What is Cash Assistance?

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Cash Assistance (CA) is Arizona’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It helps families pay for food and other basic needs while assisting with job training and finding employment.

Who is Cash Assistance (CA) for?

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CA is for families with children who cannot afford to pay for basic needs.

How does Cash Assistance (CA) define a family?

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CA defines a family as one or two parents living with their child or children under 18. CA defines children as people under 18 who live with their parents or guardians. If your child is in school full time, they can be up to 18 years old as long as they will finish school before they are 19. A family could include biological kids, step kids, adopted kids, and children of relatives.

What are Cash Assistance’s asset limits?

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When you are applying for Cash Assistance (CA), you have to have less than $2,000 in assets.

Note: If your disability began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account where you can save up to $15,000 per year and not have it counted by TANF Cash Assistance. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

Does Cash Assistance (CA) count all of my family’s assets when they decide if we’re over the limit?

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No. Some examples of assets that CA doesn’t count are:
  • The home your family lives in
  • Personal goods like pets, furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and tools
  • Your car
  • Assets in a tax-free ABLE account

What are the income limits for receiving Cash Assistance (CA)?

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CA’s income limits can vary depending on:
  • How many people are in your family
  • Whether or not people in the family work
  • Whether or not people in the family are related to one another
  • If you are renting a place to live or if you are receiving housing assistance
  • Whether your income is earned or unearned

When you apply for CA, talk to your Eligibility Interviewer about what the exact limits are.

How much money will I get each month from Cash Assistance (CA)?

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The exact amount of your benefit depends on your family situation. For example, a family of three with no income can get up to a maximum of $278 per month in Cash Assistance.

Make sure you give your Eligibility Interviewer all the information they need to calculate your amount correctly.

If I work, will my CA benefits go down? I don’t want to have less money overall.

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No. Your Cash Assistance (CA) benefit will go down but the combination of your earnings and CA benefit will always be higher when you work. In other words, you’ll always be better off financially if you get a job.

How are Cash Assistance (CA) benefits paid?

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You can choose to get Cash Assistance (CA) benefits through:

How does CA help me find a job?

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In addition to providing cash benefits, Cash Assistance will also help you with finding a job. Once you're enrolled in CA, you’ll be required to participate in the Jobs Program, which will help you with things like:
  • Figuring out your employment goals
  • Planning how to reach those goals
  • Learning new skills
  • Keep track of your progress
  • Searching for a job

How long can I be on Cash Assistance (CA)?

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Your family can get CA benefits in Arizona for up to 12 months. The months don’t have to be one right after another.

The limit may be extended for various reasons, including if you have a disability or are caring for a disabled child in your home. You have to request a hardship extension and be approved to continue receiving benefits beyond 12 months.

How do I apply for Cash Assistance?

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To apply for Cash Assistance (CA) you can:

When you apply for CA, you can also choose to apply for Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps) or Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) health coverage without having to complete any additional application forms. If you need help completing an application, talk to a Work Incentive Consultant or you can call 1-855-777-8590.

Are there different rules for families with members with a disability?

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Yes. Families with members with disabilities have different requirements:
  • If you have a disability you may not have to participate in the Jobs Program, but you do have to enroll
  • Your Jobs Program might be different if you or someone you’re caring for has a disability
  • You can’t be on both SSI and CA at the same time
  • If you have a disability or are taking care of someone with a disability, CA's 12-month time limit might be extended

How does Cash Assistance (CA) interact with Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

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You can’t be on both SSI and CA at the same time, so if you’re approved for SSI, you won’t get CA. However, you may be able to receive CA for other members of your family who aren’t receiving SSI. Apply and ask your Eligibility Interviewer for more information.