Eliminating the TANF Asset Limit Fact Sheet

Resource Overview

People seeking TANF assistance in Illinois cannot own more than $2,000 in non-exempt assets at any one point in time ($2,000 for one person, $3,000 for two people, and $50 for each additional person). This asset limit prevents families from building emergency savings, which could pay for unexpected expenses like medical bills, car repairs, or childcare. TANF is meant to provide families with help when they need it most and move people out of poverty, but the Illinois asset test undercuts the goals of the program by essentially encouraging people to stop saving and accumulating the assets that would help them get back on their feet.

HB2262 eliminates the asset test on TANF. The bill was signed into law by Governor Quinn in July 2013. These fact sheets provide more information about the bill.

The webinar “Encouraging Savings: How Hawaii and Illinois Removed their TANF Asset Tests” details the successful campaigns in Illinois & Hawaii to remove the asset limit test from TANF. It was held on October 22, 2013 and the video is available here.

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