Application process for TANF benefits in Washington.

How to get TANF in Washington 

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services regulate federal funding to provide TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits to the people of Washington. This allows families who are going through incredibly rough financial difficulties to receive cash benefits. These benefits can help the recipients to pay bills, make house payments, car payments, and engage in their local economy. TANF has been known to also prop up house values, as many foreclosures are often avoided. Most recipients of the Washington TANF program only stay with the system for a short time, enabling to get a more secure financial footing through employment.

The Washington TANF program has incredibly strict requirements that must be met in order for an applicant to be approved for benefits. The applicant must be able to prove their destitute financial status, be free from felonies, be citizens of the United States, and have a vehicle equity value of less than $5,000. Also the applicant must not have exhausted their lifetime maximum benefit amount. The lifetime benefit amount is to ensure the people of Washington that the TANF program is used as a crutch and not a foundation for the welfare of the people. Exemptions of the lifetime maximum benefit include those in the care of a minor child, those in the direct care of the elderly, and those caring for the disabled.

Applying for TANF in Washington

Applying for TANF in Washington ("Work First" program) is involved and will require a person to disclose a lot of personal information to the DSHS. They will need to have documents such as birth certificates, social security numbers for every member in the home, pay stubs (if applicable), and bills. The Washington TANF application can be obtained from any DSHS office near you. The applicant will need to complete all of the answers on the application to the best of his/her ability. Please write legibly as the DSHS representatives will have to actually read the information so that they can submit the data into their computer systems. Computerized applications for TANF are being created at this time and will soon be available for all applicants.

It is important that all applicant answers every question accurately and truthfully. The amount of cash benefit awards that all TANF recipients will receive are based on the income level, financial resources, and amount of people in a particular residence. Sometimes people will intentionally lie on these details in order to increase the benefit amount. This is actually a crime, and can result in a lifetime ban or even result in criminal prosecution. The legibility and spelling are also important if the applicant wants to avoid delays in processing time.

Washington TANF Interview

When the applicant has completed the application, they will submit it to the Washington DSHS. The agents will quickly review the application to find if the applicant's financial situation falls within the range of a potential recipient. If the agent finds the applicant's information to be within range, they will either assign an interview time on the spot or they will call the applicant later for an interview time setup. At the interview, the application will have to exhibit their financial documents along with identification information. The agents will usually just review the answers and may ask for more specific details on some of the answers. Usually the interview is laid back and friendly so long as courtesy is given.

When the applicant is approved to receive TANF in Washington, they will be mailed an EBT card. This card will allow the recipient to make cash withdraws from ATM machines, debit purchases, and in some cases to pay bills wherever EBT is accepted. There will be a date the DSHS assigns to the recipient where the benefits will be reloaded onto their account. If the recipient were to deplete the benefits in their account, they will need to wait until the monthly date to be reloaded with funds.

Please keep in mind that there is a lot of financial distress in the country right now, and many people are seeking how to get TANF in Washington at this time. The wait times at the DSHS offices may be long, so please bring something to keep you occupied during this time. The agents are striving hard to process many applications and truly wish to process yours as quickly as possible. Patience goes a long way in helping to smooth the application process and is always appreciated.

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