Virginia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in Living Assistance
December 19, 2018


Virginia's TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program, authorized by the PRWORA (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act) of 1996, replaced the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) program. PRWORA created a block grant program that gives states considerable flexibility in designing and administering assistance programs. The TANF program was designed to dramatically reform the nation's welfare system by moving recipients into work, developing the personal responsibility of recipients, and turning welfare into a program of temporary assistance.
Eligible families receive a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs. To be eligible, a family must be financially needy and must meet certain requirements.


Virginia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is administered by Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

Program Requirements:

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Virginia. Also, a family must be financially needy and must meet certain requirements. A child may be eligible if (s)he: Is under age 18, or if 18, will graduate from high school before age 19; Is going to school regularly if he is between the ages of five and 18; Is living with a parent, or other relative; Is a U.S. citizen, or an eligible immigrant. A child will not be eligible if born to or adopted by a TANF recipient more than 10 months after an applicant begins to receive TANF. The Division of Child Support Enforcement will send all support collected for this child directly to the family. This support will not count as income in the TANF program.

Application Details

You may get an Application for Benefits form at the department of social services office in your county or city. If you go to the social services office, you may fill out the form there and turn it in before leaving, or you may take it with you and mail or take it back later. If you prefer, you can call the social services office and ask them to send you an application form. You must then mail or take it back to the social services office. An interview is required to go over the information to complete the application process.

Please visit the Virginia Department of Social Services website to locate the nearest department of social services and/or download an application for benefits:

Application page

Local social service agency page 

Unless instructions are indicated on the individual form, all forms under Temporary Assistance Programs should be sent or delivered to the local social service agency that either services your geographical jurisdiction or handles your existing case.


(855) 635-4370

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