North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on August 17 that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also referred to as TANF program, expanded its standard of need to increase to 50% of the federal poverty level, from the current month and on.
The TANF program underwent these updates aimed at its modernization following a comprehensive analysis of the current environment. This in-depth assessment was carried out collaboratively by the HHS Economic Assistance (EA) Division and the Office of Family Assistance Peer Technical Assistance Network (OFA Peer TA). The recommendations derived from this evaluation were formally introduced by HHS and subsequently endorsed during the 68th Legislative Session.
How the TANF program was updated in North Dakota
The program adjusted its standard of necessity to account for the escalating expenses linked to inflation. Earlier, TANF aid was accessible solely to families whose earnings fell within 20-25% of the national poverty threshold.
Under the prior criteria, a household led by a single parent with two dependents would qualify for around $422 per month if their yearly earnings amounted to $5,069 or lower. However, this unmodified sum left families significantly beneath the poverty threshold, posing substantial challenges in meeting the program’s fundamental requirements.
With the new expansion of eligibility, low-income families who previously did not qualify can now apply and receive the all-important money to pay for their most basic necessities.
How to apply for the TANF assistance program in North Dakota
First, the application could be done using the Self-Service Portal (SSP), clicking here. If you’re not an online-kinda-person, go the old way by printing the application form and delivering it to the Customer Support Center or in person at your local Human Service Zone office. Afterward, you can submit a request to have an application mailed to you and return it to the Customer Support Center.
You might be required (but not limited to) the next documents, in order to get approved for the TANF benefits:
- Completed TANF application
- Proof of citizenship or alien status (birth certificate,
- naturalization record, passport, USCIS forms)
- Proof of residence (lease/mortgage, utility record or
- Proof of age (birth certificate, passport, driver’s license)
- Proof of identity (driver’s license, photo ID, lease/
- mortgage, utility record or receipt)
- Proof of social security numbers
- Proof of relationship (birth certificate, adoption record,
- court order record, tribal enrollment record)
- Proof of income (last month and current month)
- Proof of any assets such as:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
- Life insurance
- Proof of allowable expenses (if applicable):
- Child support or spousal support
- Child or adult dependent care expense