How to get TANF in Mississippi
With the fluctuations in the economy sending distress in personal finances, many people are seeking how to get TANF in Mississippi. TANF is a welfare benefit program that gives cash assistance to families and individuals who are undergoing a distressed financial situation in their lives. The program is also known as "temporary assistance for needy families". Mississippi's TANF program is managed by the DHS (Department of Human Services). The DHS manages the federal money given to the State of Mississippi and distributes the funds to the recipients, processes the applications, as well as enforces the rules. Often there is a negative connotation and opinion about TANF recipients without the true nature of the benefit being understood. TANF helps the local economy by propping up home values by foreclosure prevention, as well as lessons vehicle repossessions. Also it enables the families and individuals in a distressed financial situation to engage in local commerce helping local businesses.
The Mississippi TANF program has very strict rules that the DHS adheres to. All the applicants must meet the minimum qualifications without any exceptions. They must be citizens of the United States, have valid social security numbers, no or low income, very low financial resources, and be able to prove all of this information. There is also a maximum amount of time allowed that a person can receive the benefits in order to prevent people from staying on this welfare system for life. However, there are exemptions from this rule which covers people who are in the direct care of a minor child, a disabled person, or an elderly person. This exemption exists so that the recipient is able to continue caring for the helpless person.
Mississippi TANF Application Process
When an individual or family decides that it is time to seek the benefits of TANF in Mississippi, they will need to decide if they would like to apply online or in person at a DHS office. Often people choose to apply online for the mere convenience and the expedited processing time. A paper application form can be attained at any local DHS office near the applicant. The applicant should gather documentation such as current bills, bank statements, pay stubs, and know their mortgage amount. Also the knowledge of the approximate value of the applicant's vehicles is needed. When the applicant begins the application form (paper or online) they will be asked a series of identifying questions followed by questions about their financial situation. Please answer all of these questions with accuracy and legibly as possible.
Please remember that the Mississippi TANF benefit payout is based on a scale that the DHS follows. Falsification of any answer in order to defraud the system to get more benefits is a crime and can be prosecuted or the person banned from benefits for life. If the applicant is using a paper application, they need to take special care to consider that the DHS will need to be able to read their handwriting and spelling. If the DHS agent is unable to read the application, there can be serious delays and sometimes an outright denial of the benefits. Complete each answer and review the application when done.
Mississippi TANF Interview Process
When the application is finally completed, the applicant will either mail it to the DHS or submit the form online. Once received, the DHS agent will review the form to see if the applicant falls within the boundaries to qualify for TANF. If the applicant is within the scale, they will be given an interview time to come speak with a DHS agent in person. At this interview they will be asked a series of questions mostly about the application answers to review them. They may need some documentation proving who the applicant is, along with some more information on some of the questions. If an applicant is disabled or has some other type of impairment or transportation issue, they will be assigned a time for an interview over the telephone. If you get a telephone interview, please answer your phone at the assigned time in order to prevent delay or outright denial of benefits.
When the applicant is approved for TANF benefits, they will receive in the mail an EBT card. This card works practically like a debit card in stores and can even make cash withdraws from ATM machines. The recipient will be assigned off a scale (the DHS agent does not determine the amount) of how much cash they will get for TANF. This amount will be given on a monthly basis at an assigned date. If a recipient exhausts the amount given, they will need to wait until the date assigned for the benefits to be refilled.
There are many people seeking how to get TANF in Mississippi at the current time, so keep in mind that the lines may be long and the DHS workers overwhelmed. Remember that they are striving hard to process your application and that patience is appreciated. There is seating available in the lobbies of the DHS offices to assist people who have trouble standing for long periods of time. Be prepared with all documentation and identification information when you come into the offices to prevent return trips.
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