How to Get on Welfare: Cash Assistance


Do you qualify?

The first step you need to do is figure out whether or not you qualify. There are certain requirements you must meet if you wish to get on welfare:

You must be a US citizen (some exceptions allowed).
You and those you are applying for must have social security cards. (See link in the resources section.)
Generally, you must have children to qualify. Each state varies, however.
You must meet certain income requirements (if you make over a certain amount, you won't qualify). The more children you have, the higher those income requirements are.
You must be willing to work (with some exceptions).


Fill out an application.

Once you have determined you might be eligible to get welfare, it is time to fill out and turn in an application. Most, if not all, states have printable applications online that you can print out. You can also go into your local Department of Human Services (DHS) branch and request an application.


Turn in your application.

Turn in your application by either mailing it in, submitting it online, or taking it into the Department of Human Services (DHS). Once you have turned it in, it is time to wait on their reply. If they feel you do not qualify, they will send you a letter stating why they feel you are ineligible. For instance, you might make too much money. If you feel their statements were inaccurate, you may send in another request.

If you qualify, you will receive a letter with a date for an interview. Be sure to go to this interview and be on time! In the letter, they will tell you everything to bring in to support your claim that you need to get on welfare. It is always better to bring too much information to the interview than not enough. Anything you have to send back in results only in a delay in getting your benefits.


Be ready to work.

If you are accepted to get on welfare, you will be expected to look for work while you are on government assistance (which can be up to, but no longer than, two years). You will have to show proof that you are either working or looking for work.

In some states, proof of enrollment in higher education classes may be used in lieu of proof of work.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep copies of your applications and any papers they give to you.
  • Turn in everything they ask for as quickly as possible. Take all the documents they need in when you have your interview.
  • Don't ever be rude to a DHS employee. If they want to help you, they will do their best to do so.
  • Especially with today's economy, extra financial help is sometimes needed. This article will show you how to get on welfare, which is also known as government cash benefits or government cash assistance.