NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making financial resources available to families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TDHS announced that beginning at 12 p.m. Thursday, March 26, families may begin applying online for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020 and they’ve lost their jobs or at least 50 percent of their earned incomes due to the pandemic.

All TDHS offices are currently operating on appointment only as a precaution. Those looking to apply for aid can do so by completing the application here.

Applicants must upload their verification to the application before submitting to TDHS. No further action will be needed once the application and verifications have been submitted. Applicants do not need to call the DHS office for an interview; applicants will receive a notification of denial or approval via email within five days.

If approved, an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card will be sent via mail to applicants within 5-7 days of approval.

The Emergency Cash Assistance provides two monthly cash payments to families that were employed as of March 11, 2020 and have lost their job or at least 50 percent of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency.

This money is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and provides:

  • $500 for a household of 1 to 2 persons.
  • $750 for a household of 3 to 4 persons.
  • $1000 for a household with 5 or more persons.

This type of assistance is available in addition to any unemployment benefits family members may be receiving.

To be eligible for this type of assistance, families must have been employed as of March 11, 2020 but have since lost their job or at least 50 percent of their earned income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, include a child under 18 years of age or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2,000 and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85 percent of the State’s Median Income that’s currently:

  • Gross Monthly Income of $2,696 for a household of one.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $3,526 for a household of two.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $4,356 for a household of three.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $5,185 for a household of four.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $6,015 for a household of five.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a federal workforce development and employment program that emphasizes work, training and personal responsibility. The program is temporary and is focused on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. Existing TANF customers receiving Families First benefits will be eligible to apply for this emergency cash assistance.

“We know the next few months are going to be a challenge for families across our state who unexpectedly lost a job through no fault of their own,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.  “This emergency cash assistance will provide families with the temporary resources they need to support themselves during what we hope will be a short time away from their jobs.  Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

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