Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) is Maryland’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program – or the old Welfare program. It provides cash assistance to families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs and while preparing program participants for independence through work.
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE IF I’VE BEEN INCARCERATED OR COMMITTED A FELONY?
Yes, you are eligible, but there are restrictions involved.
If you have been convicted of a crime, you must do everything the court orders or you cannot receive TCA.
You cannot get TCA if you:
1) run away from punishment or jail;
2) violate probation or parole;
3) have been convicted of welfare fraud in Maryland or any other state;
4) are convicted of a volume dealer drug felony or drug kingpin felony
Your children may get welfare even if your check is stopped because of a crime.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE?
In general for this benefit program, you must be:
- a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien or permanent resident, and
- have very low income.
You must also be a resident of the state of Maryland.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE?
- Family must cooperate with child support
- Participate in work activities
- Comply with substance abuse provisions
- Must meet financial and technical eligibility requirements
- Earned and unearned income cannot exceed the benefit level paid for the assistance unit size
Sanctions may be imposed for not complying with program requirements.
HOW LONG CAN YOU BE ON TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE OR TANF?
- You can only get TANF for 60 months or 5 years in your life time. After that you cannot get welfare for yourself but your children will continue to receive benefits
- Any months you spend on TCA after January 1, 1997 counts toward the 60 months or the 5 year limit. Time spent on welfare before January 1, 1997 does not count.
- The 5 year limit applies to all adults and heads of household. Heads of household are people who sign an application for TCA for themselves and a child.
- The 5 year limit does not apply to “child only” cases. For example, if a grandmother is getting TCA for a grandchild, but not for herself, the child’s benefits will not end after 5 years. The assistance may continue until the child is 19 years old.
- Not every adult can get “child only” TCA. If you are the natural or adoptive parent of a child, you must be on the TCA grant with the child.
- The time your children spend on TCA does not count for their 5 year lifetime limit as an adult. For example, a person who spent time on TCA as a child can still get 5 years of cash assistance as an adult.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE?
You can apply for Temporary Cash Assistance online or in person at the local Department of Social Services.
- Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ to file your application.
- Apply at your Local Department of Social Services in person. You may also file an application by mail, fax or other electronic means or someone may drop an application off for you.
As always, you will need your Maryland ID card, Social Security Card, and proof of immigration status.