Transitional Transportation Benefits: When You Leave TANF to Work
What is the Transitional Transportation Program?
The Transitional Transportation Program helps working parents pay for transportation for 12 months after they can no longer get TANF because of earnings from a job. If you get PaS benefits, instead of TANF, the same rules apply to you.
Who can get Transitional Transportation?
You can get Transitional Transportation if:
- You are working and can't get TANF any longer because you started earning too much money to qualify for TANF.
- You are working and can't get TANF/UP (unemployed parent benefit) any longer because you started working too many hours to qualify for TANF/UP.
- You were getting TANF/IC (incapacitated parent benefit) and you lost TANF because you are now working more than 20 hours per week.
Can I get this benefit if I go off of TANF before DHHS finds me ineligible?
No. You must wait until you get a notice that DHHS is closing your grant because of one of the reasons listed about. If you volunteer to go off of TANF because you know you earned too much, for example, you will not be able to get Transitional Transportation.
How do I apply for Transitional Transportation?
When your TANF grant is closed, DHHS should notify you about Transitional Transportation benefits. You must tell your worker that you want this benefit within 30 days of getting the notice.
If you don't appeal within 30 days, you may still be able to get this benefit, but you must be able to show that you had a good reason for not making the request on time.
When will I get Transitional Transportation Benefits?
The Transitional Transportation benefit covers your transportation cost for the first 12 months after you get your last TANF check. The benefit is given as 4 lump sum payments in the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th months. For example, if you got your last TANF check in May, you could get Transitional Transportation checks in August and November, and February and May of the next year.
How much help will I get?
- If your TANF household's gross earnings are 125% of the poverty level or less, you can get 24 cents per mile, up to $10.00 per day.
- If your income is between 126% and 185% of the poverty level, you can get 12 cents a mile up to $5.00 per day.
- If your income is over 185% of the poverty level, you can get 6 cents a mile up to $1.00 per day.
To estimate which income category you are in, see the chart below.
Mileage is measured as the most direct route to and from your job. It includes any extra mileage to your child care provider or to pick up any car-pool passengers. You don't have to drive your own car to work to get this benefit; you only have to incur a travel expense (for example: riding the bus or paying a car-pool driver).
What do I do if I'm denied Transitional Transportation or disagree with the amount DHHS gives me?
You have the right to a fair hearing if you disagree with any decision DHHS makes. You have a right to legal counsel at your fair hearing. Call your nearest Pine Tree Legal office if you have questions about your benefit or want help with your fair hearing.
Updated April 2009
PTLA # 710