Apply For Vermont TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Vermont TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Vermont Reach Up, 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 for Children and Families, Economic Services Division. 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 VT 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 Vermont TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for VT TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Vermont.

Vermont TANF eligibility

To be eligible for the Vermont TNAF program depends on:

  • Your household income
  • Your living expenses
  • The value of the things you own or are paying for
  • Who lives in your home

Benefits available through the Vermont TANF program are:

  • Services that support work
  • Case management to help you reach your goals
  • Monthly cash payments to help you pay for necessities like food, clothing, housing and utilities

If they determine you are eligible for Reach Up, they will then assess your strengths and readiness for work. They will talk about your skills and abilities, any training that might help you become self-sufficient, and any challenges that make it difficult for you to work.

You and your case manager will create a Family Development Plan (FDP) that maps out your work goals and the steps you'll take to achieve them. As you progress, you'll update the plan together.

TANF work requirement

You'll need to spend a certain number of hours a week either working or participating in approved activities that lead to a job. Your case manager will explain your work requirement to you.

Cash assistance

Your Reach Up cash assistance will be deposited directly into your bank account through direct deposit. If you don't have a bank account, you'll receive your cash assistance on an EBT card.

TANF lifetime limits

Below is what counts towards your time limit:

  • All months your family received Reach Up benefits going back to July 1, 2001
  • All months your family received federal TANF benefits in another state (called Reach Up in Vermont) going back to July 1, 2001

Below list what does not count towards your limit:

  • Any months your family got benefits before the youngest parent on the grant turned 18
  • Any months a parent on the grant participated in Reach Ahead, Reach First and Post-Secondary Education (PSE)
  • Any months your family received a child-only Reach Up grant
  • Any months you were granted a deferment because you were not able to work because of documented medical issues and or you were needed at home to care for a sick or incapacitated family member. And and any actions you completed from the actions listed on your Family Development Plan

Apply for Vermont TANF

You can apply for Vermont TANF benefits in one of the following ways:

Apply online

To apply for TANF online, visit

Apply by mail

You will need to fill out an application and mail it in to your local district office. To download a copy of the TANF application form, click here.

Apply in-person

You can also apply for TANF in-person at any of the local district offices. You can download a copy of the TANF application form

To find a location, view a list of district offices near you. Once you submit your Vermont TANF application, the next step is to participate in an interview and orientation. You'll have to complete an interview, either by phone or in-person, before they can make a decision about your eligibility. They will inform you about the interview process after you apply. You may also have to attend an orientation.

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 VT TANF office.