Apply For District of Columbia TANF Benefits

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

The DC TANF program has been enhanced by:

  • Eliminating Time Limits: Removing the 60-month time limit for families receiving TANF
  • Enhancing Employment & Training Services: Focus on education and employment programs
  • Improving Customer Service: Providing one-on-one attention to help you meet your goals
  • Increasing Cash Benefits: More cash in the home for children
  • Providing Bonuses: Offering more rewards as you reach your education and employment goals

Washington DC TANF qualifications

In order to qualify for TANF, you must be:

  • A resident of the District of Columbia
  • Either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age
  • A US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident
  • Have low or very low income, and
  • Be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed

Washington DC TANF requirements

DC TANF recipients must attend an Orientation and complete an Assessment and Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) when applying for or re certifying for benefits. The Orientation explains the new requirements for receiving TANF.

The Assessment is a private interview with a DHS specialist that will identify a customer's strengths as well as challenges to determine the best vendor/provider to help the customer move toward self-sufficiency. If you do not attend the Orientation and complete the Assessment and IRP when required, you will not be eligible to receive TANF benefits.

What is an IRP?

The Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP), is developed by the help from people of DC along with a Vocational Development Specialist (VDS) from the Department of Human Services. It lists your goals, and career interests, and the steps needed to achieve self-sufficiency.

You are required to complete the activities in your IRP, which may include going to work or attending school. You can modify your IRP, but you will need to work with your case manager to make changes.

If you do not follow your IRP, and you do not have a documented good cause, you will be sanctioned. A sanction is a temporary reduction in TANF benefits applied to your case until you are in compliance with your IRP for four weeks. You are required to report to OWO to update your IRP.

In order to complete the Orientation and Assessment, you will be assigned to a vendor/service provider based on the results of your assessment. You will also be eligible to apply for assistance with child care.

Apply for DC TANF benefits

To start the application process, you need to download the application form and fill it out. To get the form, click here. All application forms must be signed and dated and submitted to ESA in order to begin processing. Find an ESA service center near you.

An interview will be required to determine if you qualify for TANF. They recommend taking the following documents with you to the interview. If you are in need of an accommodation, you may request a waiver form.

Proof of income
Recent pay-stubs; statement showing retirement income, disability income, or Workers Compensation; pension statement; etc.

Proof of assets
Recent bank and checking account statements, etc.

Proof of DC residency
DC driver's license, lease, rent receipt, written statement from your landlord, utility or telephone bill, etc.

Social security number
Social Security card; tax or payroll documents with your SSN on it; DC driver's license with your SSN on it; etc. (Not required for Food Stamp-only applicants.)

Medical exam report/disability
Recent medical report (or Form 856) and any supporting materials from your doctor.

Immigration information
Employment Authorization card, I-94, visa, passport, or other documents from the INS.

Birth certificate (full copy) for your child(ren) or official records from a school, court, hospital, etc.

Living with
Statements from two non-relatives or school records.

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 DC TANF office.