Who Qualifies for Welfare in Georgia?


Welfare is a government program assisting poor families with children under the age of 18 by providing monthly cash. In Georgia, welfare also is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). To qualify for TANF, you and your family, the assistance unit, must meet Georgia’s eligibility requirements. To apply for TANF in Georgia, contact the Department of Family and Children Services in your county.

Family Must Have a Child Under the Age of 18

According to the Georgia Department of Human Services (GDHS), to qualify for TANF in Georgia, your family unit must consist of at least one child under the age of 18, or 19 if the child is a full-time student. All children between the ages of 6 and 17 must attend school regularly and maintain satisfactory attendance. In addition, the GDHS must find the child is deprived because of the continued absence from the home of at least one parent, the death of a parent, or the mental or physical incapacity of a parent. Also, a family unit can establish deprivation if, in a two-parent able-bodied family, one parent has recently lost her job.

Income Requirements

To receive TANF in Georgia, a family must also meet income requirements, adjusted for the number of people in the family. According to GDHS, a family of three that includes a mother and two children under the age of 18 must have a gross income at or below $783 a month as of 2011 to be eligible to receive government assistance. In addition, the family unit cannot have assets that exceed $999.

Applicant Must Apply for Other Benefits

An recipient or applicant of TANF benefits in Georgia must apply for other benefits offered by the state, federal government and recent employers. For example, an applicant must apply for unemployment compensation, if eligible, and supplemental security insurance. If the applicant is eligible to receive child support, the applicant must accept the child support if it is available or pursue the payment of child support by the other parent.

Must Comply With Work Requirement

If you receive TANF in Georgia, you cannot sit idly by and accept benefits. All adult recipients in Georgia have a work requirement. The work requirement includes the participation of the recipient in work activities and training for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Parents with young children are not excluded from the requirement, and unless the child is under 1 year of age, the recipient must meet the minimum work requirement. In addition, welfare assistance is only available for 48 months in a lifetime. While the limit can be extended for certain hardships, being unable to find work will not suffice as justification.

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