Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Apply online at CommonHelp

General Information

Provides monthly financial support, in the form of a check, direct deposit, or debit card, to low-income families whose minor children live in the home.

  • TANF benefits are available for no more than 60 months in a lifetime.
  • Assistance in another state counts towards the 60 month allotment.
  • Unless exempt, recipient must participate in an employment program (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare – VIEW) and look for employment.
  • If enrolled in VIEW, TANF is limited to 24 months.


  • Arlington residency must be verified. Everyone in the household must be listed on the application.
  • Family must have a child under the age of 18, or if 18 will graduate from high school before age 19. All related children must be included in the application.
  • Children must be living with a parent or other relative. If the parent is in the home, the parent must apply even if someone else has custody.
  • Every eligible family member must be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant. At least one child must meet this requirement.
  • Children between the ages of 5 – 18 must attend school regularly.
  • Children must be fully immunized unless there is good cause for not being up to date with immunizations.
  • A Social Security number or proof of application is required for each family member.
  • Cooperation with the Division of Child Support Enforcement in establishing paternity and obtaining child support from absent parents, if applicable, is required unless good cause exists for non-cooperation.
  • Face to face interview may be required.

Monthly Gross Income Limits

Household Size At application, compare income to 185% of Standard of Assistance
1 $730
2 $974
3 $1,175
4 $1,361
5 $1,622
6 $1,773
7 $1,960
8 $2,158
9 $2,326
10 $2,509
Each additional + $189

How to Apply

Apply in person or mail application to:

Bureau of Assistance Programs
2100 Washington Boulevard, 1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22204


Call 703-228-1350 to have an application mailed to you

Apply online at CommonHelp


Fax application and documents required to 703-228-1011

Documents Required

Required documents include, but may not be limited to:

  • Complete Department of Social Services Application for Benefits
  • Verification of citizenship. Verification of alien status for each person not born in the U.S.
  • Verification of address, and that each child lives with the applicant
  • Verification of birth date for each child
  • Verification of relationship of the child to the applicant
  • Verification of income
  • School attendance verification for each child of school age
  • Verification of immunizations for each child not attending school