Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides cash assistance to needy families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs and while preparing program participants for independence through work. Adults with dependent children applying for or receiving TANF must meet financial and technical eligibility requirements. 

Conditions of eligibility include cooperation with child support, participation in work activities and compliance with substance abuse provisions. Earned and unearned income cannot exceed the benefit level paid for the assistance unit size and assets are limited to $2,000.00. Sanctions may be imposed for program noncompliance.

What’s New with TANF?

The new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program guarantees that support services are available to you and your whole family. Cash benefits for children continue regardless of how long a family has been enrolled in the TANF program and more rewards are available for parents who achieve employment and training goals.

The District is enhancing the TANF program by:

1. Eliminating Time Limits

     Removing the 60-month time limit for families receiving TANF

2. Enhancing Employment & Training Services

     Focus on education and employment programs

3. Improving Customer Service

     Providing one-on-one attention to help you meet your goals

4. Increasing Cash Benefits

     More cash in the home for children

5. Providing Bonuses

     Offering more rewards as you reach your education
and employment goals


In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be:
– A resident of the District of Columbia
– Either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age
– A US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident
– Have low or very low income, and
– Be either under-employed (working for very low wages),
unemployed or about to become unemployed.


Office of Human Services
Phone: (202) 671-4200
TTY: 711
Office Hours:
8:15 am to 4:45 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:15 am to 7 pm on Wednesday