Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits And Eligibility Requirements 2024

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Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits

The Pennsylvania-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program.

The four purposes of the TANF program are to:

  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
  • Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

Note: TANF is sometimes referred to by state specific names.

Who is eligible for Pennsylvania TANF Benefits?

Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits 2023: To be eligible for Pennsylvania Family Assistance, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania, and a U.S. citizen, legal alien or qualified alien. You must be unemployed or underemployed and have low or very low income. You must also be one of the following:

  • Have a child 18 years of age or younger, or
  • Be pregnant, or
  • Be 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household.

Pennsylvania Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) ‘program provides approximately $16.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia, and US territories (Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico).  Federally-recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations may offer TANF through the tribal TANF program). 

The TANF program provides states (which includes DC and territories for this purpose) with flexibility in operating programs designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency.  The federal government does not provide TANF cash assistance directly to the public. Instead, states use their TANF grants to fund monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a wide range of services that are designed to address one or more of the program’s four broad purposes:

  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives
  • End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

These purposes were outlined in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the law that created TANF, replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and related programs.   

At the federal level, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) administers the TANF and tribal TANF programs. OFA operates within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).   

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What are the requirements to get cash assistance?

  • Must be a pregnant woman or person living with a minor child.
  • Must have low income. See the chart below for income limits.
  • Cannot have more than $1000 in savings or things you own other than your primary home (these things are called resources).
  • Must participate in a welfare to work program if you are 18 or older. If you are under 18, you must go to school or a vocational program full time.
    • a. You may be excused from this requirement if you have a disability or are a victim of domestic violence.
  • Must try to get child support against your child’s other parent who does not live with you, unless you have a good reason not to (such as fear of violence).

What are the income limits to get cash assistance?

Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits 2023: The chart below lists the maximum amount of cash assistance for each family size. If your income is higher than this, you probably do not qualify. Once you receive TANF, the welfare office will only count half your wages as income, to encourage you to work.

Number of people in budget group 1 2 3 4 5 6 Each additional person
Maximum grant per month $205 $316 $403 $497 $589 $670 $83

Do I need to work when receiving TANF?

Generally, yes.

  • During your first two years of receiving TANF, attending an educational program can count towards your work requirement.
  • After those first two years, you generally must be working or looking for a job to receive TANF.
  • You are excused from the work requirement if you show “good cause,” which includes things like disability, lack of transportation or childcare, and being a victim of domestic violence.

If you are a low-income parent under 18 years old

You must live in an “adult supervised living arrangement.” An adult supervised living arrangement includes living with your parents, another adult, or in a program. However, if you cannot live with your parents, you can still get help! Some exceptions to this requirement include:

  • Your parents are ill, have died, won’t let you live with them or don’t have space for you;
  • They are unable to take care of you for mental, emotional, physical or financial reasons;
  • Your parents spent your check in an inappropriate way;
  • They live far away and you have not lived with them for twelve months or more and you are working, in school or in substance abuse treatment where you live;
  • Your or your child’s mental or physical health would be at risk if you lived with them;
  • There is a history of sexual abuse;
  • Or if there are other good reasons why you shouldn’t live there.

How long can I receive TANF? | Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits

Generally, you can only receive TANF for a total of 5 years during your lifetime, unless are a victim of domestic violence or have other emergency circumstances.

In Pennsylvania, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program plays a crucial role in providing financial support to low-income families. The program aims to help these families meet their basic needs while also assisting them in achieving self-sufficiency. One of the key aspects of the TANF program is income eligibility, and understanding the income limits is essential for those seeking assistance. In this article, we will delve into the Pennsylvania TANF income limits for 2023, focusing on the budget groups and maximum monthly grants based on the number of people in a household.

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Budget Groups and Income Limits

The Pennsylvania TANF program divides eligible families into different budget groups based on household size. Each budget group has a maximum income limit that determines eligibility for TANF benefits. These income limits are designed to ensure that the program serves those who are most in need.

For the year 2023, let’s take a closer look at the income limits for each budget group:

  • Budget Group 1 (Single Individuals): In this category, which includes single adults without children, the maximum grant per month is $205.
  • Budget Group 2 (Two-Person Households): For households consisting of two individuals, the maximum monthly grant is $316.
  • Budget Group 3 (Three-Person Households): Families with three members can receive a maximum grant of $403 per month.
  • Budget Group 4 (Four-Person Households): In the case of households with four individuals, the maximum grant is $497 per month.
  • Budget Group 5 (Five-Person Households): Families with five members are eligible for a maximum monthly grant of $589.
  • Budget Group 6 (Six-Person Households): For larger families with six members, the maximum monthly grant is $670.

It’s important to note that these figures represent the maximum monthly grant amounts for each budget group. To calculate the total grant amount a family may receive, you would need to factor in the number of people in the household and subtract their income from the maximum grant amount for the corresponding budget group. Additionally, for each additional person in the household, an extra $83 can be added to the maximum grant.

Importance of These Income Limits

Understanding these income limits is crucial for families in Pennsylvania who are struggling to make ends meet. These limits provide a clear framework for determining eligibility for TANF assistance. By ensuring that families with lower incomes receive greater support, the program aims to reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency.

Moreover, these income limits are adjusted annually to account for changes in the cost of living, ensuring that the program remains responsive to the needs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents.

TANF Pennsylvania Application Process

To apply for TANF benefits in Pennsylvania, families must submit an application to the Department of Human Services (DHS). The application process typically involves providing information about the household’s income, expenses, and other relevant details. It’s essential to provide accurate and up-to-date information during the application process to determine eligibility and receive the appropriate level of assistance.

Conclusion – Pennsylvania TANF Income Limits And Eligibility 2023

The Pennsylvania TANF program plays a vital role in providing financial assistance to low-income families, helping them meet their basic needs and work toward self-sufficiency. Understanding the income limits based on household size is essential for those seeking assistance. These limits ensure that the program directs support to those who need it most, and they are adjusted annually to reflect changes in the cost of living.

If you or someone you know is in need of TANF assistance, it is advisable to contact the Department of Human Services in Pennsylvania or visit their website for detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the most up-to-date income limits for 2023. The goal of TANF is to provide a safety net for families facing financial hardship, and by understanding these income limits, families can access the support they need during challenging times.

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