In order to qualify for Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, which is the state's cash aid welfare program, the applicant must be a United States citizen or U.S. national, a resident of Texas, be pregnant or have children at home, and have a very low income. Applicants may be unemployed or under-employed.
The TANF program provides welfare benefits to low income families with children aged 17 and under at home, and includes children at 18 years of age if they are attending school full time. Income limits vary from year to year, and are decided by the number of parents and children in the household. Other factors taken into consideration for TANF eligibility include assets owned or controlled by the family. In addition to the TANF program, which provides cash assistance, families meeting such eligibility requirements may receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This program is most often referred to as food stamps, and provides extra help obtaining food for the family.
Both Texas welfare programs require recertification every 6 months and have continued eligibility requirements, such as job search and work participation requirements. Families can check to see if they are eligible for, and apply for, both TANF and SNAP benefits through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's website, or by calling (877) 541-7905.