About Spokane Tribal TANF

Spokane Tribal TANF is a tribally operated program with sites in Wellpinit and Spokane. The TANF program provides assistance to needy families to become self-sufficient or reduce their dependency on government subsidies. Assistance can come in the form of cash assistance, job prepahration, prevention and referrals.

The Spokane Tribal TANF program service area includes Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Whitman and Adam Counties and the service population is any needy, tribally enrolled family (the exception, at the request of the Kalispel Tribe, is a household of only Kalispel Tribal members). This means that an individual who meets income guidelines and is enrolled in any federally recognized tribe could open a case with the Spokane Tribeďż˝s TANF program. The income guidelines are as follows: 

Income Assistance Limit and Eligibility Matrix

Number in Household


Assistance Limit































All income both earned and unearned (with the exception of those listed below) is counted as monthly income.  Earned income is defined as any legal income that is taxable under the United States Tax.

In order to encourage adult family members to work, earn income and improve the lives of their children, the Spokane Tribe will disregard the first $200 of earned income and 50% of each dollar earned up to twice the grant amount each month in order to calculate the TANF grant amount.

We assist all tribal members and individuals who may not be eligible for cash assistance, but may need to use the computer lab to update a resume, fill out an application, or pay to use the licensed childcare. Individuals can also participate in on-site activities even if they are not eligible for incentives.

How the Tribe operates differently from the Washington State.

The Tribe sets our own approved participation rates and what activities are appropriate for participation. The required participation rates are 20 hours/week for single parents and 30 hours/week for two member households. Participation can include: work search activities; work search preparation (such as GED and college classes); attendance at a variety of on-site staff run workshops (such as culture classes); dependable strengths; financial literacy; anger management and travel time to get to and from legitimate activities.

Washington State has very stringent participation activities known as core and non-core activities and a single parent must participate in core activities for at least 32 hours/week. An example of a non-core activity would be GED and college classes. This, with the required participation hours, is a huge difference between the Tribal TANF and the Washington State TANF. 


Spokane TANF and State Comparisons


Spokane TANF

State Services

Customer Participation hours to meet full time monthly participation

20 hours for single parents/30 hours for two parents per week

32 hours for single parents/40 hours for two parents per week

Core Activities

(Can count toward meeting Federal participation requirements)

 Job Search

Work Search prep (GED and College Classes)

Attendance of on-site, staff run workshops:

  • Cultural Classes
  • Dependable Strength
  • Financial Literacy
  • Anger Management

Travel Time to and from approved activities

Job Search

Vocational Education Training (Limited to 12-month lifetime limit)

Community work experience

Unsubsidized and subsidized employment

Job readiness


Non-Core Activites

Can be up to 20 hours a week, PLUS at least 20 hours of Core Activities

GED Classes

College Classes


Basic Education (over 19 with no high school diploma or GED)


Job Skills Training

must be combined with work activities or job search




Wellpinit Site

Spokane Site