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Here’s where families with children can get assistance

Updated April 20, 2024 - 7:30 am

Raising a family is never easy.

Between diapers, child care and rent, the cost to raise a family is often overwhelming for many families.

You’re not alone, however. There are several programs available that can help families make ends meet.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded program that provides temporary assistance to families with children. The program offers financial assistance for child care and transportation.

Nevada administers five different programs under the TANF umbrella.

The TANF-NEON program offers cash assistance to families. The program requires most parents to engage in a certain number of work activities each week to maintain eligibility for the program. Families can receive benefits for up to two years.

For households with no work-eligible adults, including those where children are living with a relative or their parents are ineligible because of citizenship requirements, the TANF CHILD-ONLY program can provide monthly cash benefits.

The cash payments are intended to be used to pay for ongoing needs like food, shelter, clothing, transportation and child care. Both programs may require a household to cooperate with child support enforcement and provide information for federal data reporting.

TANF also provides access to self-sufficiency grants – one time lump sum payments to help families with an immediate financial need. Another temporary program provides families with monthly cash payments for no more than four months during or after an unforeseen circumstance.

TANF also provides loans to households with a family member that will be employed in the near future and will be able to pay the monthly cash payments back. Families can receive benefits for up to 24 months.

Children between the ages of seven and 12 must attend school, while children over the age of 18 that are no longer enrolled in school are ineligible to receive benefits through the program.

Those wishing to apply for any of the programs must complete an application by accessing the online application, completing the form and faxing it to a local Department of Welfare and Supportive Services office or by requesting the application from the department’s website.

Eligibility decisions are usually made within 45 days.

Women, Infants & Children Program

The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is a program that provides supplemental food for those that are pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding, and children up to the age of five.

The program also provides assistance to other caregivers, including parents, grandparents, foster parents or other legal guardians of the child.

Participants in the program can use the benefits to purchase specific foods every month, including infant cereal, vitamin C-rich fruits, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter and other types of food.

The foods and amount that can be bought using WIC benefits is dependent on whether someone is pregnant or breastfeeding, and on the childrens’ ages. While breastfeeding, an individual can purchase more of certain foods, including cheese and eggs.

Families can receive benefits if they make under a certain amount, based on household size. A family of two, for example, can make a maximum gross income of $3,041 a month to qualify for benefits.

To apply, call a local WIC clinic to schedule an appointment.

Child Care Assistance

According to a 2023 report, married couples in Nevada spent 15 percent of their wages on child care.

Families under a certain income can receive assistance paying for child care through the Child Care Subsidy Program, which is administered in Southern Nevada through a partnership between the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services and the Las Vegas Urban League.

To qualify, adults and parents in the household must be working, looking for work, going to school or participating in another approved activity and must make under a certain amount.

For a household of four, the maximum monthly income must be under $6,327 to qualify for assistance.

Most households will be required to make a co-payment for the care, but certain households are exempt from the requirement.

Benefits are paid direct to a child care provider of the family’s choice. Subsidy amount is dependent on several factors, including the provider type and the child’s age, developmental needs and hours of care needed.

Those interested in applying can do so online or can contact the Las Vegas Urban League at 702-473-9400 or at childcareinfo@lvul.org.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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