Apply For Connecticut TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Connecticut TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Connecticut Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), 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 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 CT 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 Connecticut TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for CT TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Connecticut.

Connecticut TANF eligibility

Below shows who is eligible for Connecticut TANF, TFA (Temporary Family Assistance):

  • Families with dependent children up to age 18
  • Families with dependent children who are 18 years of age or older - but the child must be fill-time student in high school or vocational school
  • Recipients must live in Connecticut, have very little or no income, and be supporting a child or children. In some cases, a pregnant woman may qualify if she has no other means of support and meets other eligibility factors
  • The child or children in the household must live with a related adult or an adult who has filed for guardianship through probate court. Many TFA-eligible households are grandparents caring for grandchildren

Connecticut TANF requirements

Below show the eligibility requirements for TFA:

  • Adult recipients must participate in Jobs First Employment Services activities, coordinated by the Department of Labor
  • Custodial parents must provide information to help in collecting child support from a parent who is not living in the home

TANF income limits

Below list the income limits to be eligible for Connecticut TFA:

  • Income limits are extremely low and vary throughout the state. The "Am I Eligible" pre-screening tool at is a helpful information resource
  • Income of a non-parent relative of guardian does not count when the relative or guardian does not receive TFA for themselves. This is especially relevant when grandparents are caring for grandchildren
  • Active TFA-eligible households can earn up to the federal poverty level for their household size and remain eligible

Below are the asset limits to be eligible for TFA:

  • The household asset limit is $3,000
  • One vehicle is excluded as long as the total value, minus and amount owed, is under $9,500, or used to transport a household member with a disability
  • The value all of all other vehicles after the first vehicle counts toward the $3,000 asset limit
  • Home property is not counted, however, a lien is placed so the state can recover benefit amounts paid after the sale of the owned property
  • Assets of a non-parent relative or guardian are not counted when the relative or guardian does not receive TFA for themselves

TFA time limits

Connecticut TANF benefits have a 21-month time limit for benefits issued, unless an exemption from the time limit is granted. See exemptions below.

  • Under certain circumstances, benefits may continue beyond 21 months
  • Recipients cannot receive more than 60 months of TFA in a lifetime, counting benefits received in other states (federal rule)

Exemptions to the time limit or work requirements may be given under the following circumstances:

  • A disability, either physical or mental, that prevents a person from working
  • If a recipient is 60 years of age or older, while caring for a dependent child
  • If a recipient is caring for a child under the age of 1
  • If a recipient is caring for a household member with a disability
  • A non-parent relative or guardian like a grandparent who only receives cash for children in his or her care

How to apply for Connecticut TANF

There are 3 ways you can apply for the TFA program. They are listed below:

Apply for TANF online

Visit the ConneCT website at to apply online.

Apply for TANF in person

To apply for Connecticut TANF in person you first need to click here to download the application. Then find a DSS Service Center near you to complete the application and submit it.

Apply for TANF by phone

To request an application by mail, call the DSS Client Information Line and Benefit Center at 855-CONNECT (855-626-6632. TTD/TTY 1-800-842-4524 for persons with speech or hearing difficulties)

If you downloading the application and filled it out you can either take it to your local DSS Service Center and start the application process there, or you can mail it to:

DSS Scanning Center
PO Box 1320
Manchester, CT 06045-1320

Once they receive your TANF application, they will review it and contact you if they need more information. If you apply for Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), then you are required to have an in person office interview as a condition of eligibility unless waived by the Department.

They may need you to prove things that you tell them. It will take no more than 45 days from the date you submitted your application to determine if you qualify for TANF or not.

Documents needed when applying for TANF

You may have to provide them with copies of certain proofs (sometimes called verification's). Proof of identity, address, social security numbers, citizenship status, income, assets, expenses, and more for each individual listed in the application form may be necessary. The proofs they are looking for can include:

  • Household Members
  • Birth certificates
  • Baptismal records
  • Marriage papers
  • Divorce Papers
  • Non-Citizen status resident card (I-551)
  • Arrival / Departure Form (I-94)
  • Shelter and Utility Costs
  • Lease
  • Latest rent receipt
  • Utility bill
  • Letter from your landlord
  • Mortgage bill
  • Property tax bill
  • Homeowner's insurance policy
  • Income
  • Pay stubs (proof of the last 4 weeks of wages)
  • IRS form 1040 including all schedules
  • Bookkeeping records for self-employment
  • Award Letter (for SSA or VA benefits, etc.)
  • Assets
  • Bank statements
  • Trust fund agreements
  • Stocks/bonds/US savings bonds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Letter from a financial institution
  • Car registration
  • Deeds
  • Legal agreements
  • Medical Insurance and Expenses
  • Medical cards
  • Medical bills
  • Child Support Costs
  • Court order to pay child support
  • Cancelled checks
  • Wage withholding statements
  • Statement from custodial parent of amount you pay
  • Students
  • Signed school verification letter (W-1446 - this is a DSS form)
  • Report card or a statement from a school official (less than 30 days old)

Send copies of these proofs in along with your Connecticut TANF application form. Providing them proof can help you receive your benefits sooner. You can also bring them in person to a DSS office.

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 CT TANF office.