The Application Process For TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SCHIP. Accessing the Traditional Welfare Package — TANF/FSP/Medicaid


The number of welfare offices within a given local jurisdiction depends in large part on the geographic and population size of a local jurisdiction. There may be only one centralized office or there may be several welfare offices located throughout the area where families can gain access to the full package of TANF/FSP/Medicaid benefits.

Exhibit 3-1:
Office Structure for Program Application and Eligibility Determination
(Study Sites, 2001)
Site Integrated Office (TANF, FSP, Medicaid/ SCHIP) Specialized Program Unit Within Office* Specialized Office by Program Specialized Refugee/ Immigrant Office
TANF (with FSP/ Medicaid) Medicaid/ SCHIP-Only Food Stamp-Only
Arlington, VA   ü        
Dallas, TX ü         ü**
New York, NY     ü ü ü ü
Raleigh, NC   ü        
Seattle, WA   ü        
Sedalia, MO ü          
* These offices have separate eligibility staff dedicated to TANF/FSP/Medicaid applicants and to non-TANF applicants (i.e., food stamps and Medicaid/SCHIP).
** The state of Texas centralized all refugee eligibility determination at a call center in Austin in September 2001. At the time of our visit, however, refugee eligibility determination took place within specialized units in each region.

In addition to welfare offices that offer access to multiple benefit programs, some places also have specialized offices or units to serve special populations. In New York City, for example, all refugees and non-citizens from across the city must apply for and receive ongoing assistance and services at one of two specialized Job Centers located in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.3 At the time of our visit (July 2001), refugees in Dallas applied for benefits through specialized refugee units co-located in two welfare offices — one in downtown Dallas and one in nearby Fort Worth. Shortly after our visit, however, state administrators consolidated the application process for refugee public benefits, statewide, in a single call-center based in Austin.

View full report


"report.pdf" (pdf, 328.14Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®