Eligibility for TANF in Arizona


The question, “Who qualifies for cash assistance in Arizona?” is asked by residents in need of financial help. Fortunately, the state of Arizona provides straightforward cash assistance eligibility guidelines in regards to citizenship, residency, income and the Personal Responsibility Agreement, providing a greater understanding of the requirements that must be met in order to be accepted into the TANF program. Furthermore, it is important to know who is not eligible for TANF, even if other requirements have been met. For those still asking, “What are the income limits for TANF, and can I receive cash assistance?” review the sections provided below.

Arizona Residency and Citizenship Cash Assistance Requirements

When it comes to who can qualify for TANF in AZ, it is first important to know about the residency and citizenship requirements for the TANF program. These requirements are not only mandated by the state of Arizona, but also the federal government.

Cash assistance eligibility rules mandate that participants must either be United States citizens or qualified noncitizens. A nonqualified citizen has a legal presence within the United States and may potentially be a permanent resident. Additionally, in order to apply for TANF in Arizona, you must be a resident of Arizona. Review the documents that can prove citizenship, legal presence and Arizona residency by downloading our comprehensive guide.

The Arizona TANF Personal Responsibility Agreement

When considering who qualifies for cash assistance in Arizona, it is important to be familiar with the Personal Responsibility Agreement, or PRA. A PRA must be completed and signed prior to becoming a TANF beneficiary, and the completion of a PRA means that you and other household members will:

  • Prepare for – and accept – a job, if offered employment.

  • Make sure that all children ages 6 through 15 in the household attend school.

  • Keep child immunizations up-to-date.

  • Not quit a job voluntarily without just cause to maintain AZ TANF eligibility.

  • Not illegally sell, use or possess any controlled substance.

  • Cooperate with all qualification rules of cash assistance, the Child Care Administration and the Jobs Administration.

  • Cooperate with the DES Child Support Services, whenever applicable.

Should you refuse to sign a PRA, you will violate cash assistance requirements, and be ineligible to receive aid through the TANF program. Note that should you fail to cooperate with the conditions of the PRA, your household cash assistance will be penalized with a 50 percent benefit reduction for the first offense. After the second failure to cooperate with the Personal Responsibility Agreement conditions, your TANF eligibility, and benefits, will be terminated.

If you have good cause for not cooperating with the PRA, notify your caseworker of this, as you may be eligible for an exemption; these exemptions are determined on a case-by-case basis.

What are the income limits for TANF in Arizona?

When asking, “Who qualifies for cash assistance?” it is crucial that you understand that the TANF program in Arizona is reserved for the neediest families within the state. Since the Arizona TANF program is targeted toward needier families, there are income guidelines applicants will need to meet in order to be accepted into the program and receive TANF benefits. Generally, cash assistance eligibility dictates that a family’s countable income must not exceed 130 percent of the current federal poverty lines. This income guideline does not apply for families that are requesting TANF cash assistance only for a dependent child who is in the legal custody of the Department of Child Safety and is placed in foster care.

Who is not eligible for cash assistance in Arizona?

Finally, when considering who qualifies for cash assistance in Arizona through the TANF program, it is important to consider who is not eligible to receive TANF benefits.

First, TANF eligibility targets low-income families and households that do not contain a child under the age of 18. The exception to this rule only applies if a woman within the household is pregnant. Pregnant women may meet cash assistance eligibility requirements during the months preceding the birth. For example, when considering the due date, applicants could learn to apply for TANF and receive assistance for the nine months leading up to that date.

Citizens within the United States illegally, even if they are residents of Arizona, will not be eligible for TANF assistance. Additionally, you must have a Social Security Number in order to qualify. While individuals who are not Arizona residents may be able to use their TANF benefits within Arizona, they may not apply for Arizona benefits.

Some households will have cash assistance eligibility for up to 12 months after they are first accepted into the TANF program. Should you still need cash assistance beyond that 12-month period, you will need to apply for a hardship in order to receive up to a 12-month extension period. However, the Federal Lifetime Benefit Limit restricts beneficiaries eligible for TANF of receiving more than 60 months (five years) of TANF over an entire lifetime. While this does not apply to benefits received as a minor, you will be ineligible to receive additional TANF benefits in any state within the United States after the 60-month period lapses. Learn more about how to qualify for TANF in our free, informative guide.

What Kind of Assistance Does the Arizona Family Assistance Services Department Offer?

The state of Arizona can assist eligible families with services such as food assistance or temporary cash assistance. To assess your eligibility, you must fill out an application and provide the required documents. To learn all of the details needed to prepare for this application process, download our comprehensive guide today.

Who Is Eligible To Benefit From the Arizona Family Assistance Services?

Eligible low-income families or individuals in Arizona can benefit from programs offered by the Family Assistance Services Department. Temporary financial assistance or Nutrition Assistance services are available to those who qualify upon filing an application. To find out if your family is eligible for these benefits, download our guide now.