Apply For Pennsylvania TANF Benefits

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

The TANF program provides money to help:

  • Pregnant women
  • Dependent children and their parents who live with them
  • Dependent children and other relatives who live with them and care for them

Pennsylvania TANF eligibility

To be eligible for Pennsylvania TANF benefits, you must meet the requirement outlined below. Workers at the county assistance office can provide more information on all of these requirements:

  • You must be a US citizen and a resident of Pennsylvania
  • You and your family members must provide Social Security Numbers or apply for them
  • You are required to look for a job or participate in an employment and training program
  • You are required to help the caseworker complete an Agreement of Mutual Responsibility (AMR), which is a plan for what you will do so you no longer need cash assistance. The plan may include looking for work, attending a training program, or applying for Social Security benefits. You must sign the AMR and follow through with the plan
  • If you want cash assistance for a dependent child, you must cooperate with paternity and child support requirements, unless you have a good cause for not not cooperating. Your child must be under age 18 or age 18 and a full-time student
  • Your child must live with you and you must care for the child. You must need support and care for the child as a result of at least the death of the child's parent, incapacity of the child's parent, continued absence of a parent from your home, or one or both parents with no income or low income from employment
  • Your resources (things with cash value such as bank accounts, bonds or property that is not your primary/main residence) must have a value of $1,000 or less
  • You must report all income from employment or from other sources including, but not limited to, child support, unemployment compensation, interest, Social Security benefits, or lottery winnings

Pennsylvania TANF time limit

You can receive cash assistance for 60 months (five years) total over the course of your lifetime.

Pennsylvania extended TANF benefits

You may continue to be eligible for cash assistance benefits after the five-year Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) limit has ended through Extended TANF. You may be eligible for Extended TANF if:

  • You are working or in an approved training program
  • You or a family member is a victim of domestic violence
  • You have physical or mental condition that prevents you from working
  • You have a family crisis
  • You are caring for an individual who is disabled
  • You have a child under the age of 12 months
  • You are able to work, but can't find a job

Eligibility for Extended TANF may require you to participate in an approved program such as the Maximizing Participation Project (MPP) or the Work Plus Program (WPP).

Apply for Pennsylvania TANF

You can apply for Pennsylvania TANF online at Or if you prefer, you can download a copy of the TANF application and submit it in-person to your local county assistance office. To find a location, view a list of county assistance offices near you.

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 PA TANF office.