Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP) Application Information

The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program, managed by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, is the state's primary initiative for offering financial support to low-income families with children. This program, aligning with the national Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) framework, focuses on helping families with dependent children under 18 years, as well as pregnant women in challenging financial situations who meet the established eligibility criteria.

Similar to other TANF programs across the country, the benefits provided by the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program are limited in duration. Families can receive assistance for a maximum of 60 months, in line with Alaska's specific guidelines. However, there are certain circumstances under which this period might be extended, tailored to the unique needs of each family. When a family nears the end of their eligibility period, they are required to complete a renewal application to determine if they can continue receiving support.

Administered by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, this program plays an important role in supporting Alaska's families, helping them to overcome financial hurdles and work towards a more stable future.

Eligibility Requirements

Under the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program, families seeking financial aid need to meet specific requirements, which are designed to ensure that help is given to those in most need while encouraging self-sufficiency.

Adult Requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or meet residency requirements.
  • Must reside in Alaska.
  • Cannot be a fleeing felon or be convicted of drug-related offenses.
  • Must be caring for at least one child under 18 years of age (or 19 if they will graduate from high school before their 19th birthday).

Child Requirements:

  • Must be part of a family that is "deprived" due to a parent being unemployed, disabled, absent, incarcerated, or deceased.
  • Must participate in establishing paternity and cooperate with child support enforcement efforts.

Financial Eligibility:

  • Families must have less than $2,000 in countable resources, or $3,000 if the family includes an individual aged 60 or older.
  • Non-countable resources include the family's home, household goods and personal belongings, and most vehicles.
  • Benefits are calculated based on the family's size, income, and shelter costs, with adjustments for families with low shelter costs.

Income Limits:

  • The family's countable income must be below the ATAP income limit.
  • When an adult in the family starts working, a portion of their earnings is disregarded to encourage employment, though this disregard decreases over five years.

Work Requirement:

  • Adults are required to actively seek paid employment or participate in activities that improve employability, such as community work experience, job skills and life skills training, and education programs.

Support Services:

  • Families transitioning to work are eligible for various support services, including help with transportation costs, interview clothing, and necessary tools or equipment for employment.

Child Care Assistance:

  • To support adults in work or job-related activities, Temporary Assistance offers help with child care costs, recognizing the importance of safe and affordable childcare in achieving family self-sufficiency.

These requirements reflect Alaska's commitment to helping families in need while promoting their progress towards independence and employment.

Using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

Alaska Temporary Assistance Program benefits are paid through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system, commonly known as the Alaska Quest Card. This card works much like a regular debit card, enabling recipients to make purchases or withdraw cash.

When you first receive your Alaska Quest Card, you must activate it and set up a secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) to ensure safety and privacy. It's important to handle your card and PIN responsibly to maintain secure access to their benefits.

This system simplifies the process of accessing and using the assistance funds, making it more convenient for families in need.

Alaska Temporary Assistance Program Application Instructions

Those interested in applying for the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program have two ways to submit their application:

Apply Online: Applicants can go to the myAlaska website to access the online application process. This is a convenient and efficient way to apply for the program from any location with internet access.

Apply In Person: For those who need face-to-face help, applications can be submitted in person at any Division of Public Assistance office throughout Alaska. These offices offer additional support and guidance for applicants who might have questions or need help with the application process.

The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program is an essential support system for Alaska's low-income families. It not only provides financial aid, but also helps families become more self-sufficient through various employment and training opportunities.