Question about Welfare/TANF

Does anyone know what day of the month TANF is dispersed to recipients?

My impression is that the date TANF payments are dispersed varies from person to person. But it’s also been implied, in a post I read recently, that TANF payments are dispersed to everyone on the first of each month. (I say “implied” instead of “said” because the post I read referred to “welfare.” But the main form of cash payments from welfare are TANF, and it’s been that way since Clinton-era Welfare Reform, as far as I know).

Is there anyone reading this who can give a definitive answer? If so, I’d really appreciate hearing from you, either via email or in the comments. Thanks!

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18 Responses to Question about Welfare/TANF

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  2. 2
    AB says:

    Since TANF is a state program, I’d imagine that each state can decide how it wants to do it. But that’s just an educated guess.

    But now I’m intrigued about why you want to know. Prolly none of my business, I know.

  3. 3
    Robert says:

    He’s planning an elaborate scam against Portland welfare recipients and needs to know whether he needs to get everybody all at once, or if he can just go door to door and scoop up the marks as their checks come in.

  4. 4
    Hunter Quinn says:

    In Virginia TANF checks are dated the first of the month and mailed on the first business day of the month.

  5. 5
    Barbara says:

    TANF is funded via a block grant from the federal government to each state, so each state sets its own rules consistent with federal guidelines. Not all TANF recipients receive checks. Some might get funds transferred directly to a bank account. Best way to find out is to call the human services division of the county or city that you live in. They typically take applications and provide information in most states.

  6. 6
    RonF says:

    What’s TANF?

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    Temporary Aid to Needy Families

  8. 8
    RonF says:


  9. 9
    sly civilian says:

    “why you want to know.”

    If i’m reading minds here right, it’s to debunk apart a myth* that was recently referenced to in a debate about race in fashion.

    *How come there isn’t a good term for this anymore? Old wives tale is obviously passe, and i’m not sure i like urban legend any better…

  10. 10
    Steffie K says:

    It is my understanding that public assistance grants are issued by local government. They are responsible for the administration of the TANF grant money that the State’s received. So for instance, in New York State, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in the New York State agency that receives the block grant and tthe New York City agency that administers the distribution of benefits is the Human Resources Administration. Further, there is a scattered distribution cycle. People receive their benefits every two weeks, but again it varies on the date. For some it is the first monthly installment might fall on the 3rd of the month and then they would receive the 2nd installment 2 weeks from that date and for others it maybe the 5th of every month. It varies.

  11. 11
    Rachel S. says:

    Amp, are you not a Hip Hop fan??? (Bone Thugs in Harmony??) Anyways when i was growing up in Ohio it was the first of the month, but that was when it was AFDC, and it wsa before they got those cards. Things could have since changed.

  12. 12
    Kevin Y. says:

    How come there isn’t a good term for this anymore?


  13. 13
    Doctor Science says:

    How come there isn’t a good term for this anymore? Old wives tale is obviously passe, and i’m not sure i like urban legend any better…

    I personally call it “Snopes-bait”.

  14. 14
    Jane Galt says:

    In every state I’ve ever lived in, it was the first of the month . . . you can tell by the crowded grocery stores in low-income neighbourhoods.

  15. 15
    ScottM says:

    After a moment’s visit to here, it looks like local (CA) policy is to spread Food Stamps over 10 days and Cash Benefits over 3 days. Of course, my county is one of the four that hasn’t converted over to EBT cards yet…

  16. 16
    kactus says:

    It’s still the first of the month. Sometimes the last day of the month, if the first is a holiday or Sunday.

    In Wisconsin foodstamps come at different times of the month. they usually determine when you’re getting your stamps by the last 4 digits of your social security number.

    SSI comes on the first of the month and Social Security comes on the 3rd.

  17. 17
    kactus says:

    How come there isn’t a good term for this anymore? Old wives tale is obviously passe, and i’m not sure i like urban legend any better…

    I call it welfare bashing.

  18. 18
    Mad Hat says:

    I’m a current TANF / Food Stamp recipient in Oregon. Bean is right about how and when benefits are distributed here. And to Jane Gault: Most public assistance recipients don’t buy their groceries with TANF cash (how would the rent and utilities get paid?), they use Food Stamps.

    P.S. I’m also curious why you asked…