Florida TCA - Temporary Cash Assistance program.

Low income families with children in Florida can get financial help from the state’s cash assistance program, which is known as TCA. There are different ways to apply for this benefit, which was formerly referred to as welfare as well as TANF. Applications can be done online at ACCESS Florida or local social service offices that are part of the Department of Children and Families organization can process applications along with calculating the amount of the benefit that can be paid monthly.

There are three main objectives of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA). They include the following.

  • The government provides short term financial aid to families with children under the age of 18, including single moms and dads as well as pregnant women.
  • TCA also mandates self-sufficiency, so job training, work requirements, and other objectives need to be met.
  • Cash assistance is also aimed at encouraging solid, two parent households with kids who have the food, housing, vaccinations, that are in school, and have other basic needs met.

How to apply and amount of TCA in Florida

There are several requirements that need to be met. The applicant needs to be working, in job training, or aggressively seeking employment in order to get assistance from the TCA cash program. This is what is known as the Work Rules. The federal government set these requirement for all states, including Florida, that operate a TNF program.

DCF will only authorize the cash to be paying for certain living expenses. The welfare type program can be used to pay for food, housing, rent, or energy bills. Basic household supplies, such as paper goods or cleaning products, can be bought. Another use of cash assistance in Florida is on employment related costs, and those range from car repairs to gasoline and much more. Payments are made monthly.

There are also income, savings, and asset thresholds. In general, the household income needs to be around 185% or so of government poverty guidelines, with consideration giving to the size of the household as well as number of children living there. All applicants for TCA also need to be US citizens as well as of course be full-time Florida residents.

 

 

 

 

As noted, TCA in Florida is intended to give cash grants to homes with kids under the age of 18. But if there is no parent in the home, but a grandparent or caregiver is raising the kids, then they too can apply for Temporary Cash Assistance. This is called the TCA - Relative Caregiver Program. The amount of financial aid given to them for paying bills can even be higher than the standard rates for others who are enrolled. Both ACCESS Florida as well as the Department of Children and Families Child Welfare calculate how much assistance to provide in these instances.

The amount of cash given to those who qualify varies. It will factor in the number of children, household income, the age of the child, and other criteria. TCA will provide anywhere from $242 to $298 per kid that lives in the home. The older the child is, the more cash aid is available. To determine the amount of benefits, or for a calculator, dial at 1-866-762-2237. The funds can pay for almost all the bills the family may have.

The state of Florida also requires both the children and the parent meet other goals. As noted, parents need to be in a work-related activity. In addition, kids need to be in school as part of Learnfare, have all their medical records and vaccinations current, as well as meet other criteria. Note if the parent is work, and receives TANF, Florida may offer them vouchers to help pay for some of the cost of child care.

To apply for Temporary Cash Assistance, it can be done using the ACCESS service, which is part of the Florida Department of Children and Families Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency Resource. Apply online at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/, or the call center can be reached at 1-866-762-2237.

 

 

 

By Jon McNamara

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