Louisiana FITAP Family Independence Temporary Cash Assistance.

The Louisiana cash assistance program is known as FITAP. It provides funds to very low-income households with children, including single mothers or fathers. The goal is to help them pay their bills while the state helps them work towards self-sufficiency through a personal responsibility plans which are sometimes called STEP.

Funds can be used to pay for everyday expenses. The Family Independence Temporary Assistance allows the money to pay for every type of bill, ranging from air conditioning, utility, rent, gasoline, groceries, clothing, and more. FITAP is also a time limited program in that the recipient can only receive government benefits for at most 60 months during their lifetime.

Applications as well as calculations of the amount of monthly payment are determined by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, or DCFS. There are case managers who assess each applying household and determine the amount of cash to be given to them each month and they also put a personal responsibility plan into place.

In general, the average payment from FITAP welfare in Louisiana is $284, but the range is from $122 for a one-person household up to $512 per month if the household has 10 people in it. All funds are transmitted to the client monthly using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. But the case manager can calculate the exact payment amount for all applicants.

FITAP is the state’s version of the federal government Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which was formerly called welfare. This means there are certain requirements set by the federal government that need to be met as well. But the state does have flexibility in what they can offer to some qualified, working poor households.

Terms of Louisiana FITAP Family Independence Temporary Cash Assistance Program

The funds provided are in the form of a grant. There are income guidelines in place, and they loosely follow federal government poverty guidelines. In addition, DCFS mandates what the money is used for. The client needs to pay certain bills, such as water, medical, housing, or approved food. If there are violations to that then the family could have their FITAP grant stopped.

 

 

 

 

Applicants need to be US citizens or be approved immigrants. In addition, as noted, the applicant needs to have one or more children living at home, and they need to be age 18 or younger. The cash assistance program is an option for single mothers or fathers though, as they too can benefit from FITAP welfare grants. In fact, the Department of Children and Family Services notes that more single moms than anyone else are enrolled into this program, and they use the cash to pay the bills to provide for their children.

Job requirements, education, and personal responsibility are all mandated by the FITAP Family Independence Temporary Assistance program. As the cash is time limited (at most 60 months during the applicant’s lifetime), the parents of the low income household need to get a job, work, attend school, enroll into parenting classes if applicable, or be actively seeking employment. But during this time the DCFS cash manager will help them achieve those personal responsibility goals. This is also all part of the Louisiana STEP Program.

If the lack of affordable child care or transportation is a barrier to those personal responsibility goals, then the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services cash assistance program will help them pay for those bills as well. So, the state will allow cash to pay for child or day care, or after school care if needed. There are also other free daycare programs in Louisiana.

FITAP grants can also pay for bus passes, car repairs, gasoline, and other transportation needs. Anything that is needed for the family to hit those employment targets, and thereby get off the FITAP Family Independence Temporary Assistance welfare program, will be addressed.

There are local Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services offices in each parish and city. To apply for FITAP, dial 1-888-524-3578 or there can also be online applications done at the DCFS website.

 

 

By Jon McNamara

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