Apply For Louisiana TANF Benefits

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

The goal of FITAP is to decrease the long-term dependency on welfare assistance by promoting job preparation and work. Public assistance is no longer a lifetime benefit but an opportunity to become independent after a financial crisis.

Louisiana TANF payments

The graph shows how much assistance a family receives based on family size.

Number of Persons FITAP Flat Grant Amounts
1 $122
2 $188
3 $240
4 $284
5 $327
6 $366
7 $402
8 $441
9 $477
10 $512

The average family consists of a mother and two children. The average grant in Louisiana is $200 per month.

Louisiana TANF eligibility

To be eligible for the Louisiana TANF program, the family must meet all the conditions listed below:


The client must be living in the state, must intend to make a home here and the stay cannot be temporary.


The client must be a US citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.


A family must be considered financially needy to be eligible. This means that income available to care for the child does not meet his needs. DCFS has standard amounts based on the number of persons included in the grant. Income is subtracted from these amounts to determine need.


All applicants or recipients must provide or apply for a Social Security number for each member of the assistance unit.


Children must be under the age of 18 to be eligible or 18 years of age and enrolled full-time in a secondary school or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training.


In order to receive FITAP assistance for a child, an individual must be a qualified relative by meeting certain relationship requirements, i.e., must be related by blood, marriage or adoption.


It must be verified that the child actually lives in the same home with the qualified relative.

Child Support Enforcement

The client must assign any child support and medical support rights to the state, and must cooperate with the agency's Child Support Enforcement Services in establishing paternity and obtaining child support and medical support from the absent parent(s), unless good cause has been established.


Work eligible applicants and recipients are required to participate in the STEP Program.


Monthly countable income, both earned and unearned, cannot exceed the flat grant amount for the number of persons in the assistance unit. Total countable income is subtracted from the flat grant amount to determine the client's grant amount. The allowable earned income deductions are:

  • Standard earned income deduction of $120 for each employed member
  • Dependent care deductions may be allowable for each employed member. Certain requirements must be met to qualify for this deduction
  • Time limited deduction of $900 for six months for each employed member

Sufficient evidence of immunity or immunization against vaccine preventable diseases according to the Office of Public Health schedule, or evidence that such an immunization program is in progress, must be provided for each recipient under the age of 18.

Parenting skills training

Each applicant/recipient who is pregnant or has a child under the age one must attend parenting skills training.

Time limits

The family is ineligible to receive assistance if a parent or either parent in a two-parent family has received benefits for 24 of the prior 60 months. There is a 60 month lifetime limit if the assistance unit includes a parent/caretaker relative.

Minor parent restriction

Minor unmarried parents and their children must reside in the home of a parent, legal guardian, other adult relative or in an adult-supervised living arrangement in order to qualify for assistance.

Drug screening

Applicants/recipients age 18 and over must cooperate in screening for the use of illegal drugs, and, if necessary, drug testing, education and rehabilitation.

Apply for Louisiana TANF

You can apply online for TANF benefits by going to Or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the TANF application form and fill it out by hand. Once done you can mail the form to the Document Processing Center at:

DCFS Economic Stability
P.O. Box 260031
Baton Rouge, LA 70826

Or fax it to 225-663-3164. If you have questions about applying, then they recommend you contact a DCFS office for assistance. To view a list of locations, find a DCFS office near you.

Written information will help the local office to make a determination of eligibility promptly. For example, a birth certificate, baptismal record, or school record will show the child's age and relationship to the parent. If someone else applies, additional information is needed to establish the child's relationship to the applicant. A decision should be made within 30 days.

Income from all sources must be taken into account in determination of eligibility and amount of grant. This includes income from Social Security, veteran's benefits, Railroad Retirement, or wages, and any other regular income. However, the law exempts certain income.

The person who receives the benefits must notify the Economic Stability parish office of any changes in address, residence, living arrangements, resources, and income according to the requirements of the reporting system to which they are assigned.

How TANF benefits are issued

The benefits are put on a EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. Louisiana uses magnetic stripe card technology. The card, which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase Card enables recipients to access benefits at ATM's and Point-of-Sale (POS) machines.

Cash benefits are posted to recipient accounts during the first five days of the month. Recipient benefits are accessible by 5am the morning after they are posted. Benefits are posted on the same date every month regardless of the day of the week. Holidays and weekends do not affect the date of benefit availability.

Benefits are secure and accessible only to persons authorized by the recipient. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is selected by the recipient and must be correctly entered in order to successfully complete all electronic transactions.

As purchases or cash withdrawals are made at grocery store checkout lanes and ATM's, recipient accounts are debited and the recipient is given a receipt which provides the remaining account balance. If you need to check the balance on your Louisiana Purchase Card, click here.

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 LA TANF office.