Income Maintenance - Temporary Assistance For Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

South Dakota Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a temporary public assistance work program administered by the Department of Social Services and the Department of Labor and Regulation.

It is designed to provide temporary assistance and economic self-sufficiency for children and families.

TANF is a needs-based program for families with children under age 18 (or under age 19 if the child is in high school) who need financial support because of:

  • a death of a parent,

  • a parent is absent from the home, or

  • physical or mental incapacity or unemployment of a parent.

Families with serious financial needs may qualify for TANF monthly payments. Your TANF payment is based on who lives with your family, who is eligible in your household, and other income and resources available to your family.

What are the requirements?

Families with serious financial needs may qualify for TANF monthly payments. Your TANF payment is based on who lives with your family, who is eligible in your household, and other income and resources available to your family.

TANF participants are required to work in allowable work activities a minimum of 30 hours each week. If you have a child under six years old, your weekly minimum requirement is 20 hours.

Wow do I get my payments?

TANF payments will be received electronically.  Recipients may choose to have their payments deposited directly into their checking or savings account, or they may choose to receive the Way2Go card.

What is a Personal Responsibility Agreement?

A Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) is a written and signed agreement between you and the TANF program. You agree that:

  • TANF assistance is temporary.

  • TANF is a work program.

  • It is your responsibility to find and keep work.

  • You will accept responsibility for yourself and your children.

  • You will follow all program conditions such as developing a work plan, keeping appointments, participating in a work activity, completing and submitting time sheets, and making sure your children attend school.

  • TANF benefits are intended to assist individuals and their families in meeting their basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, household items, and personal care items.

  • TANF benefits are NOT to be used for alcohol, illegal drugs, gambling, or other purposes not intended to meet basic needs.

What are the guidelines?

An adult TANF recipient may not receive TANF benefits for more than 60 months (five years). The 60 months do not have to be consecutive months in a row and are not limited to assistance in South Dakota, but may be from any other state.

During this 60-month life time limit, recipients are required to participate in work activities. Adult TANF recipients are expected to become self-sufficient within this time limit.

Are there penalties for failing to comply?

Yes, if you do not follow the TANF Work Program rules you will be penalized, which may affect your monthly payments as well as your TANF eligibility.

For more information, please visit DSS Economic Assistance Programs website here: https://dss.sd.gov/ 

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