To be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a family must be financially needy and must meet certain other requirements. An eligible child must be under age 18, or if 18, expected to graduate from high school before age 19; going to school regularly if he is between the ages of 5 and 18; living with a parent or other relative; and a citizen of the U.S. or an eligible immigrant.

An applicant must cooperate in naming the parents of all eligible children and must help establish paternity for each child. The Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) will send all support collected for this child directly to the family. A child will not be eligible if born to or adopted by a TANF recipient more than 10 months after an applicant begins receiving TANF.

The amount of the TANF check is based on the size of the family. A family may still be eligible to receive TANF while receiving money from other sources.

If you receive TANF, you may be required to participate in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) program. Families in the VIEW program may earn income and receive a TANF check. However, the total income cannot be more than the federal poverty level for the family size.

A family with someone in VIEW may receive TANF for no longer than 24 months followed by a period of 24 months ineligibility. A family may receive TANF no more than a total of 60 months in a lifetime.

Individuals may be prosecuted for fraud, perjury or charged with an intentional program violation (IPV) if they purposefully make false statements, withhold information, name the wrong person as a parent, or fail to report a change on time in order to receive benefits or VIEW services.

Additional information regarding the TANF program, application, forms and manuals is available online at

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