documentation including proof of pregnancy, and due date if someone in your household is pregnant, proof of application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), eviction notices or utility shut off notice or court orders (adoption records)

Alaska TANF Work Requirement

One of the goals for the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program is to move eligible residents into jobs that can support their family. In order to obtain this goal, they use what is called a "Work First" approach. The best possible way to succeed in the labor market is to get a job, then develop more skills and work habits on the job to advance and leave assistance.

Alaska TANF participants are required to look for paid employment. Individuals who cannot find immediate paid employment participate in activities that focus on gaining skills and experience that lead directly to employment, and increase the family's self-sufficiency. Such activities include community work experience, job skills and life skills training, adult basic education and GED preparation.

TANF Child Care

For most families, the cost of raising a child can be a big financial burden. Safe and affordable childcare is a must if families are to move into the job market. The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program provides help with child care costs so that the adults in the family can work or participate in activities that will move them toward self-sufficiency.

TANF Support Services

Families who are looking to go back to work will need a wide variety of services to help them find and keep a job. Services available through the Alaska TANF program include help with transportation costs, such as vehicle repairs and driver's license, interview clothing and personal grooming, and special tools, clothing, and equipment needed for employment. In addition, On-the-Job Training and wage supplementation programs are available.

The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program:

  • Imposes a 60-month lifetime limit on assistance
  • Requires families to complete a Family Self-Sufficiency Plan, identify self-sufficiency goals and work or participate in activities that will move them toward those goals
  • Prohibits making purchases with or accessing cash benefits on EBT cards at any ATMs that are located in bars, liquor stores, gambling or adult entertainment establishments
  • Limits additional assistance for second parents, and reduces benefits for two-parent families during July, August, and September when there are better opportunities for employment
  • Requires cooperation with the Child Support Services Division in establishing paternity for the children, locating the absent parent, and collecting any child support the absent parent is responsible for paying
When do I need to report changes?

You must report changes in your household within 10 days of when you know of the change. If you receive Alaska Temporary Assistance and a child leaves your home, you must report this within 5 days.

What changes do I need to report?

If you receive public assistance services, the changes you must report include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Starting or stopping a job, change in wage rate, change from part-time to full-time, or full-time to part-time
  • When money you receive from sources other than working changes by more than $50
  • Someone moves into or out of your home
  • You move or get a new mailing address
  • Your household gets a vehicle
  • Your household has more than $2250 total in cash and money in bank
  • Changes in your child support payment or obligation
  • Changes in your medical insurance if you or anyone in your household gets Medicaid
  • Pregnancy changes
What happens with my Child Support?

Alaska must collect child support and medical support from any parent who has the duty to pay support for a child receiving Alaska Temporary Assistance. This includes any money owed to you at the time you apply, as well as current and future child support payments. Any child support payments given or paid to you while receiving Alaska Temporary Assistance benefits must be reported and turned over to the State immediately.

To change a child support order, you must obtain a new court order or get permission from the Child Support Services Division (CSSD). If you believe you have a good reason not to cooperate with CSSD for these programs, you must tell your caseworker immediately. You may be asked to provide information to support your reason.

When you apply for Alaska Temporary Assistance you must:

  • Sign over to CSSD your right to receive and keep child support payments due to you or a child on Alaska Temporary Assistance
  • Cooperate with CSSD in establishing paternity
  • Agree not to make purchases with or to access the cash benefits on your EBT card at ATM's that are located in bars, liquor stores, gambling or adult entertainment establishments

Responsibility for TANF overpayment

If you receive an overpayment of Public Assistance benefits or receive services to which you are not entitled, you may be financially responsible for repaying the overpayment or cost of services to the State of Alaska.

This may be true even if the overpayment or improper authorization of services is due to an error on the part of the Department of Health and Social Services. By accepting benefits or services, you must understand and agree that you may have a responsibility for the repayment of benefits or services to which you were not entitled.

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 AK TANF office.