Requirements for Qualifying for Welfare in Oregon

The Oregon welfare program — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — provides cash aid to eligible low-income families through the Oregon Department of Human Services. The program also offers employment services and job training to promote financial independence and reduce poverty statewide. Requirements for TANF depend on your total countable income, employment status, residency and household size.

Basic Qualifications

To receive TANF aid, your household must include a needy child under age 18 or age 18 and a full-time student. A parent or caretaker relative must reside in the home. Pregnant women without other eligible children may receive benefits on the month prior to their due date month. Applicants must provide a Social Security number or apply for one.

Residency

Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien and reside in Oregon. Qualified aliens are legal immigrants, asylum seekers or refugees. Seasonal workers or recently relocated individuals may apply for benefits if they are not receiving TANF assistance in another state. You must show proof of residency or sign a statement verifying your intent to live in Oregon.

Recent Unemployment

Recently unemployed individuals are ineligible for TANF if they lost their job due to theft, misconduct or voluntarily quit employment without good cause within twelve months of applying for aid. Good cause for leaving employment includes but is not limited to caring for a disabled family member, accepting another job offer and disability or illness. Previous employment rules apply to jobs offering a minimum 100 hours of work monthly.

Income

As of 2009, Oregon residents may receive cash welfare aid if their countable monthly income does not exceed $345 for one eligible person and up to $1,622 for households with 10 members. Add $172 to your countable income for each additional family member. Employed TANF recipients deduct 50 percent of their gross income before eligibility is determined. Recipients participating in Oregon's JOBS Plus program subtract an additional $90, child-support payments and an Earned Income Credit of $102 from their countable income before eligibility is calculated.

Considerations

To receive TANF benefits, unemployed applicants must perform employment- related activities. Activities include seeking employment, enrolling in the JOBS Plus program, job-related education and accepting employment. You may be exempt from JOB Plus requirements if you are nine-months pregnant, caring for a disabled family member age 60 or older, not authorized to work in the U.S., receiving SSI, a qualifying volunteer or have pregnancy-related complications. Additionally, pregnant women may have reduced JOB requirements and are exempt from JOB for up to six months after childbirth.

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