TCA Extensions in Florida

Beneficiaries should inquire about a (Temporary Assistance for Needed Families) TANF program extension in Florida before their Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits conclude at the maximum duration. Without a TANF extension in Florida, TCA beneficiaries are limited to receiving financial assistance for a finite number of months. Florida TANF time limits extension requests are available, however, under certain conditions. Although federally-funded, each state administers the block-grant program and can reduce the number of benefit months if in a state-defined hardship. Florida families learn how to be self-sufficient when receiving TANF benefits by combining financial assistance with education and work opportunities. To learn more about TANF extensions in Florida, select from the following topics:

  • Florida TCA time limitations
  • Process for a TANF extension in Florida
  • Hardships that qualify for a TANF program extension in Florida

Florida TCA Time Limitations

Short of a TANF program extension in Florida, TCA benefits are limited to a maximum 48 cumulative months in the lifetime of each person who receives it. In Florida TANF time limits extensions are shorter than federal requirements of 60 months, as the government permits states to reduce benefit time limits by as much as 20 percent. However, a TANF extension in Florida is eligible by request for certain applicants. TCA beneficiaries can learn more about the TCA extensions available to Florida residents by downloading our free guide.

Necessity of a Florida TANF time limits extension should only apply to adult TANF beneficiaries. Benefits for children only, such as those in a TCA Relative Caregiver program, are not subject to these limitations. If uncertain of the time limitations for any of the financial assistance programs provided by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), enrollees can inquire with their case worker.

Process for A TANF Extension in Florida

DCF initiates a Florida TANF time limits extension by notifying the Regional Workforce Board (RWB) when beneficiaries reach 42 months of TCA benefits. To determine the need for a TANF program extension in Florida,

the RWB will schedule an interview with the beneficiary to assess the adult employment prospects and any barriers. If RWB determines that a TANF extension in Florida is necessary, they will notify the DCF of the recommendation to issue the extension. The RWB also recommends how many months of TCA benefits should continue. Should the recommendation be negative, RWB will deny the TANF extension in Florida and the benefits will automatically terminate after the 48 months.

Participants may request a Florida TANF time limits extension if the DCF department does not initiate it. However, only certain hardships will meet qualifications for TCA benefits extended after the 48 months. In order to receive TANF extension in Florida, petitioners will need to gather documentation for providing evidence supporting why they will need an extension. In the case of domestic violence, gathered evidence should include hospital or other medical documents, police reports for each incident, protective orders and witness testimonials. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will then look at the request for TANF program extension in Florida and all documents submitted.

DSHS reviews each case separately based on the facts presented by the applicant. A granted TANF program extension in Florida adds another six-month period to the benefits, provided the reason for the hardship continues through that six-month period. If the beneficiary ceases to have the hardship, his or her TCA benefits may end.

Hardships That Qualify for a TANF Program Extension in Florida

A Florida TANF time limits extension is available when certain conditions apply to a household. TANF program extensions in Florida apply to unforeseen circumstances that the family cannot control and keep the family from becoming self-supporting. Click here to learn more about accepted hardship circumstances that make beneficiaries eligible. Some eligible hardships for a TANF extension in Florida include:

  • Anyone who has been earnestly participating in work programs but suffers employment barriers making it extremely difficult to find employment
  • Teenage parents who have been actively participating in work programs, yet need an extension in order to gain two more years of benefits after receiving a GED or high school diploma
  • Victims of domestic abuse in which their circumstances prevented or delayed participating in a work program
  • Families with minors who need an extension because ending the benefits would force placement of the children in a foster home or emergency care

Employment barriers that may qualify for a TANF extension in Florida may include employment that requires the employee to join a union, employment that exposes the employee to a health hazard or work in certain circumstances that violates religious beliefs. If a participant does not comply with the TCA program requirements in the Florida TANF time limits extension period, pre-penalty counseling may be a requirement. TCA may penalize participants who continue to fail to comply by immediately terminating TCA benefits.

What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida’s DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida’s Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.