The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is run by IDHS. The program is for families with children and pregnant women who need temporary cash assistance. Those receiving TANF also receive medical assistance. Most TANF families also receive SNAP benefits to buy food. 


  • Be pregnant or have a child under age 19 who lives with them. A child who is 18 must be a full-time high school student. A pregnant woman (and her husband, if he lives with her) may qualify for help, even if they don’t have any other children.
  • Live in Illinois. You can be homeless and still qualify.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or meet certain immigration requirements.
  • Must be willing to engage in a maximum of 80 hours/month in one or a combination of activities(job readiness, job search, community service and work experience) in which there is cash assistance Benefits: Cash Assistance (such as child care, housing support)
  • Supportive services (Transportation, Clothing vouchers)
  • Vocational & computer training
  • Barrier reduction services (soft skills class, mock interviews)
  • Resume and cover letter edits