Eligibility for FANF depends upon income, resources and the presence of a dependent child under age 18, or under age 20 if the child is a full time student in high school or in a high school equivalency program. FANF applicants must meet the DHHS definition of relative to the child and live with the dependent child. The child must be deprived of parental support or care because a parent died, left home, or is physically or mentally incapacitated.
- Citizenship Status/Immigration: Applicants must be either a US citizen or an eligible qualified alien.
- Social Security Number: The law requires that all members applying for FANF financial assistance furnish a Social Security Number or verification of an application for a Social Security Number if one has never been issued or you cannot provide the numbers.
- Age: Applicants must be prepared to present proof of age for all family members.
- Child Support: When you apply for NHEP or FAP, you automatically assign your rights to child support payments to DHHS. This means that unless doing so would be unsafe for you or the children, you give DHHS the right to collect and receive any child support money payments made on behalf of anyone in your household who receives TANF financial assistance. DHHS will assist you to obtain a legal order of child support and help you establish paternity if necessary. If you have no court order for child support, you will be expected to help us identify and locate the non-custodial parent.
Your Right to Claim Good Cause for Non-Cooperation with Child Support Requirements
- Work Requirements: Able-bodied adults, ages 16 to 60, are expected to work, attend school or participate in employment-based training services. NHEP will help you to prepare for and find a job as you work towards becoming financially self-sufficient. For some individuals, involvement in a job search is difficult due to such things as age, disabilities, or having young children at home; you may be eligible for an exemption under certain circumstances.
The New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP)
- 60 Month Time-Limit: Most families can receive cash assistance for a maximum of 60 months in their lifetime. Every month you receive cash assistance, whether in NH or another state, counts toward your 60-month lifetime limit. If you have already reached your 60-month lifetime limit, you may still be eligible for assistance in certain circumstances. Contact a DHHS District Office for more information.
The 60-Month Lifetime Limit on FANF: What You Need to Know
Financial requirements are broken into two components: income and resources. You are considered financially eligible for FANF if both income and resource requirements are met.
- Household Income: All available income for all members of your household is counted when we determine your eligibility. However, we subtract certain expenses from that total. If, after subtracting your expenses, your total net income equals or falls below the monthly net income limits for the number of people in your household, you are considered income eligible.
- Household Resources: All resources, which you and your family own are considered to determine eligibility. Examples of resources are cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, permanently unoccupied real estate and some trusts. We do not count certain resources such as the home you are living in, your furniture and one vehicle for each adult in the home. If, after counting or excluding your household's resources, your total countable resources equal or fall below $1,000, you are considered resource eligible.
- Household Expenses: FANF allows deductions (amounts subtracted) from your income for individuals who work, including up to 20% of earnings for FANF applicants, and all unreimbursed child care costs needed for employment or training.
What Happens Now?
If you meet the requirements above and think your income and resources are close to the figures provided and you wish to apply for FANF, you can:
- get the information you need to apply;
- Contact a DHHS District Office and speak with a DHHS worker who will assist you to complete the eligibility interview process; and
- Provide copies of any information that we may need.
If you are determined eligible for FANF cash assistance, you may qualify for other DHHS programs such as Food Stamp benefits, medical assistance, child care help or emergency assistance. We will also help you find, get, and keep a job, and cash assistance recipients are supported after getting a job and moving toward self-sufficiency. Your total monthly income will go up as you go to work and increase your earnings. For each dollar you earn, your cash assistance benefit will only decrease by 50 cents. If you become ineligible for financial assistance because of earnings, you will still qualify for up to 12 months of Extended Medical Assistance (EMA). You may also get a special benefit called Extended Food Stamps (EFS) for up to 5 months. After that period, then you may still be eligible for medical coverage, child care, and Food Stamp benefits if you meet the programs' requirements.
Right to an Administrative Appeal Hearing
If you disagree with any decision the Division of Family Assistance makes on your case, you may request an Administrative Appeals hearing.