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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Overview - Oklahoma


Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) logoThe Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program replaced the previous Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in October 1996. The Department of Human Services (DHS) administers TANF in Oklahoma.


The four purposes of the TANF program are:

               To provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. See: TANF Eligibility for details of what are considered "needy families".

               To end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage. See: TANF Work Activities for the types of work activities that TANF promotes.

               To prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

               To encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.


Some of the key provisions of TANF include:

               Adults in families receiving assistance under the block grant are required to participate in work activities after being approved for cash assistance.

               Medical Benefits: Medical Benefits can be continued after TANF benefits cease: See: Continued Medical Benefits (CMB)

               Assistance cannot be provided to a family that includes an adult who has received assistance for 60 months (five years), whether or not consecutive. This rule applies to the entire household and to all forms of assistance. For families currently receiving assistance, the five-year clock starts on October 1, 1996, or when the family's benefits started, whichever is later.

               Child-only cases are not subject to the five-year limit.

               Assistance will be terminated completely if an adult member refuses to engage in work without good cause

               Unmarried teen parents of minor children must participate in certain educational activities and may not receive assistance if not living at home or in an approved, adult-supervised setting.

               Everyone has a right to apply for TANF assistance and to be treated fairly. Applications are made at the local county DHS office.

Additional Information

Contact information for area and local DHS offices by county is available online at:

See Also:

TANF Eligibility Criteria

TANF Continued Medical Benefits

TANF Benefit Payments

TANF Overview

Oklahoma Benefits Overview


TANF policy (OAC 340:10) is available online at:
OK Department of Human Services Policy

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