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 Connecticut, the TANF program is known as Temporary Family Assistance in Connecticut (TFA). To learn more about TFA and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Connecticut TFA website here.
Temporary Family Assistance in Connecticut (TFA) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The TFA program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment.
For more information on the services, the TFA program provides to participating families, review Connecticut’s TANF State Plan PDF found here.
TFA and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TFA benefits are financial benefits that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TFA expenditures, review page 8 of Connecticut’s TANF State Plan PDF found here.
Both TFA and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TFA benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Many TFA 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 TFA, visit the ConneCT benefit portal here.
If you have questions about TFA or Food Assistance, call the Department of Social Services at (855) 626-6632.
The exact benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources.
Eligible families can receive a maximum of $698 per month but specific amounts vary by county. Families can receive these benefits for up to 21 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about TFA and benefit amounts in Connecticut here.
To qualify for TFA in Connecticut, you must meet the following requirements:
Learn more about income requirements and work and training requirements 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 TFA 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 TFA benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Temporary Family Assistance in Connecticut, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the TFA eligibility requirements here.
Find a list of what you need to apply on page 3 of the Application for Benefits here.
To apply for TFA online, create an account on the ConneCT benefit portal here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TFA in person, click here to find the nearest Connecticut DSS Field Office location.
To apply for TFA by mail, fill out the Application for Benefits here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to the following address:
DSS Scanning CenterP.O. Box 1320Manchester, CT 06045
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the Connecticut Department of Social Services at (855) 626-6632.
If you need an application in Spanish, click here.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
You are required to have an in-person office interview unless DSS waives it.
If you applied for TFA online, in person or by mail, you will receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Social Services within 45 days with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits.
If you're approved, you should receive an EBT card in the mail. Your TFA benefits will be deposited on the first, second or third day of the month depending on the first letter of your last name as follows:
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 Logo, 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 call (855) 626-6632.
If you do not agree with the TFA benefit decision given to you by the Connecticut Department of Social Services, you can appeal your decision online, in person, by mail or fax within 21 days of receiving your determination letter.
To file an appeal online, click here.
To file an appeal in person, visit a local Department of Social Services office. 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. Find your nearest location here.
To file a claim by mail or fax, 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. Sent the request and documentation to the local Department of Social Services office. Find your nearest location here.
For more information on the appeal process, read Connecticut’s page on the appeal process here.
For help with obtaining Temporary Family Assistance in Connecticut, or for any further questions about your application, call the Connecticut Department of Social Services at (855) 626-6632.
You can also visit or call a local DSS Field Office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 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 or download our free guide here.