The Recovery Act invested millions in new projects that are improving our infrastructue, repairing homes, and much more. But it also provided millions in direct benefits for families, students, businesses, investors, and more including more than $288 million in various forms of tax relief. Guidance on how to access each of those benefits is below.
Recovery Act Provisions:
- Up to $5 billion in emergency funding nationwide
- $319 million in supplemental grants to states with high population growth, including Texas
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides support to certain low income families through financial assistance and social services. The primary focus of the program is a system of monthly cash payments that can help pay for food, clothing, housing, utilities, furniture, transportation, telephone, laundry, household equipment, medical supplies and other basic needs. There is also an emergency TANF program that provides one-time assistance for people who lose their job, have a medical emergency, or face other unexpected setbacks.
To apply for benefits, take the following steps:
1) Determine your eligibility
Applicants must meet certain asset and income requirements, though some modifications do apply. To check your eligibility for TANF and other public benefits, visit this site run by the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.
2) Gather necessary materials
If you qualify for TANF, you will need to gather the following materials before filling out the application:
- Household income from a job, child support, and other income
- Social Security Numbers and birth dates of household members
- Current or recent health insurance information
- Current car insurance information
- Housing and utility expense information
- Resource information, such as bank accounts, vehicles, homes, property, life insurance, etc.
3) Register and apply online or with a paper application
To apply online, start by creating an account here. Then, log in and click â€œApply For Benefitsâ€ on the left hand side of the page, using the materials you previously gathered to answer the application questions.
Applications can also be obtained by calling 2-1-1 and requesting a paper application that can be filled out and returned by mail or fax.
4) Complete the follow-up process
Applicants will have their applications processed and will be assigned a caseworker, with whom they must interview. If approved, TANF recipients agree to
- Train for a job or look for employment if capable
- Cooperate with child support requirements.
- Not voluntarily quit a job.
- Not abuse alcohol or drugs.
- Take parenting skills classes if required.
- Get medical screenings and all required immunizations for all children in the household (adults and children who receive TANF can get health care services through Medicaid).
- Make sure that children are attending school.
5) Take advantage of employment assistance for TANF recipients
One requirement of TANF recipients is that that look for employment or participate in vocational training. The Texas Workforce Commission operates special programs to assist TANF recipients in gaining employment and becoming self sufficient.