FITAP Application Instructions

There are several ways to apply for the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) in Louisiana, including:

Online Application:

  • Go to the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) CAFÉ Self Service Portal
  • Follow the step-by-step proces to fill out and send in your FITAP application.

In-Person Application:

  • Visit a local DCFS office near you.
  • Pick up the FITAP application form and fill it out. You can ask the office staff for help if you need it.

FITAP provides essential support to Louisiana families struggling financially, offering not just immediate financial aid but also access to job and training programs. This approach helps families in need while also guiding them towards self-sufficiency and independence for the future.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the Louisiana Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), families need to meet several requirements, including:

Residency and Citizenship: The person applying must live in Louisiana and plan to stay, not just live there for a short amount of time. They must be a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified immigrant to apply.

Family and Income Needs: The family must need financial help. This means the money they have isn't enough to take care of their children's needs. Louisiana has set amounts of income that a family should have based on how many people are in the family.

Social Security Numbers: Every family member who is part of the application must have or apply for a Social Security number.

Age and Schooling for Children: Children must be under the age of 18, or they can be 18 but still in high school.

Family Relationships: To get FITAP for a child, the person applying must be related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Living Arrangements: The child must live with the person applying for FITAP.

Child Support Cooperation: The person applying must agree to let the state pursue child support from the other parent. They must work with the state to find the other parent and get support unless there's a good reason not to.

Income Limits: The family's monthly income cannot be more than a set amount, which depends on how many people are in the family. Louisiana subtracts the family's income from this set amount to figure out how much help the family can get. There are some deductions allowed from the income, like a standard deduction for working family members and money spent on taking care of dependents.

Work and Training: Adults who are able to work must join the Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Program.

Health Requirements: Kids under the age of 18 must have their immunizations up to date, or they must be getting them according to a schedule.

Parenting Skills: If someone is pregnant or has a child under the age of one, they must attend training to learn about being a good parent.

Time Limits: A family can't get help if a parent has already received help for 24 out of the last 60 months. There's a total limit of 60 months of help if a parent or caregiver is part of the family.

Living Rules for Young Parents: Young parents who aren't married must live with their own parent, legal guardian, other adult relative, or in a place where adults supervise them.

Drug Screening: Adults must be willing to be checked for illegal drug use and, if needed, go through drug education and treatment.

These rules ensure that families who need help can get it, but also encourages them to work towards taking care of themselves in the future.

Using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

In Louisiana, Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) benefits are given to families using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works a lot like a regular debit card.

Each month, FITAP puts money directly onto families' EBT cards. Families can then use these cards to shop at stores that take EBT or even withdraw cash from ATMs. This makes it easy for families to quickly get and use their benefits.