Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF Program is a federal funded block grant program. A primary eligibility requirement to receive TANF funds is U.S. citizenship. TANF funding is limited to U.S. citizens, single or two-parent households with minor dependent children. These program requirements are in accordance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) (Welfare Reform). Prior to Welfare Reform, the Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) did not distinguish between citizen or non-citizen or single or two-parent households.
In response to the federal Welfare Reform, and consistent with Hawaii’s State Constitution, Article IX, Section 3, Hawaii created the state funded Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families or TAONF Program to continue to provide financial assistance to families that had been eligible for benefits through AFDC and would no longer be eligible through TANF due to citizenship. The state funded TAONF Program rules mirror TANF Program rules and provides the same benefits and services to Hawaii’s needy families with children, that include mixed citizenship or non-citizenship single and two-parent households.
TANF and TAONF provide monthly cash benefits to families for food clothing, shelter, and other essentials. To qualify for this financial assistance, a family must include children under the age of 18 and have gross income below 185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty level (FPL). For a household of three persons, this means the monthly gross income must be less than $2,941 and the net income must be under $610, if the household includes an employable adult. For households where all adults are disabled, care is required for a disabled household member, or there is a child younger than six (6) months of age, the net income must be under $763 per month. Effective April 18, 2013, assets are disregarded under the TANF and TAONF Programs. Families may receive no more than sixty (60) months of cash assistance benefits in their lifetime through the TANF or TAONF Program.
TANF and TAONF Programs are time-limited cash assistance programs for families with dependent children under the age of 18 years. The programs are designed to provide temporary financial relief to families and enable them to stabilize their current financial situation while they participate with the First-To-Work Program, a work program for TANF and TAONF recipient families. As a condition of eligibility, families are required to participate in the First-To-Work Program. The Program assists families to gain financial independence by providing education and vocational training support, job readiness training, job search assistance, employment placement services, case management and counseling services, and other supportive services so families may obtain and maintain employment. To ensure success, families may receive child care subsidies, assistance with transportation costs, work- and education-related expenses, while engaged in the First-To-Work Program.
There are other program requirements that families must meet as conditions of eligibility for TANF or TAONF benefits such as furnishing social security numbers for each household member, cooperating with the Child Support Enforcement Agency to pursue additional financial support if there is an absent parent, and seeking treatment services for adult household members who are determined temporarily disabled, or recovering from substance or alcohol abuse disorders, or are currently in a domestic violence situation.