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March 1, 2013 - February 28, 2014
The Department of Public Welfare is dedicated to helping Pennsylvania's low-income families become independent through the Diversion program. Diversion is a way for families to choose short-term help rather than long-term ongoing cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
For example, maybe you recently lost your job, or your employer cut your hours. You cannot pay all your bills now, but in a couple of months, you expect to start a new job that can support your family or you expect to work full-time hours again. If you are eligible, Diversion can meet your short-term needs.
Diversion is a one-time lump sum payment. The payment is dependent upon your need, with the maximum payment set at three times the Family Size Allowance (FSA).
To receive a Diversion payment, you first must be eligible for ongoing TANF benefits and then must meet all the Diversion requirements. You will not be eligible for Diversion if the Diversion payment cannot cover your short-term need.
With a Diversion payment, your family should not have any need for ongoing TANF benefits. You can only receive Diversion payment once in a 12-month period.
How to Apply:
You can apply for Diversion by:
Application for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance Benefits (English version)
Solicitud para recibir beneficios (Version Española)
If you need help to fill out the application form or need more information about benefits, trained workers at your county assistance office can help you.
Are You Eligible?
When you apply for cash assistance, the county assistance office will consider you and your family for Diversion if you:
Before the county assistance office decides if you are eligible for a Diversion payment, your caseworker will look at services and other benefits to help support your family such as Emergency Shelter Allowance (ESA), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or home heating assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). These services and benefits may be able to cover part of your short-term need and make it possible for a Diversion payment to cover the rest of the need.