North Dakota TANF

Through TANF, North Dakota provides temporary cash assistance for its neediest residents along with work readiness, training and job placement services.

The aim is to provide the much needed support to needy families with children and help them move towards self-sufficiency.

Most TANF applicants in North Dakota who aren’t exempt are required to participate in the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program. 1

JOBS participants are required to complete a minimum number of hours each week in one or more of the following approved work activities. Otherwise, benefits for the initial 4 months are limited to child(ren) only.

  • Job readiness
  • Job search
  • Paid employment
  • High school/GED or education directly related to employment
  • Job skills directly related to employment
  • On-the-job training
  • Vocational training
  • Unpaid work experience
  • Community service
  • Child care for another participant involved in community service

If you have a child under age 6, you are required, as a condition of eligibility, to participate in an approved work activity for an average of 20 hours per week.


How do I apply for cash assistance in North Dakota? #


To determine if you are eligible for cash assistance program in North Dakota, you must complete the application process, either online or in person.

If you are eligible, you will get your benefits no later than 30 days from the date your local county social service office receives your signed application.

What if I need emergency cash assistance? #


If you need short-term help rather than long-term ongoing cash assistance, you may request for assistance through the Diversion Assistance.

Diversion cash assistance is provided to qualified families “in times of crisis and need” for up to 4 months within a 12-month period.

For information related to application for benefits or program eligibility contact your local County Social Services Office or direct your questions to

Economic Assistance Policy Division
TANF / JOBS Programs
(800) 755-2716

  1. JOBS is the employment and training component of North Dakota’s TANF program.