Program Summary - TANF
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Program Summary - TANF

Revised October 1, 2013

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)

Purpose: This section describes the eligibility requirements for the TANF program that serves both clients who care for children as well as pregnant clients.

WAC 388-400-0005Who is eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?

WAC 388-400-0005
WAC 388-400-0005

Effective November 1, 2011

WAC 388-400-0005 Who is eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?

  1. You can get temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) if you:

    1. Can be in a TANF/SFA assistance unit as allowed under WAC 388-408-0015 through WAC 388-408-0030;

    2. Meet the citizenship / alien status requirements of WAC 388-424-0010;

    3. Live in the state of Washington.  A child must live with a caretaker relative, guardian, or custodian who meets the state residency requirements of 388-468-0005;

    4. Do not live in a public institution unless specifically allowed under RCW 74.08.025;

    5. Meet TANF / SFA:

      1. Income requirements under chapter 388-450-WAC;

      2. Resource requirements under chapter 388-470 WAC; and

      3. Transfer of property requirements under chapter 388-488 WAC.

    6. Assign your rights to child support as required under WAC 388-422-0005;

    7. Cooperate with the Division of Child Support (DCS) as required under WAC 388-422-0010 by helping them:

      1. Prove who is the father of children applying for or getting TANF or SFA; and

      2. Collect child support.

    8. Tell us your Social Security number as required under WAC 388-476-0005;

    9. Cooperate in a review of your eligibility as required under WAC 388-434-0005;

    10. Cooperate in a quality assurance review as required under WAC 388-464-0001;

    11. Participate in the WorkFirst program as required under chapter 388-310 WAC;

    12. Report changes of circumstances as required under WAC 388-418-0005; and

    13. Complete a mid-certification review and provide proof of any changes as required under WAC 388-418-0011.

  2. If you are an adult, you must have an eligible child living with you or you must be pregnant and meet the requirements of WAC 388-462-0010,

  3. If you are an unmarried pregnant teen or teen parent:

    1. Your living arrangements must meet the requirements of WAC 388-486-0005; and

    2. You must attend school as required under WAC 388-486-0010.

  4. In addition to the rules listed in subsection (1) of this section, a child must meet the following rules to get TANF:

    1. Meet the age requirements under WAC388-404-0005; and

    2. Live in the home of a relative, court ordered guardian, court-ordered custodian, or other adult acting in loco parentis as required under WAC 388-454-0005; or

    3. If the child lives with a parent or other adult relative that provides care for the child, that adult cannot have used up their sixty-month lifetime limit of TANF or SFA cash benefits as defined in WAC 388-484-0005; or

    4. If the child lives with a parent who provides care for the child, that adult cannot have been permanently disqualified from receiving TANF/SFA due to noncompliance sanction as defined in WAC 388-310-1600.

  5. You cannot get TANF if you have been:

    1. Convicted of certain felonies and other crimes under WAC 388-442-0010; or

    2. Convicted of unlawful practices to get public assistance under WAC 388-446-0005 or WAC 388-446-0010.

  6. If you are a client in a household which is eligible for a tribal TANF program, you cannot receive state and tribal TANF in the same month.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.


*** As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this clarifying page may no longer be effective for medical coverage applications received on or after 10/01/2013. Please see the ACA Transition Plan for more information. Clients who need to apply for medical coverage on or after 10/01/2013 should be referred to Washington Healthplanfinder.   ***

  1. If the household is determined ineligible because of children’s income and there is a disabled adult in the household, WAC 388-408-0010.
  2. The rule against receiving both "state and Tribal TANF in the same month" refers to TANF programs we administer whether they are funded with federal or state dollars.
  3. Tribal families are to be referred to Tribal TANF Programs consistent with the tribe's service area and service population. The families do not have a choice. Refer cases to the tribe and close the case.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Close the cases which appear to be eligible for Tribal TANF (i.e., includes a Native American living in the Tribal TANF service area) and refer them to the appropriate Tribal TANF program for an eligibility determination per the Operating Agreement. This is not a choice. It is based on department's agreements with the Tribes.

  2. Resolve any questions about the assistance unit's eligibility for Tribal TANF using the procedures outlined in the Operating Agreement.

  3. Determine eligibility for Basic Food according to the Operating Agreement.

    1. The Tribal TANF program verifies Tribal TANF eligibility and grant amount.

    2. Use the ACES Tribal TANF (TT) income code.

    3. Treat Tribal TANF cases as Categorically Eligible for Basic Food.

  4. The Tribal TANF program will refer cases back to the CSO if it determines the assistance unit is not eligible for tribal TANF.

  5. Only if the case has been referred and the client refuses, can the case reapply for TANF from the state

  6. Cases that transfer in or out of a Tribal TANF service area are similar to cases transferring in or out of another state.

  7. Use the Barcode Tribal TANF Referral System (last drop down under "systems") to:

    1. Enter all potentially eligible Tribal TANF cases;

    2. Track cases transferred to Tribal TANF;

    3. Track cases returned to the state as ineligible;

    4. Track cases moving in or out of a Tribal TANF services area; and

    5. Document cases that refuse to be served by the tribe.

Modification Date: October 1, 2013