Apply For Arizona TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Arizona TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Arizona Cash Assistance, 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 Economic Security. 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 AZ 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 Arizona TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for AZ TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Arizona.

Arizona Cash Assistance eligibility

Eligibility for the AZ Cash Assistance program is based on the following:

  • Citizenship
  • Qualified non-citizen resident status
  • Arizona residency
  • Limits on resources and
  • Monthly income eligibility guidelines

Adults receiving Arizona TANF benefits are required to complete and sign a Personal Responsibility Agreement. This agreement specifies compliance with the Jobs Program and the DES Child Support Services, as well as immunizing children and making sure they attend school, if applicable.

Prior to applying you can use their online screening tool to see if you qualify for TANF. Though the best way to know if you are eligible is to download the application, fill it out and go through the TANF application process.

Personal Responsibility Agreement

To be eligible for Arizona TANF, you must sign the PRA (Personal Responsibility Agreement (Unless you are only applying for children). By signing, you are agreeing that all household members will:

  • Prepare for and accept a job
  • Not voluntarily quit a job without good cause
  • Not illegally sell, possess or use a controlled substance
  • Keep the children's immunizations up to date
  • Make sure all children ages 6 through 15 attend school
  • Cooperate with the rules of Cash Assistance, the Jobs Administration, and Child Care Administration and
  • Cooperate with the DES Child Support Services, when applicable

If you feel you have a good reason as to why you cannot comply with the Personal Responsibility Agreement requirements, notify your eligibility interviewer. When the PRA is required, your TANF benefits will be denied if you refuse to sign it. When you are approved and you do not cooperate with the conditions of the PRA, the household will be penalized as follows:

  • First time: 50 percent reduction of the family's Cash Assistance benefits
  • More than one: Cash Assistance benefits are stopped
  • For TPEP, payments are withheld for one pay cycle until you cooperate. When three benefit cycles are withheld, the TPEP case is closed

Pascua Yaqui and Hopi Tribal TANF budgetary units have different sanction requirements. If you need further assistance, contact the Tribal TANF office.

TANF income eligibility guidelines

The Cash Assistance program is only provided for any assistance unit residing in a family in need. Families consist of the head of household, which is a parent or non-parent, their minor children, the spouse's minor children, dependent children for whom Cash Assistance is requested, and all minor siblings of the dependent children. To be considered a needy family, the countable income of a family may not exceed the following:

  • 30% of the current federal poverty level for families in which the head-of-household is a non-parent relative requesting Cash Assistance only for the dependent children
  • 100% of the current federal poverty level for all other families

Please note, the needy family income test does not apply to families requesting Cash Assistance, it is only for a dependent child who is in the legal custody of the Department of Child Safety and who is placed in unlicensed foster care.

The assistance unit includes all members of a needy family for whom Cash Assistance is requested and who meet all the non-financial eligibility factors. When determining the amount of AZ TANF benefits, the countable income of the assistance unit is considered.

Also, the income of the parent or parents and minor siblings who are not included in the assistance unit are counted.

130% Needy Family Monthly Income Standard
Number of Participants 130% of Federal Poverty Level
1 $1,316
2 $1,784
3 $2,252
4 $2,720
5 $3,188
6 $3,656
7 $4,124
8 $4,592
Each Add. $468
100% Needy Family Monthly Income Standard
Number of Participants 130% of Federal Poverty Level
1 $1,012
2 $1,372
3 $1,732
4 $2,092
5 $2,452
6 $2,812
7 $3,172
8 $3,532
Each Add. $360

For the Arizona TANF program, a 2-payment standard exist called (A1 and A2). When determined that a family is in need, the countable income of the assistance unit residing in the family may not exceed the applicable payment standard in order for the assistance unit to be eligible for the Arizona Cash Assistance program.

The CA benefit amounts are determined using one of the two payment standards which are based on whether the assistance unit has a shelter cost. The payment standards are as follows:

A1 Payment Standard

Used when the participant has an obligation to pay allowable shelter costs such as rent, mortgage, taxes, etc.

Number of Participants Monthly Payment Standard
1 $164
2 $220
3 $278
4 $335
5 $392
6 $449
7 $506
8 $563
9 $620
10 $677
11 $734
12 $791
A2 Payment Standard

Used when the participant is not eligible for the A1 Standard.

Number of Participants Monthly Payment Standard
1 $103
2 $139
3 $175
4 $211
5 $247
6 $283
7 $319
8 $355
9 $391
10 $427
11 $463
12 $499
Information needed to apply

If applying for the first time, or renewing your Arizona TANF benefits, you will need one or more of the following information to complete your application:

  • Proof of citizenship and identity for everyone who is applying for benefits
  • Alien Registration Cards, if there are non-U.S. citizens applying for benefits in your household
  • Name, address & daytime phone number of landlord or neighbor
  • Social Security numbers for everyone, or proof that a Social Security number has been applied for
  • A statement verifying your address and the names of everyone living with you. The statement must be made by a non-relative who doesn't live with you. It must be signed, dated and include that person's address and telephone number
  • Proof of savings bonds, securities, retirement plans and life insurance
  • Proof of all money your household received from any source last month and this month
  • Proof that your employment ended and last date paid
  • Bank or credit union (savings or checking) complete statement for the most recent month
  • Proof of rent/mortgage and utility bills (electric, water, gas, etc.) for the most recent month
  • Proof of relationship, birth certificates may be used
  • Proof of child care expenses for the most recent month

Applying for Arizona TANF

To start the application process you will need to submit your completed application and required documentation. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for TANF benefits. The following are ways that you can apply:

What happens after you apply

You will need to complete an eligibility interview via phone or in person at one of their local TANF offices. They recommend that you have income information, ID, Social Security numbers, and Citizenship verification at the interview. During your interview, they will review your information in order to see if you qualify for TANF.

At the end of your interview, they will let you know if any additional information is needed to help them decide your case. They will also send you a letter asking for this information. You may be eligible for one large lump-sum payment through the Grant Diversion Program. Ask your eligibility interviewer about this program during your interview.

When will I know if I am approved?

They will make a decision based off the information you provided and the application you submitted within the next 45 days from the date you submitted your Arizona TANF application.

When a decision is made regarding your case, you will be mailed a letter with the results. You can also monitor the status of your application online at Health-e-Arizona Plus or MyFamilyBenefits.

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 AZ TANF office.