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After DOMA: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

After DOMA: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally-funded program run by states that provides limited cash assistance to extremely low-income parents and their children. States may have different names for this program, but it can be called public assistance, temporary assistance, general assistance or cash assistance. This program is extremely limited and provides small amounts of assistance to parents who have little or no income and very few assets for limited periods of time. It also provides some assistance directly for their children. Since the passage of Welfare Reform in the mid-90s, there are severe restrictions on the program, which vary state by state, and many extremely lowincome parents do not qualify.

There is a requirement that adult recipients of TANF generally must work or participate in a welfare-to-work program, although the requirements vary widely from state to state. In many states, being eligible for TANF may also make you eligible for free child care, although child care may not actually be available.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally-funded program run by states that provides limited cash assistance to extremely low-income parents and their children. States may have different names for this program, but it can be called public assistance, temporary assistance, general assistance or cash assistance. This program is extremely limited and provides small amounts of assistance to parents who have little or no income and very few assets for limited periods of time. It also provides some assistance directly for their children. Since the passage of Welfare Reform in the mid-90s, there are severe restrictions on the program, which vary state by state, and many extremely lowincome parents do not qualify.

There is a requirement that adult recipients of TANF generally must work or participate in a welfare-to-work program, although the requirements vary widely from state to state. In many states, being eligible for TANF may also make you eligible for free child care, although child care may not actually be available.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Immigration Equality on Jun 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/20/2014

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Tis series of fact sheets produced together by:
 American Civil Liberties Union | Center for American Progress | Family Equality Council | Freedom to Marry | Gay & Lesbian Advocates & DefendersHuman Rights Campaign | Immigration Equality | Lambda Legal | National Center for Lesbian Rights | National Gay and Lesbian Task Force | OutServe-SLDN.
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FORNEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
 
 What is TANF?
emporary Assistance or Needy Families (ANF) is a ederally-unded program run by states that provides limited cash assistance to extremely low-income parents and theirchildren. States may have dierent names or this program, but it can be called publicassistance, temporary assistance, general assistance or cash assistance. Tis program isextremely limited and provides small amounts o assistance to parents who have little orno income and very ew assets or limited periods o time. It also provides some assistancedirectly or their children. Since the passage o Welare Reorm in the mid-90s, there aresevere restrictions on the program, which vary state by state, and many extremely low-income parents do not qualiy.Tere is a requirement that adult recipients o ANF generally must work or participatein a welare-to-work program, although the requirements vary widely rom state to state.In many states, being eligible or ANF may also make you eligible or ree child care,although child care may not actually be available.
 Who qualifes or TANF?
ANF is run and designed by states, so each state has dierent rules or who qualiesand what aid is available. Generally, ANF may be available to pregnant women, legally-recognized parents and their children, and in some circumstances, stepparents or legally-recognized relatives caring or children. Tis means that in states where same-sex parents arenot recognized under the law, non-biological parents may not be able to qualiy or ANF.However, there are other assistance programs or relatives and non-relative caregivers whoare caring or a child (but only i there is no legal parent raising the child). Some o theseother programs may actually provide better aid than ANF.
 Who will be recognized as married or TANF purposes?
Tere are ederal rules that restrict how states run this program.
•Ifyourstaterecognizesyourmarriage:
Now that Section 3 o the ederal Deenseo Marriage Act (DOMA) has been overturned, every state that recognizes marriagesbetween same-sex couples will recognize their marriages or all ANF purposes.
•Ifyouareinacivilunionorregistereddomesticpartnershipandyourstaterecognizesyourrelationship:
 You may be treated as married or ANF purposes.
•Ifyouliveinastatethatdoesntrecognizeyourrelationship:
You will probably notbe recognized as married or ANF purposes.
The Supreme Court victory in
United States v. Windsor 
striking down the discriminatory ederal Deense o Marriage Act (DOMA) afrms that allloving and committed couples who are married deserve equal legal respect and treatment rom the ederal government. The demise o DOMAmarks a turning point in how the United States government treats the relationships o married same-sex couples or ederal programs that are linkedto being married. At the same time, a turning point is part o a longer journey, not the end o the road. There is much work ahead beore same-sexcouples living across the nation can enjoy all the same protections as their dierent-sex counterparts.
KeepinMind:
•
Te Supreme Court’s ruling in
Windsor 
applies only to the ederalgovernment. It does not change discriminatory state laws excluding same-sex couples rom state-conerred marriage rights.
•
Te ruling striking down DOMA will not be eective until 25 daysrom the decision. Even when eective, ederal agencies—largebureaucracies—may need and take some time to change orms,implement procedures, train personnel, and efciently incorporatesame-sex couples into the spousal-based system.
•
Until same-sex couples can marry in every state in the nation, there will be uncertainty about the extent to which same-sex spouses willreceive ederal marital-based protections nationwide. For ederalprograms that assess marital status based on the law o a state thatdoes not respect marriages o same-sex couples, those state laws will likely pose obstacles or legally married couples and surviving spouses in accessing ederal protections and responsibilities.
•
Securing air access to ederal protections that come with marriageor all same-sex couples in the nation will take some time and work.In some situations, it may require Congressional action or ormalrule-making by agencies.
•
Beore making a decision, it is essential that you consult an attorney or individualized legal advice. Tis is particularly important orpeople who are on certain public benets, as getting married may  jeopardize your eligibility without providing you the ull measureo protections other married couples enjoy. In addition, couples who travel to another place to marry and then return to live in a state that does not respect their marriage may be unairly unableto obtain a divorce, which can lead to serious negative legal andnancial consequences. People must make careul decisions whenand where to marry, even as we work together to end this injustice.
•
 We are committed to winning universal access to ederal maritalprotections or married same-sex couples through ongoing publicpolicy advocacy, and, where necessary, strategic litigation. Contactour organizations i you have questions, or updates and to learnmore about what you can do to achieve ull equality or those whoare LGB.Tis Guidance is intended to provide general inormation regarding major areas o ederal marriage-based rights and protections based onhow the various ederal agencies have administered ederal benets.
It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specifc acts or circumstances, and does not create an attorney-client relationship
. Past practice is no guarantee o uture developments. While laws and legal procedure are subject to requent change anddiering interpretations in the ordinary course, this is even more truenow as the ederal government dismantles DOMA and extends ederalprotections to same-sex couples. None o the organizations publishing this inormation can ensure the inormation is current or be responsibleor any use to which it is put.No tax advice is intended, and nothing therein should be used, andcannot be used, or the purpose o avoiding penalties under the InternalRevenue Code.Contact a qualied attorney in your state or legal advice about yourparticular situation.

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