In Indiana, families must meet certain requirements in order to receive welfare benefits. The welfare programs provide benefits such as food and cash assistance, medical coverage and rental assistance. Families who do not meet the requirements may not be able to receive benefits from the state. In Indiana, many of the welfare programs are administered by the Family and Social Services Administration.
Families must meet income requirements to get welfare in Indiana. The requirements are based on the government's Federal Poverty Level. The amount varies by welfare program. Families who earn more than the allowed amount on a monthly or yearly basis are not eligible for assistance. For example, a family of three cannot net more than $1,526 in a month if they want to receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps program, as of January 2011.
A family's resources are considered when determining if they qualify for welfare. Resources are any possessions that can be used to generate income. Checking and savings accounts, mutual funds and retirement funds are considered to be resources. Families in Indiana can possess up to $2,000 in countable resources and still qualify for assistance. The amount a family can possess in resources changes to $3,000 if a member of the household is disabled or 60 years of age and older.
Eligibility for all welfare programs in Indiana is also based on household size. The household size is used to categorize a family. A family's resources and income for their household size are compared against the Federal Poverty Level for a family of the same size. If a family earns more than the household size group they fall in, they may not qualify for welfare benefits from the state.
Federally funded welfare benefits in Indiana can only be distributed to U.S. citizens and certain noncitizens. Immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five years, minor children and those who are receiving disability benefits can apply for and receive welfare benefits. Noncitizens who are temporarily in the country are not eligible for welfare. Refugees and other noncitizens who were admitted into the country for humanitarian reasons can receive certain forms of assistance such as food stamps.