Delaware TANF Application Information

Delaware's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to provide essential financial support to low-income families with children. This program primarily focuses on helping families with dependent children under 18 years of age, as well as pregnant women who meet the established eligibility criteria.

In line with TANF programs across the country, Delaware's TANF benefits are time-limited. Families can typically receive assistance for up to 60 months, but certain specific circumstances may warrant an extension of this period. As families approach the completion of their benefit period, they are required to apply for renewal to determine if they are still eligible for continued assistance.

Administered by the Delaware Division of Social Services, the TANF program in Delaware is a key initiative in providing financial aid to families, while also promoting self-sufficiency through employment support and training opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in Delaware, families must meet certain criteria, including:

Definition of Needy Families:

  • A family is considered needy if their combined income and financial resources are below the state-established standards.
  • This includes families with a child or children and caretaker relatives.

Income and Resource Rules:

  • Delaware uses established TANF income and resource rules.
  • The value of a primary automobile up to $4,650 is not counted as a resource.
  • The cash value of life insurance policies is excluded.
  • Families can have Education and Business Investment Accounts (EBIA) up to $5,000, including interest, which are not counted as a resource.

Income Tests for Eligibility:

  • Families must pass two income tests � a gross income test and a net income test.
  • Gross income is compared to 185% of the applicable standard of need.
  • Net income is compared to the payment standard for applicants and the standard of need for recipients.
  • Eligibility is based on income being less than these limits.

Additional Eligibility Factors:

  • Custodial parents must cooperate in collecting child support.
  • Children must attend school and get appropriate immunizations.

General Eligibility Conditions:

  • Children must live with a relative within five degrees of kinship.
  • Fugitive felons, parole violators, and those convicted of drug-related felonies are ineligible.

Contract of Mutual Responsibility:

Adults must enter into a contract with the Division of Social Services.This contract outlines the family's responsibilities and the support provided by the State. It includes employment-related activities, education requirements for children, and other family planning and parenting classes.

Delaware's TANF program is designed to support needy families while encouraging independence through a variety of services and requirements.

TANF Application Instructions

One-Time Cash Assistance

Delaware offers a unique one-time payment assistance through its Diversion Assistance Program, designed to help families facing financial challenges that could jeopardize their employment. This program's goal is to prevent families from needing ongoing regular assistance by addressing immediate financial issues.

Key Features of the Diversion Assistance Program:

Payment Limit: The maximum payment is $1,500 or the amount needed to resolve the financial crisis, whichever is less.

Eligibility Requirements: To qualify, the parent must live with their natural or adopted children and have not received Diversion Assistance in the past 12 months. The assistance must be vital to resolving a crisis that threatens the parent's employment or is needed for a parent to accept a new job. The family's income and resources should qualify them for TANF.

Usage of Funds: The funds can be used for a number of needs, including transportation (vehicle repairs, insurance), clothing for work, tools, medical expenses not covered by Medicaid, and costs related to employment (such as agency fees, child care expenses, relocation for a job).

Payment to Third Parties: Payments are made directly to vendors, not to the beneficiary.

Agreement on Forgoing Regular TANF Assistance: Depending on the amount received, beneficiaries agree to forego regular TANF cash assistance for a specific period.

This program is an important part of Delaware's effort to support families in maintaining employment and preventing long-term reliance on assistance, thereby promoting self-sufficiency and stability.

Using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

In Delaware, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits are conveniently and securely distributed through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system. Once a recipient is approved for TANF, they receive an EBT card, which functions much like a regular debit card.

To use the card, recipients need to activate it and set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for security purposes. This card can be used at various stores that accept EBT payments, allowing families to purchase necessary items. Additionally, the EBT card can be used at ATMs for cash withdrawals, offering recipients flexibility in managing their benefits.

Delaware's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program offers financial support to low-income families with children, emphasizing self-sufficiency and stability. With a focus on meeting immediate needs while encouraging employment and responsible family management, the program includes unique features like the Diversion Assistance Program to address specific financial crises. The efficient and secure distribution of benefits through EBT cards ensures that families can access and manage their assistance with ease and dignity.