Cash assistance in Alabama.

Very low income families and households in poverty can get help from the Alabama TANF cash assistance program. The government welfare type benefit is available to pay for basic living expenses and household needs. Cash can cover food, housing costs (rent or mortgage payments), clothing, work expenses and other bills. Clients who enroll will also have employment needs addressed through the Alabama JOBS program.

Find details below on how to apply for this benefit as well as how to calculate a monthly payment and what the average amount paid out is. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is only for residents with children who are in or near federal government poverty levels. The cash can also be provided to either single moms or dads living in the state of Alabama.

Alabama TANF and JOBS Program

The two are paid for by the federal government. The goal of the program (which was formally called welfare), is to offer short term financial help while the client works to self-sufficiency. It is temporary time limited. Residents can only receive cash for at most 60 months during their lifetime. After that timeframe ends the family will no longer be able to receive financial assistance.

There are several requirements to cash assistance in Alabama. They include the following. The applicant needs to have one or more kids under the age of 19 who are in school. All of the cash needs to pay for basic living expenses. This may be everything from rent to utility or energy bills. TANF also pays for items like food, household cleaning supplies, or clothes. Cash can pay for medical bills or health care needs, and examples of those may be medications, equipment such as wheelchairs, or breathing machines.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources, or DHR, administers cash assistance both statewide and locally. There are offices in each county in Alabama. Case workers at each site go over the application process with any interested low income family. They have calculators on site to determine the amount of monthly payment, which is based on family size as well as household income.





But the monthly payments range from $165 for a household of one person up to $305 for a household of 6 people. If the family has more members at home then some additional funds can be paid out. All of the funds are issued on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards each and every month.

TANF can of course pay for basic living expenses, but is also encourages marriage, employment, two parent households, and self-sufficiency. The goal of TANF is to help the family pay the bills, buy food, and cover other needs while they enroll into the JOBS Program. If the client is living in poverty, it can help them exit that stage of their life.

Alabama JOBS Program is also part of the state benefit. DHR also coordinates this service across the state. The parent(s) who receive cash assistance needs to participate in this service as well. It will help the client find a job, gain a new skill (or education), and increase their income.

JOBS and TANF also work together to help address any challenges the low income family has to their employment. This means if the client lacks transportation, then free car repairs or bus tickets can be given to them. If the lack of child care (or the cost of it) is a barrier, then government assistance can pay for day care bills. Substance abuse, disability, and other needs are also addressed by the process.

Alabama residents should apply for the programs (which combined are known as Family Assistance) at their local Department of Human Resources office. At those locations they can get an application, learn how cash assistance works as well as the application process, and learn about other welfare benefits. For more information, call (334) 242-1310 to reach DHR customer service.




By Jon McNamara

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