What is TANF?

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is intended to move families from public assistance to self-sufficiency by providing cash assistance along with work readiness, training and job placement services.

TANF benefits are placed on an Electronic Payment Card (EPC).

Stay up to date on the TANF program by checking out TANF news.

HHS is working to modernize the TANF Program. Find out what we're doing.

Learn more


How do I apply for TANF?


Apply Online

Submit an application in the Self-Service Portal (SSP).

Apply online

Apply Locally

Print an application and return it to the Customer Support Center or in person at your local Human Service Zone office.

Print an application

Apply by mail

Submit a request to have an application mailed to you and return it to the Customer Support Center.

Request an application

Accordion Section Title
What do I need to apply for TANF?

Documents to have when you apply:

  • Completed TANF application
  • Proof of citizenship or alien status (birth certificate, 
  • naturalization record, passport, USCIS forms)
  • Proof of residence (lease/mortgage, utility record or 
  • receipt)
  • Proof of age (birth certificate, passport, driver’s license)
  • Proof of identity (driver’s license, photo ID, lease/
  • mortgage, utility record or receipt)
  • Proof of social security numbers
  • Proof of relationship (birth certificate, adoption record, 
  • court order record, tribal enrollment record)
  • Proof of income (last month and current month)
  • Proof of any assets such as:
    • Bank accounts
    • Retirement plans
    • Life insurance
    • Vehicles
  • Proof of allowable expenses (if applicable):
    • Child support or spousal support
    • Child or adult dependent care expense

Download the TANF Application Checklist

Accordion Section Title
Get Started in the Self-Service Portal (SSP)

You can use the SSP to apply online, complete a review and much more for TANF and other financial help programs. Getting started is easy.

  1. Click here to go to the SSP.
  2. Create a North Dakota login. If you already have one, you can skip this step.
  3. Link your case to your North Dakota login.

If you need help, videos and step-by-step instructions can be found on the SSP Help page.

Accordion Section Title
Need help? Our Customer Support Center is here for you.

The Customer Support Center can help you:

  • report changes to your case
  • answer questions about your case or programs

This is also where you will send documents related to your case either by email, fax or mail.

Contact the center at:
Phone: 1.866.614.6005 or 701-328-1000; 711 (TTY)
Fax: 701.328.1006 
Mail: Customer Support Center P.O. Box 5562 Bismarck ND 58506

If you need help using the SSP, find videos and step-by-step instructions on the SSP Help page.


Who qualifies for TANF?

If you are a relative taking care of a child, you and the child may be eligible if the child is:

  • Under age 18 or will graduate from high school by age 19;and
  • Without parental support because of a parent’s death, physical or mental disability, age or continued absence from home.

You may also be eligible if you are pregnant.

You may receive TANF benefits for up to 60 months (there are some exceptions to this).

Adults who receive TANF may be required to participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program.

What other information is available about TANF?

Accordion Section Title
TANF News: Updated July 7, 2023

Smiling baby in a diaper

Starting July 1, 2023 diapers are exempt from sales tax in North Dakota. This is a result of HB1177.

Accordion Section Title
FAQs and Publications

If you would like to find a version of these publications that can be translated, visit the Apply for Help Publications page.


Application Checklist: 



  • Notice of Right to Claim "Good Cause" - This form is to be completed by TANF applicants who believe they have "good cause" not to cooperate with the state's effort to establish paternity or collect child support or medical support.



Accordion Section Title
Work Readiness

JOBS Program

The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program is a companion program that focuses on work-readiness, training and job placement services. The department contracts with Community Options, Job Service North Dakota and Turtle Mountain Employment and Training to provide these services to JOBS participants.

Learn more about JOBS here.

Tribal NEW Memorandum of Understanding


What other programs can help me?

HHS may be able to offer additional support.
Other programs you may qualify for include health care, food support, child care assistance, housing and utility help.

Find other programs.

Who can help me apply or answer questions about TANF?

For help applying, questions about eligibility, or your existing case, contact the Customer Support Center:

Phone: 1.866.614.6005 or 701-328-1000; 711 (TTY)
Fax: 701.328.1006 
Mail: Customer Support Center P.O. Box 5562 Bismarck ND 58506

If you would like in-person help visit your local human service zone office.

State Office Contact Information

Economic Assistance Policy
TANF Program
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250

Phone: (701) 328-2332
Toll-Free: (800) 755-2716
ND Relay TTY: (800) 366-6888

Submit an appeal request online.