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TEA Program Arkansas – Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) Guide

TEA Program Arkansas – Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) Guide

Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, and there are many resources available out there for those in need. If you’re a resident of the state of Arkansas, read on. The TEAM Program in Arkansas is also known as the Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA Assistance). 

What is Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance?

Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance is a type of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) support available in the state of Arkansas. TANF is what the program is called at the federal level (for the whole country). Transitional Employment Assistance is what the state of Arkansas has called its state TANF program. When you hear information about TANF, you can assume it applies to Arkansas TEA as well. 

Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance is designed to help low-income families become independent from government financial support by offering temporary cash assistance. In addition to cash assistance, Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance provides job training and other supportive services. 

Children of families receiving Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance also receive some support. In particular, the program can help with childcare. 

The idea of the Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance program is to help families in need live independently of government assistance by helping them find work that will support themselves and their families. Families can receive TEA Assistance for up to 24 months. 

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Who is eligible for Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance?

To be eligible for TEA Assistance, applicants must be residents of the state of Arkansas. Applicants must also be either United States citizens, legal aliens, or qualified aliens. To receive assistance, you must be unemployed or “underemployed”. In other words, you should either not be working, or only working part-time for a very low income. However, if you are unemployed, you will be required to begin job training or paid work once you enroll in the program. 

“Low income” is defined by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services as any family which is not able to afford some of the services that could support them. This definition is very vague, and doesn’t tell us much about the income requirements for TEA. In other words, the only way to know for sure whether you qualify is to apply. The income requirements are based on a complicated calculation, taking many factors into account. 

Additionally, applicants must either be pregnant or have at least one child under the age of 18. You may also be eligible if you are under the age of 18 and leading a household on your own. Households without children under the age of 18 are not eligible for TEA. 

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What will I receive from Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance?

The cash amount that each family will receive is based on a number of factors, including number of family members, total income, resources, and the ages of the children. 

Unfortunately, Arkansas offers one of the lowest monthly TANF/TEA payments in the country, topping out at just $204 for a family of three. However, Arkansas TEA also offers assistance with finding work and childcare in addition to cash payments. 

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How do I apply for Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance?

You can apply online for Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance. Please note that the application begins by asking if you would like to register to vote. 

You will need the following pieces of documentation in order to apply: 

  • Proof of identity and age. You can use your driver’s license, birth certificate, or voter registration to verify. 
  • Social Security numbers for all members of your TEA family/unit or proof that you’ve applied for SSNs. 
  • Proof that your children are related to you and proof of their ages. This can be verified with birth certificates, school records, or medical records. 
  • If you are a single parent, proof that the other parent of your children is not living with you, or has died. This can be verified with divorce records, death certificate, sworn statement. 
  • Verification of immigration status, if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Pay stubs or government checks as proof of income. 
  • Proof that you are not eligible for unemployment compensation
  • Receipts from your rent or mortgage
  • Proof of address. Your address can be verified with a statement from your landlord or utility bills. 
  • Proof of immunization for all pre-school age children

Other documents might be needed as well, and your case worker will help you to identify them. 

If you need assistance with your application, you can call the Access Arkansas Helpline at 1-855-372-1084. 

For more information about TANF, the program that funds Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance, check out Low Income Relief’s guide to TANF

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Catherine Hall, LMSW is a therapist at a small group practice in New York City. She earned her master of social work degree at New York University.