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Youth or young adults under the age of 27 who spent time in foster care after the age of 14 may be eligible for pandemic relief funds to get financial support with rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, car loans, grocers, or other basic needs. Click here for more information.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  is Delaware's main cash assistance program. It is administered through a joint effort of the Division of Social Services (DSS), Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware Economic Development Office. The goal of TANF is to give people temporary help until they get a job. Within the program both the State and the TANF client have responsibilities. The State provides positive incentives for the family to become self-sufficient, and the family must accept responsibility to become self-sufficient and self-supporting. Time on TANF is limited for most people. You can get benefits for 36 months, but you must work or participate in work related activities for 30 hours a week to receive a TANF check.


You must have minor children or be taking care of minor children you are related to in order to qualify. Delaware extends eligibility to women in their ninth month of pregnancy and to 18-year-old high school students who will graduate before turning 19.

Additionally, it must be determined that a family is financially eligible for assistance through consideration of all incomes and resources available to that family.

The TANF monthly income limits are based on the TANF Standards below:

TANF Monthly Income Limits

2023-2024 TANF MONTHLY GRANT AMOUNTS AND INCOME LIMITS (EFFECTIVE October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024)

Family Size

Maximum Grant Amount

Maximum Gross Monthly Income Limit

Applicant Net Monthly Income Limit

Recipient Net Monthly Income Limit


















$ 3,469

































We subtract $90 for work related expenses, up to $200 for child care, and the first $50 of child support received to determine the net income. (Non-parent caretakers can elect to be payee for related children in their care. The income of these caretakers does not count but income of the children may count.)

 Families receiving TANF (recipients) are entitled to additional subtractions from their earned income. By setting the income limits higher for recipients, many families continue to receive the support of the TANF program after becoming employed.

Other Rules:

  • We subtract $90 for work related expenses, up to $200 for child care, and the first $50 of child support received to determine the net income.
  • Other Rules:
    • You must seek and accept employment.
    • You may go to school if your class hours and your work hours equal 20 hours per week.;
    • You must cooperate with the Division of Child Support Services.
    • You must sign an agreement that you will make sure your children are in school and their shots are up-to-date.
    • You must attend parenting classes.
    • You will get information on family planning.  Your check will not increase if you have a baby 10 months or more after you sign up for this program.
    • There may be other requirements, which your DSS Case Manager will explain.

You must complete an application and be interviewed by a Division of Social Services Social Worker before you can qualify for TANF. Please see our Publications and Forms page for a TANF application. See our Office Locations for the Division of Social Services office nearest you.


  • You get help finding and staying in a job.
  • If you get a job, you may still be able to get an assistance check and food stamps.
  • You can get Medicaid (health insurance) and child care help even after you get a job.