TANF Benefits and Income Limits for Single Moms in Texas 

TANF Benefits and Income Limits for Single Moms in Texas

There’s no doubt that being a single mother is one of the most difficult tasks someone can undertake. Whether it’s food, diapers, housing costs, medical costs, or other basic needs, raising a child is by no means cheap or easy. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but if you’re a single mother in Texas, then it is only natural to feel that you’re out here doing this alone. If you find that you’re struggling to make ends meet and provide for your child(ren), then you should know that there are options and programs out there to help you cover the costs of raising your child! 

TANF, or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, is a government program designed to “help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency.” States use this program to provide monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a variety of other services.

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Who Qualifies for TANF Benefits?

If you’re considering applying for TANF Benefits in the state of Texas, then you should have a solid understanding of who these benefits are designed for. 

In general, TANF benefits are only available to those families with children who are younger than 18 years of age and who have little to no access to a steady income. By Texas’ definition, a family qualifies as either: 

  1. Parent(s) in a single household caring for their own child(ren) or 
  2. Two or more relatives sharing the responsibility of caring for a child or children.  

To see if a family can qualify for TANF Benefits, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has to look at a few different things: 

  • The amount of money the family has.
  • The value of things the family is paying for or owns, and
  • The amount the family pays for child care and child support.

Maximum monthly income limits

The following chart, provided by the Department, lists the typical family sizes and the corresponding amounts of money they would typically qualify for in 2022.

Family SizeChild-only casesHome with 1 parent or caretakerHome with 2 parents or 2 caretakers

If your family unit has more than 5 people, then you would add an additional $43 per person. 

Additionally, if you are a grandparent or other adult (i.e. not the parent), then you may still be able to qualify for TANF benefits even if your listed income is slightly higher than the amounts listed in this chart. 

Other Factors to Consider

It’s important to keep in mind that there are other factors to consider and rules to abide by when it comes to TANF benefits. If a family unit applies and is awarded benefits, the parent or guardian in question must also agree to the follow conditions: 

  • To train for a job or look for work.
  • To follow child support rules.
  • To not quit a job.
  • To not abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • To take parenting skills classes.
  • To get required vaccinations for their child, and
  • To make sure the child in their care is regularly attending school.

Maximum Monthly TANF Benefit Amounts

Depending on the amount of children in your care, there is a maximum monthly limit that the state is allowed to give you for aid. The following chart, also provided by the department, lists these amounts below.

Family SizeChild-only casesHome with 1 parent or caretakerHome with 2 parents or 2 caretakers

Much like the income limits listed in the previous chart, if you find that your family size is larger than 5 people, then you qualify for additional adjustments in the amount of aid you are allowed to receive. 

In this case, you would add an additional $72 in benefits per person. 

One-time TANF Payments for Parents

If find that you are generally able to cover the costs of caring for the child(ren) in your stead but find yourself hitting a rough spot and are worried about what to do next: fear not!

The Texas Department of of Health and Human Services also offer one-time TANF payments to help families cover the cost of:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Furniture
  • Transportation
  • Phone
  • Laundry
  • Supplies for the home
  • Medical supplies not paid for by Medicaid
  • Other basic needs

Unlike benefits paid out under the normal TANF program, one-time payments are typically reserved for families in crisis who:

  • Have children age 18 and younger.
  • Don’t have a lot of money or have a way to get more money.

 In this scenario, a “crisis” is defined as losing a job, losing a home, or a medical emergency.

One-time TANF Payments for Relatives

If you are the relative of a child and also find yourself in dire straits when it comes to providing care, you are also entitled to receive a one-time payment to help you cover costs. 

Certain relatives caring for one or more related children can receive up to $1,000 to help cover costs. Keep in mind that this aid can only be received once in a lifetime, no matter how many children are in their care. 

Like the one-time payments offered to parents, this money can be used to pay for a variety of things associated with the cost of caring for a child, including food, housing, clothing, utilities, laundry, medical expenses, and transportation. 

As long as the expense is directly related in some way to caring for a child, the funds you receive from your TANF benefit payments are allowed to be utilized to pay for it. 

What Relatives Qualify?

According to the department, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and even great-grandparents are eligible to receive these payments as long as they: 

  • Care for a child who gets TANF.
  • Are 25 or older.
  • Do not have a lot of money or have a way to get more money.

The chart below illustrates the maximum monthly income limits a relative can get and still receive a payment.

Family SizeMonthly Income Limit
For each additional person, add:$787

Keep in mind as well that even if a relative is unable to receive the One-Time payment on their own, the child they are caring for may still be eligible to receive monthly TANF payments.

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