Mississippi TANF

TANF, commonly known as welfare, is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.

The program is designed to help neediest families in Mississippi achieve self-sufficiency through employment and job-readiness activities.

Most TANF families are expected to register for employment through Mississippi Works or participate in work activities as a condition of receiving cash benefits, unless otherwise exempt.

If you do not participate satisfactorily in approved work activities, the 60-month lifetime limit will be reduced to no more than 24 months.


How do you qualify for TANF in Mississippi? #


In order to qualify for TANF, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien, or permanent resident
  2. Live in Mississippi
  3. Be pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age
  4. Be unemployed or under employed (working for very low wages)

How much TANF can I get in Mississippi? #


Mississippi pays at most $170 a month to families of three — consistently the lowest in the nation, but the exact amount of cash benefits you may get is largely based on your family’s size and income.

Benefits are issued through the Mississippi Debt MasterCard® Card which is a prepaid debit MasterCard. Paper checks are not issued.

How do I apply for TANF in Mississippi? #


TANF application may now be made online through Mississippi DHS website. Upon receipt of your application, an interview will be set up to review your eligibility.

If you need help with your application, please call

Most applicants are required to complete a mandatory 30-day up-front job search and failure to complete this requirement may result in an application denial.

Mississippi also put a drug testing policy in place that requires all applicants to be screened for drug use in order to receive benefits.