TANF Time Limit Rules: What Months Count?

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I. What months count toward the 60-month time limit?

Any month that an adult got TANF cash assistance since June 1, 1997 will count toward that family’s 60-month time limit. The DHHS computer system only has a record of who got TANF back to 2002. However some DHHS offices may still have files showing who got TANF before that. If you are asked if you got TANF before 2002 and cannot remember it is fine to tell your worker that you can’t remember.

Two parent households: If there are two adults in a household, and one of those adults has reached 60 months, the whole household will lose assistance unless they qualify for an extension or exemption. For example, if a single Mom marries and has a child with her new partner, the whole family will become ineligible once she has received assistance for 60 months even if they are otherwise eligible for TANF.

  • Please Note: In some cases, children in certain combined families (families in which two parents with their own children get together) may still be eligible for TANF. If you have questions about this issue please call Maine Equal Justice.

A month will count:

  1. Whether you got TANF in Maine or any other state or U.S. territory;

  2. If you were in the Parents as Scholars program; or

  3. If you got TANF by mistake for that month unless you repaid that amount. In other words, if you had a TANF overpayment in a month, that month will count toward the time limit. Once you repay the overpayment for that month it will no longer count toward your limit.

June 2012