Mississippi TANF

Updated June 14, 2019

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 achieve self-sufficiency through employment and job-readiness activities.

The amount of benefits is based on the family’s income. Mississippi, for example, pays at most $170 a month to families of three — consistently the lowest in the nation.

Most TANF families are expected to register for work 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.

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.1

Mississippi also put a drug testing policy in place that requires all applicants to be screened for drug use in order to receive benefits.2

  1. Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative (MLICCI), TANF at 20 in Mississippi
  2. ThinkProgress, Mississippi Will Drug Test Welfare Recipients