Welcome to TANF Orientation - Muskie School of Public Service

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A Message from the Director
Welcome to
TANF Orientation
We are all faced with a series of great
opportunities brilliantly disguised as
impossible situations.
Charles P. Swindoll
Office for Family
Independence (OFI)
Works with people to help them find
ways to support their families
– Eligibility
– ASPIRE
– Child Support Enforcement
OFI Programs
TANF
 Parents as Scholars (PaS)
 Food Supplement
 Medical Assistance
 Emergency Assistance

How can TANF help you
to meet the needs of your
family today?
TANF
What does TANF mean to you?
TANF is:
 Temporary
 Assistance (for)
 Needy
 Families
TANF Time Limits
Federal and state law has
placed a lifetime limit on
receipt of TANF cash
assistance for families of
60 months or 5 years.
Approaching Your 60
Months
 You
will be notified 120 days prior to
reaching your 60th month.
 You will have the opportunity to
further discuss with your ASPIRE
worker your options to becoming selfsufficient.
You have the RIGHT:
To be treated with respect
 To apply at any time without discrimination
 To confidentiality
 To our decision in writing
 To claim “Good Cause”
 To appeal if you disagree with our decision

You have responsibilities
Follow through with your Family Contract
 Provide information and verifications
timely
 Report all changes
 Call us if you are unable to keep your
agreement with us
 To become successful

What is Good Cause?
Good Cause is our decision that you
had a good reason for not doing
(or postponing) something that your
worker asked you to do.
Opportunity
What do you know about ASPIRE?
ASPIRE provides opportunities and support
leading to employment
Opportunities
ASPIRE will give you the opportunity to:

Develop YOUR plan for reaching your goal of selfsupport

Explore the local job market

Develop skills to help you:
– Get ready for going to work
– Find a job
– Succeed on the job

Finish high school

Become self-supporting
Parents as Scholars (PaS)
Educational Opportunity



Same eligibility
requirements as TANF
Same benefits as TANF
for parents enrolled in a
2-4 year college program
Tuition comes from other
sources
Talk to your ASPIRE
Specialist!
What are Your Goals?
What will YOU need to get
started on your road to
success?
ASPIRE Activities

Work Goals
– On the job training
– Job club
– Job search
– Current employment - those who currently have a job
– Field training

Training & Educational Needs
– High school diploma / GED programs
– Short term certificate / vocational programs
– PaS Program
ASPIRE Support Services

Child Care

Transportation

Car repairs and insurance

Clothing for a job

Eye glasses and dental care

Other job related services
Other than a paycheck, how does
working make your life better?
Replacing the TANF Benefit
Receiving TANF only for household of 3 -
$485 per month
Working at least 30 hours per week at
$7.50 per hour = $774 per month (after
taxes)
Remember:
Both families receive food supplement & medical help
Earned Income Tax Credit
(EITC)
EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit
for low to moderate income working individuals
and families.
 Congress approved the tax credit in 1975 to
offset the burden of social security taxes and to
provide an incentive to work.
 When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed,
it results in a tax refund to those who claim and
qualify for the credit.

Division of Support
Enforcement & Recovery
(DSER)
Every child has the right to be supported by
both parents...
Role of DSER

Locate non-TANF parent

Establish paternity

Establish support orders
which can include
medical support, child
support and child care

Enforce support orders
Locating the Non-TANF
Parent

DSER must first know where the parent responsible
for paying child support is living or working

DSER gets addresses and/or employment
information from many sources
YOU
are often the best source of information…
How Paternity Is
Established?
Once the parent is located paternity must
be established

The named father must be given notice

A simple DNA test is done

Paternity can be legally established by a
court order or by both parents signing a
voluntary acknowledgement form
Benefits of Establishing
Paternity
The child knows who his or her father is
 The child has inheritance rights if the
father dies
 The child can get medical information
about the father’s family history
 The child gets Social Security benefits if
the father becomes disabled

Support Orders
After the parent is located and paternity
has been determined…

A support order will be established

Enforcement can begin and the family can
get child support

If the parent who is supposed to pay child
support does not pay DSER has many ways
to enforce a child support order
Your Role
Cooperation with DSER is required to
receive TANF and Child Support.
You must:
– Sign over rights to child support while on TANF
– Provide information about the other parent
– Forward child support payments made directly
to you from the other parent
– Inform DSER of changes
Remember: You may be excused from cooperation if
Good Cause is granted.
How much child support will I get?
If child support is paid on time, your family may
get “Pass Through and Gap payments”

If you currently receive child support, you may not
continue to receive all of that support

“Pass Through” is the first $50 collected. This
money is “passed through” to you

“Gap payments” are made when more support is
collected. You may get additional payments
depending on how much other income you have.
What DSER Cannot Do
DSER cannot:
Give legal advice
 Help w/ divorce or alimony
 Help w/ custody or property disputes
 Enforce visitation rights

To Contact DSER
The following is on the yellow card handout:
1-800-371-7179
DSER’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
automated telephone service
You may reach a Case Review Specialist between
10:00 am and 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday
Address: Case Review Unit, SHS #11,
Augusta, ME 04333
Fax: (207) 287-2334
E-mail: [email protected]
Success!
YOU did it!
What next?
Post TANF Help

Transitional Services include:
– Child Care
– Transportation
– Worker Supplement Benefit (WSB)
– Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)
– Medical Assistance
– Non-Welfare Child Support
Help us help you……

Open and read any mail from DHHS

Promptly call us if you cannot keep an
appointment or complete an activity

Inform us of any changes in your household
as they happen

Keep and look over the information provided
today about your benefits
Benefits are paid by:

Direct Deposit to your bank account
 Some money can be sent directly to a vendor
 Placed on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
card
– Balance printed on store receipt
– Call 1-800-477-7428
– Swipe card in machine
– Visit www.PineTreeCard.com
– Report a lost card immediately
Summary
TANF provides temporary assistance
while you prepare for work
 ASPIRE helps with employment, training,
education and support services
 DSER helps your child receive support
from his/her other parent
 Transitional Services help out when
working and your TANF benefits end

A TANF Recipient Success Story
Thank you for attending
In a few moments you will meet with your
ASPIRE Specialist
Be thinking about your Goals
How will you use this Opportunity to become
self-supporting and successful?
Revised 6/20/12
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