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Can Alabama Family Assistance Help You?

Can Alabama Family Assistance Help You?

Life in the American South isn’t always easy.  Though many families are drawn to this part of the country by the lower cost of living, beautiful scenery, and hope for a more intimate family environment, some people find themselves tripped up by the lack of job opportunities.  Luckily, the Alabama Family Assistance program exists to help provide the cushion so many families need.

The Alabama Family Assistance program, also known as Alabama TANF, is dedicated to helping families provide for their children.  Benefits include job training and cash assistance to those who qualify for up to sixty months.

If you live in the state of Alabama, read on!  You might just find that you qualify for this helpful program.

What Is Alabama Family Assistance?

The Alabama Family Assistance program exists to help low-income families struggling to get on their feet.  Through job training and cash assistance, this program hopes to take care of children by meeting their primary needs at home. Other goals include job preparation, stronger marriages, and the prevention of out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

The programs available under Alabama Family Assistance are funded by TANF, which stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This program helps out in two major ways: by lifting immediate financial stress and setting parents up with better job opportunities.

Temporary Cash Assistance

If your family falls within the income requirements, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance.  This assistance is delivered through a monthly EBT card and can be used to pay for gas, groceries, or any other needs.  As is the case with many other programs, this money can not be used on alcohol, gambling, tattoos, lottery tickets, or any other entertainment that doesn’t lead to an overall improvement in a child’s life.

The amount that a family is eligible to receive depends on a number of factors: family size, income, and financial needs.  Generally speaking, the amount ranges from around $165 to $605, with the average allotment being around $250 per month. 

Though on its own this may not seem life-changing, it does go far in helping maintain a healthy, happy family.  It also serves to put your family on the radar in case of future disasters.  

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, TANF was in the position to help offset the financial struggles many families were facing through additional increased payments. Families already enrolled in the program received an additional $400 a month!

It’s important to understand that while this program is considered welfare, it’s far from a handout.  Alabama takes a “work first” approach to financial benefits; this means that to qualify for this assistance, parents must work a certain number of hours per week.  

This leads to the next major benefit of Alabama Family Assistance: job training. 

Job Training

Through Alabama Family Assistance, the JOBS program strives to help families not just get back on their feet, but stay on their feet through job training. Operational in all 67 Alabama counties, this program provides more than training; it helps parents overcome any barriers they may face in keeping quality employment.

Finding and keeping a good job takes more than just a few classes.  It requires childcare, proper transportation, and often helps fight back against addiction or domestic violence.  It may also take education.  The JOBS program helps parents tackle these problems and get to work!

To learn more about this opportunity, follow the link to find the program nearest to you. 

Who Qualifies for Alabama Family Assistance?

Qualification for this program depends on a few factors. First and foremost, the low-income applicant must agree to participate in job training and other activities that may help their family’s long-term success.  The applicant must also be able to pass a drug screening.  

The technical requirements themselves are a bit more complicated. 

Technical Requirements

On its face, most of the technical requirements involve capturing an idea of what your family looks like.  To take advantage of the assistance provided under Alabama Family Assistance, you must have a child under 18; if the child is enrolled in school, the age may include any 19-year-old children as well.

In addition, your child or children should:

  • Reside with a parent or other close relative. 
  • Be enrolled in school.
  • Be a US citizen currently residing in Alabama.
  • Not currently be receiving foster care.
  • Have a valid social security number, which should be given to the appropriate authorities.
  • Not be convicted of or on the run from any major criminal charges. 
  • Not have any other parents capable of fully supporting him or her. 

The applicant also must follow a few guidelines.  Applicants should:

  • Communicate any complicated family situations to the appropriate authorities.
  • Meet the terms of their Family Responsibility Plan.
  • Turn over all child support payments to the state.
  • Not be involved in any strikes.
  • Be high school graduates or enrolled in programs to obtain a GED.
  • Apply for any other benefits for which they may be eligible.

If the parent applying for Alabama Family Assistance is under the age of eighteen, he or she should be living with an adult relative or parent to qualify for benefits. 

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No matter where you live in this great country, you’re eligible for the help you need to keep your family from poverty!

How to Apply for Alabama Family Assistance

To apply for Alabama Family Assistance, you will fill out an application and deliver it to the Department of Human Resources within your county.  From here, you’ll be directed to someone who will explain the program even more fully, including the next steps you might take from here.

From this point, you may be asked to participate in a phone or in-person interview.  This is just to gain a better understanding of how this program might benefit your family. If accepted, your family will be assigned a caseworker, who will assist you in making your own Family Responsibility Plan.  

After the final steps, the process should be a simple matter of passing any necessary drug screenings, beginning the early steps of your new job training programs, and receiving the help your family needs. 

Final Thoughts

Though Alabama Family Assistance may be the first step your family could take into a better future.  Through childcare, help with transportation, job training, and cash benefits, this program involves taking tiny steps today into a world with greater opportunities tomorrow!  

Remember, every little bit helps.  For those living in Alabama who need a bit more help, remember to check out Low Income Relief and find out more about other opportunities near you. 

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Jessica Richburg is a freelance writer and educator. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, she's located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she passes the time reading, writing, and trying not to be eaten by her feral cat.