Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), also known as the Financial Assistance to Needy Families Program (FANF) provides cash assistance to families with dependent children.

FANF is provided through the following programs:

  • New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP);
  • Family Assistance Program (FAP);
  • Interim Disabled Parent (IDP) program; or
  • Families With Older Children (FWOC) program

All FANF programs have the same cash eligibility requirements and the same benefit limits.

To qualify, the dependent children must lack parental support or care due to death, continued absence, or because at least one parent in a two-parent home is disabled or incapacitated.

Benefit Limits for FANF

You can get FANF cash assistance for a maximum of 60 months. Counting for the lifetime limit for receipt of FANF cash assistance began in NH on October 1, 1996. October was counted as month 1 of the 60 months allowed if you received cash assistance beginning in October 1996. Any months you received cash assistance before October 1996 do not count toward your 60 month limit. There is no limit on receipt of assistance for the children in families headed by a relative who does not receive FANF assistance for oneself.

Related FANF Services

Parents of families eligible for FANF cash assistance are also eligible for Medicaid; children of FANF eligible families are eligible for Children's Medicaid (CM). Employment and Training Programs and Support Services assist adults receiving cash benefits through the FANF program. Employment and training services are provided by BFA and other interagency staff located in your local District Office.

Child Care Assistance assists parents engaged in work, training or educational activities. Payments to child care providers are coordinated by BFA in cooperation with the Child Development Bureau. Your Family Service Specialist or local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency can help you find the best care for your children.

Emergency Assistance assists families with dependent children who may qualify for FANF in obtaining and keeping safe and healthy permanent housing.

How You Will Receive Your Benefits

FANF cash assistance is issued twice per month via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). Cash assistance issued via EFT is deposited directly into an individual's checking or savings account and is accessible in the same manner as any other cash in the account. Cash assistance issued via EBT is accessed through a debit-style EBT card and individuals can either swipe the EBT card through a point-of-sale machine at participating retailers or use ATM machines to access the cash assistance.

Emergency Assistance

The Emergency Assistance (EA) Program helps families get or keep their homes. EA helps pay for rent or utility security deposits, first month's rent, home heating fuel deliveries, or past due rent, mortgage, or utility debts. Families must meet all the eligibility rules for Financial Assistance for Needy Families (FANF) cash assistance. However, families do not have to get the FANF cash benefit to qualify for EA.

EA helps families with children who have a housing or utility crisis and do not have the resources to fix the crisis. Families must be experiencing or threatened by one or more of the following:

  • Homelessness;
  • Termination of a utility; or
  • Lack of heat, hot water or cooking fuel.

The emergency situation cannot have been caused by a family member quitting a job. It also cannot have been caused by a member refusing to accept or continue with employment or training.

Availability of EA payments is limited:

  • Funding for EA payments is capped. Applications received after available funds are depleted must be denied; and
  • Recipients of EA payments are generally allowed to have a vendor paid with EA funds only once in a 12 month period.

There are exceptions to the "once in a 12 month period" rule. It does not apply to requests for:

  • Home heating fuel deliveries - these deliveries may be authorized up to 6 times in a 12 month period, up to the $700 cap; and
  • Rental security deposits - when the amount last approved within a 12 month period was or will be returned to DHHS by the former landlord.

Emergency Assistance (EA) funds for permanent housing and associated utility expenses can be authorized for the reasons and payment amounts cited below.

  • Security Deposit and/or First Month's Rent for Rental Housing-Maximum Payment: $650 for security deposit, or first month's rent, or both if the total is not more than $650
  • Back Rent - Maximum Payment: No more than a 2 month arrearage period and only the amount needed to keep housing
  • Mortgage Arrearages-Maximum Payment: No more than a 2-month arrearage period and only the amount of back payments covering principal and interest needed to keep housing
  • Utility Deposits to Get Gas, Electricity, Water/Sewer or Heat - Maximum Payment: Amount charged by the utility provider per utility
  • Utility Arrearages to Stop Termination of Gas, Electricity, Water/Sewer or Heat - Maximum Payment: No more than a 2 month arrearage period
  • Home Heating Fuel to Provide Heat, Hot Water, or Cooking Fuel, including home heating fuel arrearages (but not the cost of electricity to heat the home)-Maximum Payment: $700

General EA Eligibility Rules: Families must qualify for FANF cash benefits, even if they do not actually get the cash benefit.

EA Specific Rules: EA funds are meant to help a family fix an emergency situation. However, the family must first apply their own resources towards the situation. A family applying for EA must be without resources to meet an emergency situation, or the situation must require more resources than a family has available to fix it.

Proof: Besides the proof needed to qualify for FANF, the family must give DHHS proof of the emergency. The family must also give DHHS proof of the amount of money needed to fix it. If the amount of money needed to fix the emergency situation is more than the maximum EA payment amounts allow, the family must also give DHHS proof that they can get the rest of the money needed to fix the situation.

What Happens Now?

If you feel you meet the rules, you may apply for EA and

We will contact you if we have more questions.