Temporary Assistance

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also known as Temporary Assistance (TA), is a program designed to provide cash benefits to low-income families for the household’s children such as clothing, utilities and other services. Upon approval of TA, the recipient must participate in employment and training services through the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program. The MWA program helps TA recipients transition from TA to a job by helping set goals and get the skills needed to find a job and support the recipient’s family.

How do I get help?

Apply for Temporary Assistance

Contact Us

If you have questions, need more information, or to check the status of your application

Eligibility Requirements

Employment and Training Requirements

Calculating Amount of Benefits

The amount of benefits your family may be eligible for is determined by a few factors including the size of your household and the expenses associated with caring for the children.

When to Expect Benefits

After the TA applicant submits the TA application and all required documentation, the FSD will determine if the applicant is eligible for benefits. If the TA application is approved, payment will be received as a direct deposit to the bank account or on the EBT Card within 45 days. TA benefits are then paid monthly.

How to Apply

Apply for Temporary Assistance

Completed applications can be:

  1. Mailed to:

    Family Support Division
    Attn: TA Application
    615 E 13th St
    Kansas City, MO 64106

  2. Faxed to:

    Attn:  TA application
    (816) 889-2622

  3. Dropped off at: the local Family Support Division Resource Center

A face-to-face interview is not required before the Family Support Division (FSD) processes the application. For more information or to check the status of your application, please contact us at (855) 373-4636.

After the application has been processed, the FSD will send the TA applicant a letter of TA approval or denial.  If the applicant is eligible to receive TA, an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card will be issued or payments will be made through direct deposit to the bank account depending on what was chosen on the TA application.  The TA recipient will access benefits through the EBT card at a cash register or an automatic teller machine (ATM).

History of the Program

In 1911, Missouri enacted the first "Mother’s Aid Law" in the history of the United States which was followed by Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The AFDC provided assistance to children who had been deprived of support due to the absence or incapacity of one or both parents or the unemployment of the principal wage earner. The AFDC program was an effort to keep families together and to help ensure a normal family life for the children. The maximum amount of the grant for each family was the highest percent of that family’s need within the limits of the funds appropriated for this program.

The Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) was passed by the House of Representatives on July 31, 1996 and by the Senate on August 1, 1996. On August 22, 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law. (PL 104-193)

PRWORA is comprehensive legislation with far-reaching implications for a number of public assistance programs. This legislation eliminated the open-ended entitlement program of AFDC and created the block grant cash assistance program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In Missouri, TANF is referred to as "Temporary Assistance (TA)" which provides this time-limited cash assistance. In addition, PRWORA no longer allows TANF recipients to automatically receive Medicaid. Now, TA recipients must apply separately for Medicaid which is currently referred to as MO HealthNet For Families (MHF) in Missouri.