While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial assistance to low-income families. The goal of TANF is to help families become financially self-sufficient. States and U.S. Territories receive block grants from the federal government, which are used to fund each state and territory’s specific TANF program.
Learn more about the TANF program and its primary purposes here.
In Arkansas, the TANF program is known as the Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) program. To learn more about TEA and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Arkansas TANF website here.
Transitional Employment Assistance in Arkansas provides temporary financial assistance to financially support families in need. The TEA program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment. Likewise, the TEA program helps with childcare costs.
For more information on the services the TEA program provides to participating families, review the Arkansas TANF page here
TEA and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TEA benefits are financial benefits that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TEA expenditures, visit the DHS Support Services page here.
Both TANF and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TANF benefits can be withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Most TANF participants also qualify for Food Assistance due to the low-income requirement of both programs. For more information about Food Assistance, click here.
To apply for Food Assistance and/or TANF, visit the Access Arkansas benefit portal here.
If you have questions about TANF or Food Assistance, call the Arkansas Department of Human Services at (501) 682-1001
The exact benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources.
Eligible families of three can receive a maximum of $204 per month. Families can receive these benefits for up to 24 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about TANF and benefit amounts in Arkansas here.
To qualify for TANF in Arkansas, you must meet the following requirements:
Learn more about income requirements and work and training requirements in the TEA Policy Manual here.
Caretakers of children who cannot be taken care of by their immediate family may also qualify for benefits under the Caretaker Relative Grant or Child-Only TANF Grant. This grant takes into consideration the situation of emergency caregivers and will only count the resources and the income of the child (if any) and not those of the caretaker.
To learn more about who can receive TANF benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Temporary Assistance for Families in Arkansas, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the TANF eligibility requirements here.
Find a list of what you need to apply on page 2 of the Application for SNAP and TEA here.
To apply for TANF online, create an account on the Access Arkansas benefit portal here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TANF in person, click here to find the nearest DHS office location.
To apply for TANF by mail, fill out the Application for SNAP and TEA here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to your local DHS county office. Click here to find the nearest DHS office location.
If you have any further questions about the application process, contact the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services:
If you need application assistance in Spanish, click here for the application and an overview of the application process.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
If you applied for TANF online, you are automatically offered a telephone interview. If you applied in person, you completed the interview during the application. If you applied by mail, a representative will contact you to schedule your interview.
You will receive a notice in the mail from the Division of Workforce Services within 30 days of receiving your application with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits. If you are approved, you will receive an EBT card in the mail.
If you applied in person at a local Division of Welfare office, you will receive your determination and EBT card on the same day so long as you provide all the required information and documentation.
If you're approved, once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
Note that if you receive an EBT card, you will only be allowed to purchase items at stores that display the Quest sign with the dollar sign, and you can only withdraw cash from ATMs that display the Quest Logo.
Learn more information about how to use your EBT card and how benefits will be distributed here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination, contact the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services:
If you do not agree with the TANF benefit decision given to you by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, you can appeal your decision within 10 days of receiving your determination letter.
To file an appeal, you can follow the instructions on the back of the determination letter.
You can contact your DHS County Office to ask for a hearing by phone, by mail or in person. Click here to find the nearest DHS office location and contact information.
If you file an appeal in person, you will need to speak with a representative and tell them why you are appealing your determination. You will also need to bring your benefit determination letter and evidence that supports your appeal.
You can also request a hearing from the Arkansas Appeals and Hearing Section:
Arkansas Department of Human Services
ATTN: Appeals and Hearings Section
P.O. Box 1437, Slot N401
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
If you file a claim by mail or fax to a local DHS office or the Arkansas Appeals and Hearing Section, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:
You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal by mail.
For more information on the appeal process, read page 3 of the Application for SNAP and TEA here.
For help with obtaining TANF benefits in Arkansas or for any further questions about your application, contact the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services:
You can also visit or call a local Division of Welfare Office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and compiled a guide and these answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Our free TANF Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply, program eligibility requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view our free guide here.