The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is providing extra support to thousands of families who receive monthly cash assistance through the state’s Families First program. Households with an active, ongoing case in the Families First Program as of May 31, 2022, will receive a one-time payment of $450 on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. This one-time payment will be available July 1, 2022.
The payment will provide extra support to Families First participants as they begin to prepare for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. The 2020 Families First Case Characteristics Study indicated nearly three quarters of Families First children are 5 years of age or older, accounting for a significant portion of the Families First caseload.
“More than 13,000 Tennessee families will receive this assistance in a time where they likely need it most,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “With the start of school just around the corner, our hope is that families can have an easier time purchasing the things their children need, leaving them feeling confident and ready for the school year.”
This additional Families First payment is funded through the federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF). Tennessee qualified for more than $12 million in PEAF dollars. This payment is the second and last investment TDHS is making with those dollars. The first PEAF investment was made in December 2021, when child-only Families First households received an additional deposit ahead of the holiday season.
Families First is Tennessee’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF is a federally funded program that emphasizes work, family strengthening, and personal responsibility to empower families for long-term success. The program helps participants reach this goal by providing temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational support, job training, and other support services.