Pennsylvania TANF

Pennsylvania TANF provides very low-income families with temporary financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and other expenses.

Families who are eligible for TANF in Pennsylvania are categorically eligible to receive medical assistance through the state’s Medicaid program.

As a condition of eligibility, you are required to complete and sign an agreement to engage in work activities that will lead to employment, unless otherwise exempt.


Who gets cash assistance in PA? #

To qualify for TANF in Pennsylvania, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
  2. Be a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.
  3. Be pregnant or have a child under age 19.
  4. Be unemployed or under employed (working for very low wages).
  5. Meet income limit guidelines.

What is the income limit for TANF in PA? #

In Pennsylvania, a family is considered “needy” when their countable income is less than $403 a month for a family of three. The limit for countable resources is $1,000.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $205
  • 2 $316
  • 3 $403
  • 4 $497
  • 5 $589
  • 6 $670
  • Plus +$83 per additional person

Pennsylvania has different benefit levels based on geographic location. The benefit levels listed here are for Group 2, which includes Philadelphia County, the county with the most TANF participants.

How much is TANF in Pennsylvania? #

How much cash assistance you'll get in Pennsylvania largely depends upon your family’s income and size. For example, a family of three in PA with little or no income may receive up to $403 in cash benefits each month.

How do I apply for cash assistance in PA? #

Now you can apply for TANF from the comfort of your home using COMPASS — an online application for Pennsylvanians to apply for benefits including SNAP.

Once your application is approved, your benefits are deposited using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) onto a “Pennsylvania Access Card” which can be used wherever EBT is accepted or to withdraw cash at an ATM.

If you need assistance, you can call your local county assistance office or the HelpLine at 1-800-692-7462.

How long can I be on welfare in PA? #

TANF is intended to be a temporary means of support while families work towards self-sufficiency. In Pennsylvania, receipt of cash assistance is limited to no more than 60 months in a lifetime.

However, you may continue to be eligible for cash assistance benefits after the five-year limit has ended through “Extended TANF”.

You may be eligible for Extended TANF if:

  • You have a family crisis.
  • You are caring for an individual who is disabled.
  • You have a child under the age of 12 months.
  • You are able to work, but can’t find a job.
  • You are working or in an approved training program.
  • You or a family member is a victim of domestic violence.
  • You have physical or mental condition that prevents you from working.
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