Apply For Maine TANF Benefits

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

Maine TANF eligibility

You can use their online pre-screening tool to see if you are eligible for Maine TANF benefits. To complete this screener you will need the following information:

  • Household size (how many people live with you, who you share living expenses like childcare or groceries with)
  • Gross monthly income (money you or your household members get each month from things like work, unemployment, child support, etc.)
  • Housing cost (like monthly rent, mortgage, etc.)

If your gross income, after taking out SSI and child support if necessary, is at or lower than the number in the chart for your family size, you are probably eligible for TANF.

Standard gross income chart

Number in Household Gross Income
1 $485
2 $762
3 $1,023
4 $1,286
5 $1,548
6 $1,811
7 $2,072
8 $2,335
Each Add. +$262

Gross income chart housing costs 50% or more of gross income

Number in Household Gross Income
1 $578
2 $855
3 $1,116
4 $1,379
5 $1,641
6 $1,904
7 $2,165
8 $2,427
Each Add. +$189

Apply for Maine TANF

You can apply online for the Maine TANF program at Or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the TANF application and submit it in-person at your local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office.

To view a list of locations, find a DHHS office near you. The application should be filled out by you or an adult member of your household, or a relative, friend or authorized representative who knows the financial situation of all household members.

If you would like to appoint an authorized representative to act on behalf of the household you may do so by filling out an Appointment of Representative form. Please note, they may require you give them proof of much of the information you list on your application.

When applying for Maine TANF benefits, you will be required to have an interview before they can determine if you are eligible for assistance. If you mail the application to them, they will schedule an interview for you. If you do not want to apply in-person and want to mail it in, then the address to mail it in is:

Office for Family Independence
State of Maine - DHHS
114 Corn Shop Lane
Farmington, ME 04938

You can also fax your TANF application to 207-778-8429.

Documents needed to apply for TANF

The proof needed may depend on the programs you are applying for. Below is a list of items you may need to verify along with examples.

  • Identity/Citizenship
  • Driver's license or state identification card
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Immigration or naturalization documents
  • Earned income
  • Pay stubs (most recent 4 weeks)
  • Employer statement verifying gross wages
  • Federal income tax return (if self-employed)
  • Self-employment business records (for 3 months)
  • Statements from roomer/boarder
  • Verification of Income ending if in last 60 days
  • Assets
  • Bank Statements
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Retirement Funds (IRA/Keogh/401K)
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Burial funds
  • Stocks/bonds/mutual funds
  • Residence
  • Rental agreement or mortgage statement
  • Utility bills such as electric, gas and water
  • Unearned income
  • Social Security Award Letter
  • Pension/Retirement statement
  • Alimony
  • Child support court order
  • Unemployment/workers compensation benefits
  • Interest/dividend statements
  • Financial aid award letter
  • Veteran/military benefits
  • Expenses
  • Lease or rental agreement
  • Homeowner's insurance policy
  • Utility bills
  • Property tax/mortgage bills
  • Medical expense deductions (age 60 or older; disabled)
  • Billing statements
  • Itemized receipts for medical expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Receipts/statement from the provider
  • Other documents
  • Copies of medical insurance cards
  • Student loan interest statement
Do I need to give a social security number when I apply?

Applicants are required to provide their social security number if they have one. If there are members of the household who do not wish to receive benefits, they must be listed as household members on the application. They do not need to provide their social security number.

How much will they give me?

If approved for the Maine TANF program, the amount you can get depends on several things, which are listed below:

  • The number of people in your home
  • The amount of income you have. If the gross amount, before taxes, is more than the Gross Income Test, then you do not qualify for TANF benefits. If you meet the Gross Income Test then DHHS will allow you to keep more than half of your earned income before reducing the amount of your TANF benefit
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 ME TANF office.