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 Idaho, the TANF program is known as Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI). To learn more about TAFI and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Idaho TAFI website here.
Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The TAFI 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 TAFI program provides to participating families, review the Idaho TANF PDF found here.
TAFI and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TAFI benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TAFI expenditures, visit the TAFI website here.
Both TAFI and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TAFI benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Many TAFI 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 TAFI, visit the Idaho Benefit Portal here.
If you have questions about TAFI or Food Assistance, call the Department of Health and Welfare at 1 (877) 456-1233.
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 $309 per month. Families can receive these benefits for up to 24 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about TAFI and benefit amounts in Idaho here.
To qualify for TAFI in Idaho, 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 TAFI 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 TAFI benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho, complete the following three steps:
To apply for TAFI online, create an account on Idaho’s Assistance Portal here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TAFI in person, click here to find the nearest Idaho Division of Welfare office location.
To apply for TAFI by phone, call 1 (877) 456-1233.
To apply for TAFI by fax, fill out the Application for Assistance found here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to 1 (866) 434-8278.
To apply for TAFI by mail, fill out the Application for Assistance and send it with copies of your necessary documents to the following address:
Self Reliance Programs
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0026
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at 1 (877) 456-1233 or send an email to MyBenefits@dhw.idaho.gov.
If you need application assistance in Spanish, click here for 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 TAFI online, by phone, by mail or by fax, you should receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Health and Welfare within 30 days with your determination. If you are approved for benefits, you will also receive 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 TAFI benefits will be deposited within 14 days of when you receive your determination letter. Otherwise, you will receive an EBT card in the mail within 14 days.
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.
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 1 (877) 456-1233.
If you do not agree with the TAFI benefit decision given to you by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, you can appeal your decision in person or by mail within 28 days of receiving your determination letter.
To file an appeal in person, visit a local Department of Health and Welfare 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, 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 10 of the “Fair Hearing Request” PDF provided by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare here.
For help with obtaining Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho, or for any further questions about your application, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at 1 (877) 456-1233. You can also send your inquiries via email to: MyBenefits@dhw.idaho.gov.
To send the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare information physically, you can fax your documents or questions to 1 (866) 434-8278 or mail them to the following address:
Self Reliance Programs
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0026
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 5:00 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.