TANF Benefit Estimator
Welcome to the Pine Tree Legal Assistance TANF Benefit Estimator. Use this tool to find out if a family is income eligible for TANF benefits and how much they may receive.
To use the program, follow the links below. This will take you to a national legal services website. There you will be asked to answer some basic questions about your income, household make-up, and housing expenses. Then you can view the results of your eligibility interview.
Caution: The rules for Maine's TANF program are complex. This Estimator is useful for one purpose: Estimating income eligibility for a typical household of one parent with children. For households with two biological parents, additional "deprivation" rules apply; a married step-parent with income adds another wrinkle to the eligibility formula. Also, if the parent is seasonally employed or self-employed, the calculation can be trickier. TANF also has "asset" limitations on how much property you can own. (Go here to view all of the Maine TANF Rules or download an application form. Contact your local Maine DHHS office to apply or to get more information.)
Tips on Using the Estimator:
- When you get to the site, you can either register or go directly to the "form" without registering. If you just want to view - or view and print - your results, you don't need to register. Registration allows you to also save your results, so that you can come back and view them later. Also, if you are missing some required information, registering would allow you to come back to the site later to add that information, without having to start over again. Your stored data is private; no one can look at it unless you give them your user name and password.
- When you click on one of the links below, you may see an Internet Explorer "security warning." You can safely go ahead and load all of the information on the page.
- You will need to use Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. Our apologies to Macintosh and Firefox users. You can try using our Word or .pdf versions (see below). Warning: Doing the calculations by hand is complicated.
- The Estimator - short version gathers information and shows whether a family may be income eligible and how much they might expect to receive.
- The Estimator - long version does the same thing and also prints out a document showing the calculations used to get the results. This document is more complex and harder to understand but useful if you want to see exactly how the calculations work.
You can also get copies of the complete long form (without any data entered) showing all of the alternative calculations, either as a Word document or as a PDF document. These may be difficult to follow - which is why we programmed the automated "short" and "long" versions linked above.
These are test versions. We think that they are working pretty well, but there may still be bugs. Please let us know. You can submit comments when you reach the end of the online interview. Many thanks to those who are helping us test this program.
Thanks to LEXIS-NEXIS for their generous donation of the HotDocs document assembly software we used to create this online tool.
PTLA # 712