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TANF FAQs

Our grant initiatives are funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding provided by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

What does TANF stand for and who is it for?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Families are defined by federal regulation and state law as follows:

  • A minor child who resides with a parent, specified relative, legal guardian, or legal custodian (a child may be temporarily absent from the home provided certain requirements are met);
  • An individual who is pregnant;
  • A non-custodial parent who lives in the state, but does not reside with his/her minor child(ren).

What are some of the guidelines that you need to know?

  • Funding must fall under one of the four purposes for TANF. See below for TANF purposes.
  • Funding to non-profits must be for non-assistance.
  • Funding is not paid up front. It is reimbursable only.

What is “Non-assistance?”

Non-assistance is benefits or services that are not designed to meet a family’s ongoing basic needs.

  • Short-term
  • Non-recurrent
  • Examples: work subsidies, supportive services to employed individuals, transportation, incentives, counseling, case management, peer support, child care information and referral, transitional services, job retention, job advancement, and other employment-related services that do not provide basic income support
  • Please see 45CFR 260.31 for reference

What are the purposes of TANF?

  • Purpose 1: Provide assistance to families in need so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives.
  • Purpose 2: End the dependence of parents in need on government benefits by promoting job preparation work and marriage.
  • Purpose 3: Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies.
  • Purpose 4: Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

What are the requirements of TANF?

  • A family must include a minor or a woman must be pregnant.
  • Households must earn 200% of the federal poverty line or less.
  • A non-custodial parent may qualify for non-assistance if their minor child is in state.

Social Security numbers are required.

Who qualifies as a minor child according to TANF?

  • (1) Has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • (2) Has not attained 19 years of age and is a full-time student in a secondary school (or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training)

Who qualifies as “Needy” according to TANF?

  • Needy is defined as low-income families whose households are at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level

What are the U.S. Citizenship Requirements for TANF?

  • Non-Citizenship eligibility is also available to qualified immigrants or protective refugee status.
  • A list of exceptions is available if funding is granted.

What cannot be funded by TANF?

  • Medical services
  • Any entertainment expenses (sports tickets, movie tickets, etc.)
  • Juvenile justice services
  • Regular IV-D child support services 
  • Regular IV-E services
  • Foster care maintenance payments
  • Constructing or purchasing buildings or facilities or purchasing real property
  • Public education
  • Satisfying a cost sharing or matching requirement of another federal program unless specifically authorized by federal law
  • Supplanting (replace or displace) current funding
  • Please see 2CFR part 200 for more details

What are the requirements to get started?

  • Must have an OAKS vendor ID with the state (If not, apply right away)
  • Must submit your Federal Tax ID
  • Must have a 501c3 status or Ohio non-profit verification
  • Must submit your DUNS Number
  • Must fill out a Location of Business form (supplied by the state)
  • Must have a budget for the program for which funding is requested
  • Must be able to wait for reimbursement of funds
  • Must have deliverables (goals and objectives) for your program
  • Submit Electronic Funds Transfer form if you wish to receive direct deposit

How long is the timeline to receive funding once approved? 

  • Once all documentation is submitted an agreement will be developed.
  • Once the agreement is developed it is sent out to vendor for approval. (If approved, it is signed by vendor. If not, it goes back for revisions.)
  • Once signed by the vendor, the agreement goes back to the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for signature and then is submitted to the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) for signature.
  • Once signed by JFS Director, a purchase order is created. This can take several weeks.
  • Work does not start until that purchase order is created.
  • Funding cannot be used to pay for prior expenditures!