110.2 TANF Budget Groups

Certain rules apply in establishing a TANF budget group. Some individuals living in a common residence must be included in the TANF budget group. Others may either be included or excluded as members, depending on certain requirements.

55 Pa. Code § 171.21(a)


The TANF dependent child in the applicant or recipient group establishes the members of the TANF budget group. The relationship to the TANF dependent child determines who is included in the group.

A non-parental specified relative under temporary or permanent sanction may get TANF Cash Assistance benefits for a child, as long as the child was not in that non-parental specified relative’s budget group when the sanction was imposed.

NOTE:  The non-parental sanctioned person is not eligible for TANF benefits, but qualifies as the payment name for the child.


A TANF parent or child who lives elsewhere only because of a job (including uniformed service), training, or to attend school is considered to be living with the budget group and is included in the budget group. A child is ineligible for TANF if a parent gave up control of the child to the school or other agency.

NOTE: A biological parent who has placed a child for adoption is not required to apply for the child if the adopted child returns to the household. Adoption eliminates all legal connections between the adopted child, and the biological parents and siblings.

55 Pa. Code § 151.43(d)


110.21 TANF Child

A budget group is eligible for TANF only if it includes an applicant or recipient child who qualifies as a TANF dependent child. The CAO must first determine whether there is a TANF dependent child when establishing a TANF budget group. The CAO will determine if the child meets the following TANF eligibility conditions:

55 Pa. Code § 171.21(b)(1)

55 Pa. Code § 171.21(a)(1)

55 Pa Code § 145.43(a)

55 Pa. Code § 151.41



The CAO may establish a TANF budget group when there is no child getting TANF. These budget groups include someone who is:

55 Pa. Code § 171.21(a)(1)(ii)(B)


42 Pa. C.S. 6301–6365


55 Pa. Code § 165.61(e)



110.211 Pregnant Women

A pregnant woman age 18 or older with no other children receiving TANF, or under age 18 and exempt from minor parent requirements in Sections 110.6 or 110.7 may receive benefits for herself if the following apply:

55 Pa. Code § 151.43(f)

55 Pa. Code § 151.43(f)

NOTE:  TANF will be provided from the date when the CAO receives the medical verification.

P.L. 104-193 Title I, § 103 (SSA § 408(a)1)A)ii))


NOTE:  Medical Assistance coverage may be retroactive for an eligible person if he or she received a medical service in the three calendar months before the month of application.

NOTE:  The CAO must include the husband’s income and resources in determining eligibility for the mother and the unborn child if he resides in the home. The CAO must not count a putative father’s income and resources. Paternity cannot be established until after the child is born.

If the child would be eligible for TANF when he or she is born, the CAO must authorize TANF for the pregnant woman only. The CAO must designate the pregnant woman as the TANF specified relative, code ES.

55 Pa. Code § 151.43(f)


NOTE:  The unborn child is not included in the TANF budget group.

Example: Miss Hall, her 3 year old son, Joey, and her boyfriend, Tom, live together. Tom is Joey's father. Paternity has been established. Miss Hall is 3 months pregnant. Miss Hall may apply for herself under the TANF program.


110.212 Budget Groups with an SSI or Title-IV-E Foster Care Child

Certain persons who live with an SSI or Title IV-E foster care child, including a child in the SPLC program, may qualify for TANF even if there are no other TANF dependent children in the common residence.

If the SSI or Title IV-E foster care child meets the nonfinancial conditions for TANF, the following persons living with the child and applying for benefits are authorized for TANF:

55 Pa. Code § 151.41

NOTE:  The SSI or Title IV-E foster care child is not included in the TANF budget group.

Example:  Mrs. Adams, lives with her 10-year-old daughter, Blair. Blair receives SSI and meets TANF requirements. The CAO may authorize TANF assistance for Mrs. Adams (ES).



110.213 Budget Groups with Only Dependent Child under a RESET Sanction

If the only dependent child in the budget group is ineligible for TANF because of a RESET sanction, the specified relatives may continue to receive TANF, if they are otherwise eligible.

55 Pa. Code § 165.51(e)


NOTE:  The sanctioned dependent child is not included in the TANF budget group.


110.22 Specified Relative

The specified relative of a TANF child may also receive TANF, if he or she is eligible, as a member of the child’s budget group. See Chapter 127 to determine who may qualify as a specified relative. A specified relative who is the biological or adoptive parent of a TANF child must be included in the TANF budget group. See Section 110.4.

55 Pa. Code § 151.41


One person who meets the definition of a specified relative for the dependent children in one or more TANF budget groups may be the specified relative for each budget group, even though he or she is not a member of the budget group, if:

NOTE:  There may be more than one TANF budget group headed by the same specified relative. The CAO may assign a common record in multiple budget group situations headed by a common specified relative (codes ES or NS).

When the specified relative is the payment name for more than one budget group, the specified relative is coded either ES or NS in the budget group in which he or she is or would be a mandatory member. The PA 600 contains the members of all of the budget groups and persons from whom income is deemed. If multiple case records are assigned, each one must contain a PA 600 representing that budget group's composition and signed by the caretaker or relative.

Example: Mrs. Blair applies for cash benefits for herself and her two minor children, Jeremy and Matthew. She also applies for benefits for her 8-year-old niece, Sarah. Sarah’s parents are deceased, and she lives with Mrs. Blair. Therefore, there are two budget groups in this common residence. The first is the TANF budget group of Mrs. Blair and her two minor children. The second is the TANF-child-only budget group of the niece, Sarah.

NOTE:  The assistance Mrs. Blair gets for herself and her two children counts toward the 60-month lifetime limit. The assistance in the child-only budget group for Sarah does not count towards the 60-month lifetime limit.

Mrs. Blair (ES) and her two children (EC) get the full family size allowance (FSA) for three persons. Mrs. Blair, as the specified relative and payment name, gets the full FSA for one person, her niece (EC).

One or more specified relatives may be responsible for the care of and control of dependent children in the same budget group or different budget groups in a common residence. A different specified relative may be designated for each TANF budget group.

55 Pa. Code § 151.42



Reissued August 16, 2013, replacing January 31, 2012