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 Florida, the TANF program is known as Temporary Cash Assistance in Florida (TCA). To learn more about TCA and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Florida TCA website here.
Temporary Cash Assistance in Florida (TCA) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The TCA 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 TCA program provides to participating families, review the Florida TANF PDF found here.
TCA and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TCA benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TANF expenditures, check out page 63 of the TANF plan here.
Both TCA and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TCA benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Many TCA 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 TCA, visit the Florida ACCESS benefit portal here.
If you have questions about TCA or Food Assistance, call the Department of Children and Families at (850) 300-4323.
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 $303 per month. Families can receive these benefits for up to 48 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about TCA and benefit amounts in Florida on page 9 of the TANF program requirements PDF here.
To qualify for TCA in Florida, 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 TCA 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 TCA benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Temporary Cash Assistance in Florida, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the TCA eligibility requirements here.
Review the first two pages of the Access Florida Application here to find out what information and documents you will need to submit.
To apply for TCA online, create an account on the Florida ACCESS benefit portal here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TCA in person, click here to find the nearest Florida DCF office location.
To apply for TCA by mail or by fax, fill out the Access Florida Application here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to the nearest Florida DCF office location. Find office contact information here.
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the Florida Department of Children and Families at (850) 300-4323.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
You will need to complete an interview within 30 days of submitting your application. You will receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Children and Families within 30 days of your interview with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits.
If you have a valid bank account listed on your application and you are approved for benefits, your TCA benefits will be deposited into that account. Otherwise, you should receive an EBT card in the mail. 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 on page 63 of the TANF plan here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination call (850) 300-4323.
If you do not agree with the TCA benefit decision given to you by the Florida Department of Children and Families, you can appeal your decision in person or by mail within 90 days of receiving your determination letter.
To file a claim by mail, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:
You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter and send it to:
Office of Inspector General<
Appeal Hearings Section1317 Winewood Blvd.Building 5, Room 255 Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
You can also fax your request to (850) 487-0662 or send an email to email@example.com.
For more information on the appeal process, check out the appeal information on the DCF website here.
For help with obtaining Temporary Cash Assistance in Florida, or for any further questions about your application, call the Florida Department of Children and Families at (850) 300-4323.
Phone lines are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
You can also visit or call a local DCF Office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
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.