TANF Program Benefits in Arizona


For many, the cash assistance benefits that are offered through TANF in Arizona are an invaluable resource that can aid families in staying clothed, fed and sheltered. Reserved for the neediest families in Arizona, it is important to understand the TANF benefits program, including how benefit amounts are calculated, how they are received and how long a family can remain on the TANF program. For more information on the TANF assistance benefits that are available, review the sections below.

What cash assistance benefits does TANF provide in Arizona?

TANF cash assistance benefits are available in Arizona, and can help pay for everyday items, such as household supplies, hygienic items and food. Additionally, ATMs that are designed to accept EBT cards will allow beneficiaries to withdraw money that can be used for rent, utilities and other important household bills. Through the TANF benefit program, the neediest families in the state of Arizona are able to improve their quality of life, and work toward supporting themselves.

Note that TANF benefits cannot be used at any point-of-sale terminal or ATM that does not accept EBT cards. This includes terminals that are found in liquor stores, gambling casinos, race tracks, medical marijuana dispensaries and adult entertainment establishments. The state of Arizona also prohibits the purchase of lottery tickets with TANF benefits.

Arizona cash assistance benefits are designated for use within the state of Arizona; however, you may use your EBT card outside of Arizona if the need arises. Should your EBT usage exceed 10 percent of your benefit amount during a six-month period, you will be contacted with further questions about the usage of your EBT card.

While most of the TANF benefits program beneficiaries will receive their benefits monthly, some may be eligible for a large, one-time, lump-sum payment, instead, through Arizona’s Grant Diversion Program. This program contains its own benefits and requirements, but you can ask your TANF eligibility interviewer about the Grant Diversion Program, if you would prefer to obtain a one lump sum.

In general, the Grant Diversion Program will require:

  • That you meet the cash assistance benefits eligibility requirements within the state of Arizona.

  • That you are eligible for at least $1 in a TANF approval month.

  • That you have not received cash assistance in the application month or a Grant Diversion in the month before the application month.

  • That you have not received Grant Diversion in the 12 months before the application, as Grant Diversion can only be received once in a 12-month period.

Just like with cash assistance, you will receive your one lump sum on your Arizona EBT card. Learn more about Arizona cash benefits in our free, downloadable guide.

How are TANF benefits program amounts determined in Arizona?

Arizona cash assistance benefits come as a fixed amount. The amount that you receive monthly, or within a one lump sum, is determined by one large factor: your financial obligations. The Arizona TANF benefits program refers to the two-payment standards as “A1” and “A2.”

While the A1 payment standard will generally provide a greater cash assistance benefit amount, it requires that households have financial obligations, such as rent, utilities, mortgage or taxes. The A2 payment standard is utilized whenever a household is ineligible for the A1 payment standard.

The TANF program in AZ then looks at the number of participants, which is the number of members in your household, in order to determine the complete benefit amount, based upon which payment standard is used.

Note that the countable income of the beneficiary family must not exceed the applicable payment standard in order to remain eligible for assistance within Arizona. Download our complimentary guide to read more about cash assistance payment amounts in Arizona.

How long do cash assistance benefits last in Arizona?

After learning how to apply for cash assistance benefits and being accepted into TANF in Arizona, it is important to understand when your benefits will be terminated, if you are eligible to apply for an extension and when you can no longer receive assistance through TANF. If you already receive TANF benefits, or you are interested in submitting an application, you are likely wondering, “How long do TANF benefits last?”

The most straightforward answer is 12 months, unless exempt. Some Arizona households are eligible to receive additional cash assistance TANF benefits if they are experiencing a hardship, also referred to as a 12-month time extension.

While some families may be able to receive an extension of the TANF benefits program in Arizona, it is crucial that you understand that Federal Lifetime Benefit Limits restrict how many months you can receive TANF assistance in a lifetime. This cutoff will be 60 months (five years). Not only is the maximum amount of TANF assistance benefits that you can receive in Arizona 60 months, but you will not be able to receive TANF benefits in any other state after that 60-day period. However, benefits that are received by a child under the age of 18 means the recipient can still collect cash assistance benefits later in life, if needed, without being penalized for the benefits received while he or she was a minor. Learn more about the TANF cash assistance program and the associate benefits by downloading our comprehensive 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.