DSS: Temporary Family Assistance

Temporary Family Assistance

Temporary Family Assistance (TFA)

  • Temporary Family Assistance is the name for the cash assistance program for basic and special needs which are paid to recipients of Jobs First. This replaced what was known as the AFDC program.
  • Previous welfare programs provided little incentive to find employment as most earnings (after some small disregards) were deducted from the cash benefit. Recipients were not allowed to have or accumulate any savings to plan for future emergencies. Jobs First was designed to reward work by providing incentives to self-support. The program is intended to be transitional assistance and to supply individuals with the tools they need to become self-supporting within twenty-one months.
  • Under Jobs First, recipients who get a job are allowed to keep all earnings up to the Federal Poverty Level as well as their cash assistance for the remainder of the 21 months. They are also eligible to receive medical assistance, child care and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Formerly Food Stamp Program).
  • Child support payments from an absent parent are sent directly to recipients and all but $50 is counted as income to calculate the amount of their public assistance grant.
  • To provide for future emergencies, recipients are allowed to have up to $3000 in a bank account. All life insurance policies and pension plans are excluded, and bonds are excluded as long as the combined face value of all bonds owned by the assistance unit are less than $1,000.
  • Understanding the need to have reliable transportation for work, one non-luxury car, with an equity value up to $9500, is excluded from consideration in determining eligibility for assistance.
  • Other program simplifications have been instituted to allow workers to concentrate their efforts on helping recipients to become employed and eventually self-supporting. 
  • The purpose of the Safety Net program is to minimize the likelihood of harm occurring to children and families who have lost TFA cash benefits.  Safety Net provides solution-focused case management and care coordination for up to 12-months to help current and former recipients of TFA achieve self-sufficiency through the identification and reduction of barriers to employment.


Funeral Allowance: The Department pays for funeral and burial expenses of SAGA, TFA, State Supplement recipients and indigent persons who die without sufficient estate or legally-liable relatives able to pay for the cost of a proper funeral and burial. The Departmentís maximum payment is $1,200. This amount is reduced by any liquid assets in the estate (such as money in a bank account),  life insurance policies, the amount in any funeral fund, any prepaid funeral contract, and the amount of contributions (regardless of source) that exceed $3,400.
Application must be made within one year of the date of death and may be filed by the funeral director, a family member, or any individual who made the funeral arrangements. Payment for the funerals can only be made to the funeral director, cemetery or crematory. Family members and individuals cannot be reimbursed or receive payment from the Department.

       *View the newly developed TFA program fact sheet for more information.

        Good Cause Brochure - Working and Your TFA Benefits   


Content Last Modified on 7/11/2016 2:50:46 PM