TANF Application Denials and Appeals in Pennsylvania


A TANF denial is sent to applicants for various reasons in Pennsylvania. While you may appeal TANF denial letter notices to attempt to overrule the decision made by the Department of Human Services (DHS), you are encouraged to determine your eligibility for the TANF program prior to applying to save time. However, some applicants may be denied benefits due to marginal income differences or mistakes. Although the DHS follows strict protocol to accurately determine the acceptance or denial of TANF applications, some mistakes do occur that cause eligible applicants to be denied. Still, the denial of TANF benefits in Pennsylvania is usually a result of clear ineligibility. Because the TANF program can significantly help families recover from financial instability and hardship, understanding reasons for TANF denial is essential for families seeking other benefits and avoiding denials. To learn more about why a PA TANF benefits denial may occur, how to identify one and what you can do to rectify the denial, review the following sections.

Common Reasons for TANF Denial in Pennsylvania

The possibility of denied benefits through TANF is a risk that all applicants take when applying for the program. However, TANF denials in PA are commonly caused by the following situations:

  • Failure to maintain work requirements
  • Failure to meet income limits
  • Failure to meet citizenship or residency requirements
  • Failure to list a dependent child
  • Failure to complete the TANF application process

The denial of TANF benefits may also be caused by other factors determined by the TANF applications. For instance, the applicant may have exceeded the TANF time limit already, or the applicant may receive other forms of government aid. TANF benefits denial may result from the purposeful misuse of any government benefits, including food and cash assistance. Additionally, applicants with criminal histories and applicants who provide incorrect information on TANF applications will receive TANF denials if caught. Some factors may not result in immediate Pennsylvania TANF benefit denials and, instead, merely reduce the number of benefits applicants may receive. To learn more about reasons for denied TANF applications, you can download our complimentary guide.

Since the denial of TANF benefits can greatly affect families’ abilities to afford food, clothing and other costs of living, many denied applicants choose to schedule hearings to contest the DHS’ decision to withhold benefits. However, some reasons for denial of TANF in PA may prohibit applicants from appealing the decision.

How will you be notified of your denied TANF application in Pennsylvania?

A TANF denial letter will be delivered to PA residents whose applications have been denied. These Pennsylvania TANF denial notices will explain the reason for the denial and outline all specific TANF policies pertaining to the violation or ineligibility resulting in the denial. The written notice will also explain whether the applicant is eligible for redetermination of benefits following the resubmission of a completed application. In addition to the explanations, the PA TANF benefits denial letter will feature information to help residents understand the denial and know who to contact for more details regarding the denial.

While a PA TANF benefits summary will be sent to all beneficiaries when their benefit information changes, the notice is especially important for applicants who have been denied benefits. Not only will the notices help them comprehend the reason the denial occurred, but the TANF letter will also serve as a reminder for applicants to appeal the denial within the given timeframe.

How to Appeal TANF Denials in Pennsylvania

Instructions on how to appeal TANF denial letter notices are included on the notices themselves. The PA denied TANF benefits appeal process involves requesting a fair hearing during which a special hearing officer will review your case, the reason for your denial and determine whether the DHS’ decision is final or not. While residents may choose to represent themselves in court, they are encouraged to seek legal counsel to help organize and present cases. Appealing TANF denial letters in Pennsylvania enables previously ineligible residents to be reevaluated for TANF eligibility and is an advisable option for certain cases of denial.

To request an appeal hearing for a TANF denial in PA, candidates must notify the DHS. The Bureau of Hearings and Appeals performs all TANF hearings and elects the final verdict. To complete the TANF benefits appeal process, petitioners must attend a hearing and present their case. To obtain more comprehensive information about the denied TANF benefits appeal process in Pennsylvania, including time limits, instructions and more, you can download our comprehensive guide today.

What Is the Division of Family and Children Services in Pennsylvania?

The state of Pennsylvania provides services for families and children who are most in need. The division provides resources for free and reduced lunch, food stamps and temporary cash assistance for needy families. To find out if you are eligible for these services, download our comprehensive guide to review the eligibility requirements for each program.

How Can I Apply for Assistance Through the Division of Family and Children Services?

In order to be considered for the benefit programs offered by the Division of Family and Children Services, you must submit an application via an approved method. Additionally, many of the services provided by the division have eligibility requirements that you must meet to obtain benefits. Learn all about the application processes for these programs by downloading our guide.