This page, TAFDC work rules, is offered by

TAFDC work rules

These are the work rules you must meet to be eligible for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) benefits.

The biggest benefit you get from TAFDC is help on the road to finding, getting, and keeping a good, career-track job. Here are some rules to guide your way.

Basic work rule

Once you are approved for TAFDC benefits, you get a 60-day work search period to find a job. If you do not get a job within 60 days, you have to follow work rules to keep getting TAFDC.


There are several different activities you can do to follow the rules, each with a different service, a different provider, and a different purpose: 

  • Paid work to earn a paycheck and gain experience and references
  • Education and training to give you an educational background that will make you competitive in the job market
  • Skills training to give you the job-related skills necessary for an effective job search and placement
  • Job search to develop interviewing and resume writing skills and connect to job listings
  • Work study or internship to give you a hands-on experience in your chosen industry 
  • Community service to strengthen your resume with skills employers look for
  • Caring for the child of a teen parent in your home so the teen can go to school

Additional Resources for


You must spend a minimum number of hours each week doing work-related activities. The exact number of hours depends on the age of your children:

  • If your youngest child is between the ages of 2 and school age (usually 6 years old) — 20 hours
  • If your youngest child is school age or older — 30 hours

If you can't meet the work rules

You may have reasons why you can't meet these work rules. Showing reasons that are acceptable to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is called having good cause. You have good cause if you prove:

  • You're not able to find safe, affordable child care
  • You're dealing with a family emergency
  • You're facing discrimination at your job or activity
  • Your job is unhealthy or unsafe
  • You have a lack of transportation
  • A job is only being offered because of a strike
  • Your job or a job you turned down doesn't pay minimum wage
  • You have a disability, even if DTA determined you didn't in the past
  • You're looking for a place to live
  • You are sick or a family member is sick
  • There are no places to do community service


If you don't follow the work rules, and you don't have a good reason, it can result in:

  • Mandatory community service

  • Lowering of your TAFDC benefits

  • Your TAFDC case closing

You might not have work rules

The work rules don't apply to you while you are:

  • Disabled (with medical proof)
  • Caring for a disabled child, spouse, or co-parent, who you live with
  • In your 33rd week or later of pregnancy
  • Caring for a child who is under age 2 
  • A teen parent
  • Not getting benefits for yourself and are not the parent of the child(ren) you get benefits for
  • 60 years or older
  • Not getting TAFDC, or getting less than $10 in TAFDC for the month