A-220, TANF

A—221 Who Is Included

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018


The following are always included in the TANF certified group:

  1. Eligible Child

    An eligible child is a person who meets TANF requirements, is not married according to Texas state law, and is:
    • under age 18; or
    • age 18 and:
      • is a full-time student (as defined by the school) in high school, attends an accredited general equivalency diploma (GED) class, or regularly attends vocational or technical training as an equivalent to high school attendance; and
      • expects to graduate before or during the month of the child’s 19th birthday.
    • GED is approved only if the class is administered by an accredited institution.
    • When removing a child age 18 or 19 from the grant, A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, is used to determine whether to divert for the child's needs.
    • A child certified for foster care Medicaid only or adoption assistance Medicaid only is a potentially eligible child.

    An emancipated minor is an eligible child if the:
    • child meets the TANF age criteria;
    • child is not married in accordance with Texas state law; and
    • caretaker/payee exercises parental control of the child.

  2. Eligible Legal Parent

    An eligible legal parent is a legal parent who meets TANF requirements and lives with an eligible child. This includes a parent who is absent solely because of employment or active duty in the U.S. military. See A-1040, Deprivation Based on Absence from the Home. This includes parents receiving foster care or adoption assistance services for themselves, but not the child(ren).

    Exception: See No. 6, Minor Parents, below.
  3. Siblings

    A sibling is a brother or sister of an eligible child, including legally adopted and half-brothers and sisters. Siblings must be certified together if they meet all TANF requirements. If an unborn child will be a required member of the certified group, a special review is set for the first day of the month after the expected delivery month.

    Note: Half-brothers/sisters who do not meet the degree of relationship to the caretaker are not eligible to receive TANF benefits but can be certified as an independent child on a separate Medicaid EDG. See A-910, General Policy.

    Example: The household consists of a grandparent, two grandchildren and a half-sibling to the grandchildren. The two grandchildren can be certified for TANF and Medicaid because they meet the required degree of relationship to the caretaker. The half-sibling does not meet the required degree of relationship to the caretaker and cannot be certified for TANF. The half-sibling can be certified as an independent child on a separate Medicaid EDG.

    Exception: See No. 6, Minor Parent, below.
  4. Caretaker

    A caretaker is any specified relative who:
    • is present in the home; and
    • supervises and cares for the TANF child(ren).

    A caretaker must be the child's:
    • father or mother;
    • grandfather or grandmother;
    • brother or sister;
    • uncle or aunt;
    • first cousin;
    • nephew or niece;
    • stepfather or stepmother;
    • stepbrother or stepsister; or
    • first cousin once removed.

    Relationship extends to the:
    • Spouse of the listed relatives, even after the marriage has ended in death or divorce, regardless of when the child's birth occurred.
    • Degree of "great-great" for uncles/aunts and nephews/nieces.
    • Degree of "great-great-great" for grandparents.

    A caretaker meets the relationship requirement even if a court has jurisdiction over the child or an agency is the child's managing conservator. If a child lives with a managing conservator, the conservator must meet the relationship requirement.

    If a child lives with a married relative (not a parent) who wants to be considered the caretaker, eligibility and benefits are determined using:
    • normal budgeting procedures for the applicant's income, and
    • stepparent budgeting for the income of the applicant's spouse.

    Note: See A-1366, Stepparent EDGs, for budgeting.

    If the person applying for the child cannot qualify to receive TANF, the individual’s needs are not included in the certified group. If no one qualifies as caretaker, only the needs of the eligible children are included.

    No one else is included as caretaker if the legal parent is:
    • in the home; and
    • physically and mentally able to provide care.

    Exception: The stepparent may be certified as caretaker if the stepparent wants to be included and the legal parent has a disability. The stepparent and legal parent who has a disability are certified for TANF-SP when the stepparent is included in the certified group.

    Related Policy

    Relationship, A-520
    Relationship Charts, C-1440

  5. Second Parent

    When a child lives with both legal parents, both parents are included in the certified group. The parent who is not the caretaker is the second parent. The second parent must meet all TANF requirements.

    The household may be certified for TANF-SP when:
    • both parents are eligible and certified for TANF;
    • one parent is eligible and certified for TANF and the other parent is disqualified for one of the reasons listed in A-222, Who Is Not Included, No. 4, Disqualified Members, unless that disqualification is due to not meeting citizenship requirements; or
    • both parents are disqualified for one of the reasons listed in A-222, No. 4, unless that disqualification is due to not meeting citizenship requirements.

    Related Policy

    General Policy, A-1310
  6. Minor Parent

    A minor parent and child(ren) living with the minor parent's parent(s) and/or siblings may:
    • be certified separately if the:
      • minor parent's parent(s)/sibling(s) is not a TANF applicant/recipient; or
      • minor parent cannot be included in his parent(s)'/sibling(s)' TANF EDG because he is not an eligible child; or
    • continue to receive TANF on a separate EDG if the minor parent's EDG was certified before the:
      • month the parent(s)/sibling(s) applied for TANF; or
      • day the minor parent moved into the home with the parent(s)/sibling(s).

    Otherwise, the minor parent must be included as a child with the:
    • legal parent(s) who receives TANF/TANF-SP; or
    • sibling certified for TANF/TANF-SP as a child.

    If the caretaker or payee in the EDG requests TANF for the minor parent's child, the child is included in the EDG with the caretaker/payee and the minor parent.

    Exception: A married minor parent is an eligible legal parent and must be certified separately from the minor parent’s parents. See No. 1, Eligible Child, above.

    Related Policy

    Requirement for Unmarried Minor Parents to Live with an Adult or in an Adult-Supervised Setting, A-930
    Unmarried Minor Parent Income, A-1365
    Stepparent Budgeting Procedures, A-1366.2
  7. Stepparents

    A stepparent is not a child's legal parent but is the legal parent's spouse. Stepchildren are deprived of parental support because one legal parent is absent.

    Include the stepparent in the certified group only if the stepparent wants to be included and:

    • the stepparent is the only parent in the home; or
    • both the legal parent and the stepparent are in the home and the legal parent has a disability according to policy in A-1051, Determining Incapacity.
    Certify the stepparent and legal parent with disabilities for TANF-SP when the stepparent is included in the certified group. If the legal parent and stepparent live in the home and have mutual children, they must all be included in the same certified group. Related Policies
    Resources of Stepparents, A-1247
    Stepparent EDGs, A-1366
    A Household with Members on TANF, TANF-State Program (SP), TP 07, TP 08 and TP 20, B-480
  8. People in Nursing Homes

    If a member of the TANF-certified group temporarily enters a nursing facility, the individual’s needs are left in the TANF budget during the nursing facility stay or until the individual is certified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The individual should be referred to the Social Security Office for an SSI eligibility determination.

A—222 Who Is Not Included

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2022


The following are not included in the TANF-certified group:

  1. Payee

    A payee is a relative who meets relationship requirements and lives with, supervises, and cares for an eligible child. The payee is authorized to receive the TANF benefits for an eligible child but is not a member of the certified group because the person is a:

    • legal parent who would be a caretaker but is ineligible due to receipt of SSI; or
    • relative other than the legal parent who qualifies as a caretaker except the person:
      • chooses not to be included as caretaker;
      • receives SSI, Foster Care with Cash or Adoption Assistance with Cash payments;
      • is disqualified for an intentional program violation (IPV); or
      • fails to comply with a program requirement that would disqualify a legal parent (see No. 4, Disqualified Members, below).

    Note: A payee who chooses not to be included as a caretaker on one EDG may be a caretaker on another TANF EDG for other related children.

  2. Protective Payee

    A protective payee must be selected to receive and manage the TANF benefit if the caretaker is not using the TANF payments for the children's benefit.

    The protective payee must be someone who can help the person spend the household's TANF benefits properly. The person receiving TANF must agree to the person designated as the protective payee unless:

    • the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) designates a protective payee; or
    • staff designate a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister who is 25 or older to be the protective payee because the parent is not using the TANF payments for the child's benefit. Great-grandparents, great-aunts, and great-uncles may be designated as protective payees. Follow TANF relationship requirements.

    The protective payee is automatically the authorized representative (AR).

    The protective payee cannot be a:

    • Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) employee;
    • person who provides HHSC services to the family; or
    • a relative who is younger than 25 when a relative protective payee is designated by HHSC. 
    • A child’s cousin, niece or nephew.

    The protective payee situation must be re-evaluated at each complete redetermination. For EDGs with a:

    • DFPS-requested protective payee. DFPS must be contacted at each complete redetermination to determine whether the protective payee should continue; and
    • grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister designated by HHSC as protective payee. Investigate any alleged report of the relative not using TANF for the child's benefit.

    Note: When designating or continuing a protective payee, notify the recipient and allow an opportunity to appeal.

  3. Representative Payee

    A representative payee is designated if a person is unable to receive and manage the household's TANF or Medicaid benefits because of incapacity or incompetence. The representative payee must be knowledgeable about the family members and interested in the family’s welfare. The person must designate this representative in writing if physically or mentally capable of doing so.

    A representative payee is automatically the AR. The representative payee may be the AR who assisted in the eligibility process.

  4. Disqualified Members

    A legal parent is disqualified from the certified group if the person:

    • does not meet citizenship requirements;
    • refuses to comply with Medicaid third-party resource (TPR) requirements;
    • does not comply with Social Security number requirements;
    • is found guilty of an IPV;
    • fails to timely report the temporary absence of a certified child;
    • is a fugitive fleeing to avoid prosecution of or confinement for a felony criminal conviction, or found by a court to be violating federal or state probation or parole;
    • is convicted of a felony drug offense (not deferred adjudication) for the possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act [U.S. Code (USC) 802(6)] that was committed on or after April 1, 2002, in Texas or another state;
    • has received benefits for the total months allowed by the state time limit;
    • is a minor parent who fails to comply with the unmarried minor parent domicile requirement; or
    • is denied for refusal to cooperate with the program integrity assessment (quality control) process.

    Note: A legal parent is permanently disqualified for a felony drug conviction (not deferred adjudication) for an offense committed on or after April 1, 2002.

    A child is disqualified from the certified group if the child:

    • is a fugitive;
    • fails to comply with Social Security number requirements;
    • is a minor parent and fails to report the temporary absence of their child; or
    • is convicted of a felony drug offense that was committed on or after April 1, 2002.

    If the disqualified member wishes to apply for Medicaid, determine which medical program applies to the disqualified household member. If all eligibility requirements are met, certify the person for the appropriate medical program.

    When the criminal history report in the Data Broker system indicates the person has been convicted of an offense involving a controlled substance, discuss the situation with the person. If the person claims they are not the person on the criminal history report but the identifying information on the report (name, date of birth, physical description) leads staff to believe the report is correct, or the person disagrees with other information provided in the report, for example, the type of conviction or whether it was a felony or misdemeanor:

    • document the person's response in Case Comments;
    • proceed with the appropriate EDG action without acting on the criminal history report;
    • contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Benefits Program Integrity (BPI) Department by emailing the OIG BPI mailbox; and
    • document the reason for contacting OIG BPI in Case Comments. Once OIG BPI obtains information to clear the discrepancy, the assigned OIG BPI investigator provides the information via email. Staff responsible for clearing the task must document the results of the OIG BPI's findings in Case Comments. If applicable, enter information in the Data Collection-Individual Demographic-Conviction/Rehabilitation page and make an overpayment referral if appropriate.
  5. SSI Recipients

    A TANF family member is removed from the certified group when the person is certified for SSI. The Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies HHSC by an interface when a TANF recipient is determined eligible for SSI.

  6. Residents in State Supported Living Centers for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

    If a TANF recipient enters a state supported living center for persons with intellectual disabilities, the person’s needs are removed from the TANF grant. If the recipient is the caretaker or payee, the grant continues for the remaining eligible children in another eligible person's name.

  7. Strikers

    A household's application or ongoing benefits are denied for any month where a certified or disqualified legal parent is participating in a strike.

  8. Foster Care with Cash Payment, Adoption Assistance with Cash Payment, and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) with Cash Payment recipients.

    A person receiving these cash benefits is not included in the TANF EDG.

    Note: A person may potentially receive DFPS foster care through their 22nd birthday month. Adoption assistance and PCA are only received through the 18th birthday month unless the family signs an agreement after the youth turns 16. When this occurs, the youth may receive adoption assistance or PCA through their 22nd birthday month.
  9. Ineligible Children

    A child who is ineligible, such as an ineligible alien child or a child who is not within the required degree of relationship to the adult caretaker or payee, is not included.

Related Policies

Authorized Representatives, A-170
TANF, A-220
Temporary Absence from the Home, A-920
General Policy, A-1210
Disqualified Members, A-1362
Use of TANF Benefits, A-1553
When the Person Signs Form H1073, A-2128.1
Filing an Overpayment Referral, B-770
Relationship Charts, C-1440

A–223 Certifying Children on Non-Parent Caretaker EDGs

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2022


When an eligible child lives with a relative other than the legal parent, the child is certified on:

  • a separate EDG with the relative as a payee when the relative receives TANF for children who are not the child's natural, adopted or half siblings; or
  • the same EDG with the non-parent caretaker when the relative:
    • requests it and is not receiving TANF for any other children; or
    • is receiving TANF for children who are the child's natural, adopted, or half siblings.

Certify each other-related child, unless they are siblings, on a separate EDG.

Exception: Other-related children are certified on the same EDG if:

  • at least one EDG is ineligible separately;
  • the members would be eligible if the EDGs were combined; and
  • the relative requests that they be combined.

A child's TANF must not be denied because of the income or resources of a:

  • child who is not the child’s natural, adopted, or half sibling; or
  • caretaker who is not the child’s parent (for example, a stepparent).

When an EDG is denied because of the income or resources of a non-parent relative caretaker:

  • deny the EDG, which includes the caretaker's request for aid; and
  • process a separate EDG to determine the child's eligibility without the caretaker.

Note: Households that include a non-parent caretaker are not eligible for TANF-SP. See related policy for more information on the action to take when non-parent relative caretakers must be denied while the other-related children remain eligible.

Related Policy  

Stepparent Budgeting Procedures, A-1366.2
OTTANF, A-2411
One-Time TANF for Relatives, A-2412 
Documentation Requirements, A-2470
A Household with Members on TANF, TANF-State Program (SP), TP 07, TP 08 and TP 20, B-480

A–224 Special Household Composition Situations

Revision 02-8; Effective October 1, 2002


A–224.1 TANF-SP EDGs with Stepchildren or a Parent's Child from a Previous Relationship

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


The following must be included in the TANF-SP EDG:

  • a child who lives with a natural/adoptive parent, a stepparent, and a sibling who is the parent and stepparent’s mutual child.
  • parents and all children, when:
    • the legal parents of a mutual child are not married to each other, and
    • one or both have a child living in the home who is not a mutual child.

If the household is ineligible for TANF-SP because they do not meet other TANF eligibility requirements such as income or resources, the family unit must remain as one filing unit even when stepchildren are included. In this situation, the advisor must determine whether the household meets eligibility requirements for the Medical Programs.

If an active TANF-SP EDG is denied because of earnings or the removal of the 90 percent earned income deduction and the household is receiving TP 08, the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) will deny both the TANF-SP and TP 08 EDGs and create:

  • a transitional Medicaid EDG if the certified group meets the eligibility criteria; or
  • another Medical Program type of assistance EDG for eligible members if they are not eligible for transitional Medicaid and are otherwise eligible for medical coverage.

Related Policy

Transitional Medicaid Coverage, A-840
General Eligibility Information, A-841
TP 07 Transitional Medicaid, A-842

A–224.2 TANF-SP EDGs with an Other-Related Child

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Each other-related child living in the family (see A-223, Certifying Children on Non-Parent Caretaker EDGs) is certified on a separate EDG unless the child or other members are ineligible separately. If the child or other members are ineligible separately, the other-related child in the TANF-SP EDG is included. The advisor must ensure that the other-related child has the opportunity to continue receiving TANF when the TANF-SP EDG is denied.