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State-Funded TANF Replacement Programs

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Last updated AUGUST 2011  |  Download PDFAdobe reader symbol - PDF

TABLE 8

THIS TABLE LISTS THE STATE-FUNDED programs that provide cash assistance to immigrants who are not eligible for coverage under the federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In several states, General Assistance or similar programs may fill in some of the gaps for immigrants who are ineligible for federally funded TANF services. The benefit levels, however, may be lower, and other restrictions and time limits may apply.

 State

Name of Program - Eligible Immigrants

 California

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKs)
“Qualified” immigrants, PRUCOLs, victims of trafficking, U visa/interim relief applicants, and U visa holders.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.

 Connecticut

Temporary Family Assistance
“Qualified” immigrants who have resided in the U.S. for less than five years. Must pursue citizenship unless the immigrant has a medical condition or language barriers, is a victim of domestic violence or is a person with mental retardation.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.

 Illinois

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
“Qualified” abused immigrants, regardless of their date of entry into the United States.

 Iowa

Family Investment Program
Abused immigrants who are:  (1) lawful permanent residents or conditional permanent residents, (2) asylum applicants, or (3) have approved or pending visa petitions that set forth a prima facie case for relief under the Violence Against Women Act, or an I-130 visa petition filed by a spouse or parent, are eligible regardless of their date of entry into the U.S.  Parents and children of abused immigrants also are eligible. 

 Maine

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Parents as Scholars
“Qualified” immigrants and PRUCOLs.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.
Individuals applying after July 1, 2011 must meet hardship criteria in order to qualify, which shall include exceptions for seniors, persons with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence and other hardship exceptions to be defined by rule. 

 Maryland

Family Investment Program (FIP) (cash assistance component of FIP is called
Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA))
“Qualified” immigrants and lawfully present immigrants.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming. 

 Minnesota

Minnesota Family Investment Program
Lawfully residing immigrants. If lawful permanent resident (LPR) age 18 through 69, and have been in the country for 4 or more years, and are not residing in a nursing home or similar facility, must (1) enroll in literacy, ESL or citizenship class, or (2) apply for literacy or ESL class, or (3) be in the process of applying for a waiver from the English language or civics requirement of the citizenship test, or (4) have submitted a citizenship application, or (5) have been denied citizenship due to a failure to pass the test after 2 or more attempts or because of an inability to understand the rights and responsibilities of becoming a U.S. citizen. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.  
Family Stabilization Services, a case management alternative to address barriers to work, is available to lawfully residing immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than 12 months.

 Nevada

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
“Qualified” abused immigrants. 

 New Jersey

Work First New Jersey
“Qualified” abused immigrants. PRUCOLs who resided in the U.S. prior to Aug. 22, 1996. 

 New Mexico

New Mexico Works
“Qualified” immigrants receive state-funded TANF during the five-year bar.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming. 

 New York

Family Assistance Program (FAP)
“Qualified” immigrants who are subject to the five-year bar and PRUCOLs receive assistance through the “Safety Net Assistance” program.

 Ohio

Ohio Works First
Persons under an order of supervision.
Note: Ohio denies TANF to most “qualified” immigrants who entered the U.S. on or after Aug. 22, 1996, even after they complete the federal 5-year bar. 

 Oregon

Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)
“Qualified” immigrants.  Victims of domestic violence are eligible, regardless of their immigration status. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.

 Pennsylvania

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
“Qualified” immigrants and PRUCOLs. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.

 Tennessee

Families First
Qualified abused immigrants 

 Utah

Family Employment Program
“Qualified” immigrants. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming. 

 Washington

WorkFirst
Lawfully present immigrants. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming. 

 Wisconsin

Wisconsin Works (W-2)
“Qualified” immigrants. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.
Note: Eligibility for the family is based on the parent’s status. 

 Wyoming

Personal Opportunities with Employment Responsibilities (POWER)
“Qualified” immigrants. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming. 



Key Terms Used in Table

“Qualified” immigrants – are: (1) lawful permanent residents (LPRs); (2) refugees, asylees, persons granted withholding of deportation/removal, conditional entry (in effect prior to Apr. 1, 1980), or paroled into the U.S. for at least one year; (3) Cuban/Haitian entrants; (4) battered spouses and children with a pending or approved (a) selfpetition for an immigrant visa, or (b) immigrant visa filed for a spouse or child by a U.S. citizen or LPR, or (c) application for cancellation of removal/suspension of deportation, whose need for benefits has a substantial connection to the battery or cruelty (parent/child of such battered child/spouse is also “qualified”); and (5) victims of trafficking and their derivative beneficiaries who have obtained a T visa or whose application for a T visa sets forth a prima facie case.  (A broader group of trafficking victims who are certified by or receive an eligibility letter from the Office of Refugee Resettlement are eligible for benefits funded or administered by federal agencies, without regard to their immigration status.)
“PRUCOL” or permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law – is not an immigration status, but a benefit eligibility category. The term, which generally means that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is aware of a person’s presence, but has no plans to deport/remove him or her, has been interpreted differently depending on the benefit program and jurisdiction.
Deeming – in some cases, a sponsor’s income and/or resources may be added to the immigrant’s in determining eligibility. Exemptions from deeming may apply.

NOTE: The information in this table is subject to change. Please check with your state or local social services agency or legal assistance office regarding the most current rules.