The state of Louisiana's welfare program, the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), was introduced in its current form after 1996 welfare reform legislation. Administered by Louisiana's Department of Social Services, FITAP provides childcare, transportation and federally funded, temporary cash assistance to eligible individuals and families. Applicants must fall under one of two categories to be eligible for assistance: expectant mothers in their last trimester of pregnancy or families with at least one dependent minor child.
U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens who are permanent Louisiana residents may apply. Eligible non-citizens include foreigners who have been approved for a particular benefit program, despite their immigration status.
The amount of assistance received under FITAP is dependent on earnings and family size. An applicant's income cannot exceed the FITAP grant amount for his family size. A qualifying family of one is eligible to receive a FITAP grant for $122, while a qualifying family of 10 is eligible to receive $512. The average amount paid monthly to qualifying Louisianans is $200.
Qualifying expectant mothers and families with children less than one year old must attend parenting skills courses to remain eligible to receive the monthly FITAP grant.
Employment and Education Activity
Adult FITAP recipients must actively seek and accept reasonable full-time employment to remain eligible for the monthly grant payment. Qualifying exemptions include disability, lack of child care and being over 60 years of age. School-age minor children of FITAP recipients must attend school regularly with no more than 15 absences in a six-month period.
FITAP recipients must provide proof of immunization for all minor dependent children in the household. If proof of immunization is not received within an acceptable amount of time, FITAP benefits may be suspended until sufficient proof is provided.
Screening For Illegal Substances
Adult applicants must agree to participate in drug screening tests. Failure to pass drug screening does not automatically exclude the applicant or recipient from receiving benefits. If necessary, education, rehabilitation and repeat drug testing may be provided.
Social Security Number
All applicants and qualifying family members must have a Social Security Number or have applied for one.
Minor, unmarried parents applying for FITAP benefits must reside with a parent, guardian or adult relative, or in another supportive, adult-supervised home.
LaToya J. Murray has been a writer for over 7 years. She has served as a technical and freelance writer, project manager, training & development program manager, and as a process improvement and quality assurance consultant for select Fortune 500 companies. Murray is also a behavioral analytics certified trainer and holds a yellow belt in Six Sigma.