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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for public assistance programs such as Medicaid, ARKids, nutrition assistance, cash assistance or child care assistance?

You will find the applications you need online at Access Arkansas. The site also will provide you with information so you can determine whether you’re qualified for assistance before submitting an application. You also may apply at your local county office.

What does Health Care/Medicaid provide?

The Medicaid Program helps you, if you are eligible, to pay some of your medical bills. Eligibility is determined based on income, resources, Arkansas residency, and other requirements. Covered services also vary among Health Care categories.  The program offers coverage for individuals of all ages, with some special categories for those who are blind, disabled, pregnant, and those who need long term services in a nursing facility or in community-based settings.

What is ARKids First?

ARKids First health insurance provides coverage for Arkansas children who otherwise might have gone without health care. Eligibility for ARKids is based on your family’s income and other factors. Resources are totally disregarded. ARKids A offers low-income families a comprehensive package of benefits. ARKids B provides coverage for families with higher incomes. Children must be under age 19, living in your home and a U.S. citizen or qualified legal alien. If you have questions about your child’s eligibility, call our ARKids First free hotline at 1-888-474-8275, visit your local county office or log on to Access Arkansas.

How can I get help buying food?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) provides food assistance to eligible households to cover a portion of a household's food budget.  Benefits are distributed through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and must be used to buy food products or seeds to grow vegetables. In addition to food assistance, the program provides SNAP recipients with nutrition education regarding food safety, healthy foods, portion sizes, and food preparation.  SNAP recipients are also eligible for help improving their skills and training to find and maintain steady work through the SNAP Employment and Training Program.

I just lost my job. How can I provide for my children?

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a federally funded program that provides case management services to assist families with children under age 18 with finding employment. Arkansas's TANF program is called Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA). While looking for a job, the family will receive a cash assistance payment based on household size. The family's income must be equal to or less than $223 per month. SSI income is not counted in this total. The family's resources must be $3000 or less.  Supportive services also will be provided to the recipient if needed while looking for employment. TANF also provides cash assistance to children being cared for by caretaker relatives other than the parent.

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Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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