June 2008

  • The average TANF cash grant statewide is $242 a month.
  • Approximately 27,000 families receive TANF monthly.
  • Approximately 62,000 persons receive TANF monthly, with 83 percent of those being children.
  • More than 45 percent of families receiving TANF have just one child; 28 percent have two children. Families with four or more children represent about 11 percent of all families on TANF.*
  • More than 52 percent of TANF cases include a child under age six.

* June 2008 data is N/A, these are June 2007 numbers.

More Facts about TANF

The Illinois state plan to provide temporary assistance for needy families in accordance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

  • The focus of TANF is on transitional services to help families achieve independence. Most clients are required to work or participate in work-related activities.
  • Most adults can only receive TANF for 60 months during their lifetime. But the "clock" stops moving toward the 60-month limit when the client or family meet certain requirements. Under certain conditions, a family who has reached the 60-month limit may be approved for an exception to receive additional benefits. For more about the 60-month limit and exceptions, please see the DHS TANF Brochure.
  • A client must work with DHS staff and develop a plan that outlines the steps they will take to become self-sufficient.
  • A family may have a limited amount of assets to help them save money and leave welfare.
  • A client who does not cooperate with child support enforcement activities, employment-related activities, and the school attendance initiative is subject to penalties. The penalty depends on the type of noncooperation and how many times it has happened, and may involve reducing the amount of cash benefits or stopping them.
  • An adult who works has their cash benefits reduced by only $1 for every $3 they earn. They continue to receive medical assistance, Food Stamps, and child care payments. A child's earnings are exempt.