Apply For Montana TANF Benefits

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

Montana TANF eligibility

Montana TANF cash assistance is a program providing temporary financial assistance to needy families. The receipt of TANF cash assistance is limited to 60 months in an adult's lifetime. Temporary financial assistance may be provided to the following families and individuals:

  • Minor Children
  • Specified relatives with whom the children are living
  • The minor children's blood-related/adoptive siblings with whom the children are living
  • Pregnant women in their last trimester who have no other eligible children and
  • Refugees with minor dependent children

Temporary financial assistance will not be provided to the following:

  • Minor children who are absent from the home for a period of 90 consecutive days
  • Families whose specified caretaker relatives do not assign certain child support rights to the State
  • Families whose specified caretaker relative does not cooperate in establishing paternity or obtaining child support as required
  • Families containing an adult who has received 60 months of TANF cash assistance, unless an extension is granted by the State
  • Persons receiving SSI
  • Teenage parents not living in adult-supervised settings as defined by the State
  • Fugitive felons and probation and parole violators
  • Individuals convicted after August 22, 1996 (under Federal or State law), of any offense which is classified as a felony and which has an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance, unless the individual is complying with the conditions of supervision or if the sentence associated with the felony conviction has been discharged and the individual is actively participating in treatment, if required
  • Individuals found to have fraudulently misrepresented residence in order to obtain assistance in two or more states
  • Caretaker relatives who fail to notify the State of a child's absence from the home for a period of 90 or more days
  • Minor children receiving Foster Care Payments unless the absence is considered temporary (not to exceed 90 days) and
  • Ineligible or illegal aliens

Eligibility for Montana TANF cash assistance is determined by evaluating specific non-financial and financial criteria established by federal and state regulations. Families and individuals must meet the following non-financial criteria:

  • Age limitations (dependent children only)
  • Minor living with a specified caretaker relative as a dependent child
  • Furnishing a social security number
  • Residency (intending to reside in the state) requirements
  • Citizenship/alien status requirements
  • Cooperating with Child Support Enforcement (CSED), Third Party Liability (TPL) and Health Insurance
  • Premium Payment System (HIPPS)
  • Cooperating with program integrity reviews and
  • Negotiating, signing and complying with all requirements of the Family Investment Agreement/WoRC
  • Employability Plan (FIA/EP)

Families and individuals must also meet the following financial criteria:

  • Countable resources must be less than $3,000. Resources are real and personal property owned by the family or individual as of the date of application. Some resources can be excluded from consideration such as the home of usual residence and basic maintenance items essential for day-to-day living
  • Countable income (earned or unearned), which is determined by allowing the appropriate income disregards, cannot exceed the income standards for the family size requesting assistance and
  • The right to any child support payments must be assigned to the State

Following is a table showing different family sizes and the income amounts used to test for initial and on-going eligibility for the appropriate family size:

Family Size GMI Benefit Standard Payment Standard
1 $642 $272 $347
2 $867 $368 $467
3 $1,092 $463 $588
4 $1,317 $559 $709
5 $1,542 $654 $830
6 $1,767 $750 $950
7 $1,992 $845 $1,071
8 $2,217 $941 $1,193
9 $2,442 $1,036 $1,314
10 $2,667 $1,132 $1,435
11 $2,892 $1,227 $1,557
12 $3,117 $1,323 $1,678
13 $3,342 $1,418 $1,799
14 $3,567 $1,514 $1,921
15 $3,793 $1,609 $2,042
16 $4,018 $1,705 $2,163
17 $4,243 $1,801 $2,285
18 $4,468 $1,897 $2,406
19 $4,693 $1,993 $2,527
20 $4,918 $2,089 $2,649

GMI = Gross Monthly Income Standards
Benefit Standard
Payment Standard

Apply for Montana TANF

You can apply for the Montana TANF program by going to Or you can call the Public Assistance Helpline at 888-706-1535. If you prefer, you can submit your TANF application to your local Public Assistance office. To view a list of locations, find an Office of Public Assistance near you. To download a copy of the TANF application, click here.

Do I have to work while I am receiving TANF benefits?

Yes. If you receive TANF benefits, you are required to participate in the WoRC (Work Readiness Component) program. The WoRC program is a job training and employment program.

Is there a time limit on Montana TANF benefits?

Yes. There is a 60-month lifetime time limit on benefits. The months do not have to be consecutive. Also, you may be eligible for an extension of the time limit if you:

  • Have a physical/mental illness or incapacity (Temporary or Permanent)
  • Have a physical/mental illness or incapacity due to domestic violence
  • Are needed in the home full time as the primary caretaker for a household member who is suffering from a physical/mental
  • illness or incapacity
  • Are dealing with a current domestic violence situation
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 MT TANF office.