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.
To learn more about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in the District of Columbia and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the District of Columbia TANF website here.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in DC (TANF) provides temporary cash assistance to financially support families in need. The TANF 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 TANF program provides to participating families, review the District of Columbia TANF PDF found here.
TANF and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the District of Columbia Department of Human Services. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TANF benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TANF expenditures, visit the TANF website here.
Both TANF and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TANF benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Many 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 District of Columbia Benefits Portal here.
If you have questions about TANF or Food Assistance, call the Department of Human Services at (202) 727-5355.
The exact cash benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources. Families can receive these benefits for up to 60 months throughout their lifetime. The maximum benefits are listed below:
Learn more information about TANF and benefit amounts in the District of Columbia here.
To qualify for TANF in The District of Columbia, 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 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 Needy Families in the District of Columbia, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the TANF eligibility requirements here.
Find a list of what you need to apply on the District of Columbia Department of Human Services website here.
To apply for TANF online, create an account on the District of Columbia Benefits Portal here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TANF in person, click here to find the nearest District of Columbia DHS Service Center location.
To apply for TANF by mail, fill out the Combined Application for DC Benefits here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to the nearest District of Columbia DHS Service Center location or the following address:
645 H St, NE
Washington, DC 20002
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the District of Columbia Department of Human Services at (202) 727-5355.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
You must complete a TANF orientation, assessment and develop a plan for self-sufficiency. You can schedule this appointment by calling the Family Resource Center at (202) 698-1860.
You should receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Human Services within 45 days of receiving your application with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits, if you are eligible.
You should receive an EBT card in the mail. Your TANF benefits will be deposited within the first 10 days of the month depending on the first letter of your last name.
Once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
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 (202) 727-5355.
If you do not agree with the TANF benefit decision given to you by the District of Columbia Department of Human Services, you can appeal your decision within 90 days of receiving your determination letter.
You may submit an appeal in person, by phone, by mail or by fax to the local DHS office.
To file a claim in person and by phone, 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 DHS Service Center's contact information here.
You may also submit an appeal by phone, by mail or by fax to the Office of Administration Hearings. To file a claim by phone call(202) 442-9094. You can also complete the Request for a Hearing form here and fax it to (202) 698-6404. By-mail requests can be submitted to:
Department of Human ServicesEconomic Security Administration64 New York Ave, NE
Washington, DC 20002
You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal by mail or fax.
For more information on the appeal process, click here.
For help with obtaining Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in The District of Columbia, or for any further questions about your application, call the District of Columbia Department of Human Services at (202) 727-5355.
You can also visit or call a local DHS Service Center for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:15 AM to 4:45 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.