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Families First

Assistance for those impacted by recent storms

Emergency Cash Assistance Available for Families Impacted by Flooding

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making additional assistance available to help families following the recent flooding disaster. Qualifying families who received damage to their homes or have been unable to work because of the August 21, 2021 storm are now able to apply for a one-time payment of Emergency Cash Assistance.

This program will provide $500 for households of up to 2 people, $750 for households of 3 to 4 people, and $1,000 for households of 5 or more. This money is available to families who live or work in Humphreys, Hickman, Dickson, and Houston counties.

Families who live or work in Humphreys County can apply online from Monday, September 13 through 4:30 P.M. CST Friday, September 17. Applications in Hickman, Dickson, and Houston counties will be accepted online beginning at 8:00 A.M. CST on Monday, September 20 through 4:30 P.M. CST on Friday, September 24.

In addition to living or working in one of the four designated counties, applicants must also meet the below qualifications to receive Emergency Cash Assistance:

  • Families must include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman (regardless of trimester).
  • Families must meet Families First citizenship requirements.
  • Families and household members must have a valid Social Security Number.
  • The family’s resources must not exceed $2,000.
  • Families must be unable to live in their home (or apartment) on the date the application is filed, or the home requires significant repairs due to the damage from the disaster, or the applicant must not be able to work due to destruction of the workplace.
  • The family’s gross household income must not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Income. See chart below:

HH Size









Gross Monthly Income

















Note: Add $156 for each additional family member over 8.

Families who qualify for Emergency Cash Assistance and currently receive SNAP or Families First benefits will receive a deposit on their existing electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. Qualifying families who do not have an EBT card will receive one in the mail. These debit-like cards can be used to purchase items at any authorized retailer that accepts EBT or at any Tennessee EBT Cash Access Location.

Emergency Cash Assistance follows related support TDHS has made to assist families impacted by the flood. The Department is additionally offering Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits to help individuals impacted by the flood buy food along with replacement SNAP for existing SNAP recipients who lost food in the flood.


Click here for information and FAQs for DHS services related to COVID-19

PLEASE NOTE: DHS has implemented COVID-19 precautions for all visitors entering office lobbies across the state. These rules will impact customers coming into state offices for scheduled in-person appointments.

Guidelines include:

  • Arriving alone to drop-off or pick-up documents or take part in scheduled in-person appointments.
  • Answering COVID-19 health screening questions.
  • Maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others.
  • Not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Some interview requirements have been temporarily waived for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Customers filing initial applications and recertifications are not required to visit an office provided their identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications have been completed.


You can apply for many of our services online.

To Apply for Families First visit:

Families First, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, is a workforce development and employment program. The Families First program emphasizes work, training, and personal responsibility. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. The Families First program helps participants reach this goal by providing temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational supports, job training, employment activities, and other support services. Eligibility information can be found here

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To be eligible for the program, participants must meet technical and financial eligibility standards and must agree to follow a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP). As part of the PRP, the participants agree to keep immunizations and health checks up-to-date for their children, to keep their children in school, to cooperate with child support services and, if not exempt, to participate in work and/or training for at least 30 hours per week. 

Current Families First recipients can find information on their Families First case with CaseConnect.

If you do not already have a TDHS account, you will need to create one to access services (e.g. CaseConnect).

Families First cash assistance benefits are issued and accessed electronically using a Benefit Security Card or EBT Card. To apply for benefits, submit your application online or visit the local DHS county office.

Under Federal law, it is illegal for you to use your EBT card at the following locations: liquor stores, casinos, adult cabarets (strip clubs), and licensed retail stores that derive their largest sales from the following items:

  • loose tobacco
  • cigars, cigarettes, and pipes
  • other smoking accessories

The Tennessee Department of Human Services has increased monitoring EBT card usage and enforcement. Effective July 1, 2014, additional penalties will apply if benefits are misused. Restricted businesses are also subject to penalties.


Contact Information:

Common Questions, Email, and Live Chat

Family Assistance Service Center
1-866-311-4287 (Toll-free)

If you are applying for Families First benefits, the documents listed below may be needed to complete the application process.


  • Social Security Card Number ( For all household members, SS5 form for newborns)
  • Your Identification (Example: driver's license, school ID with photo, Passport, Resident Alien Card, I-94 card, voter's registration card)
  • Citizenship (Example: Birth Certification, U.S. Passport, Certificate of naturalization, Certificate of U.S Citizenship, hospital records, U. S Citizen I.D. Card, adoption papers, military records, INS (Immigration) papers)
  • Household Relationship ( Example: Birth certificate)
  • Age ( Example: Birth certificate, hospital records, baptismal records, school records)
  • Where you live (Example: lease agreement, utility bill, phone bill, or driver’s license with your address on it)  
  • Earned Income (Example: check stubs, employer statement, award letters, W-2 forms)
  • Unearned Income (Examples: child support, social security, unemployment, disability)
  • Resources (Example: bank accounts, certificates of deposit, savings bonds, property, automobiles, recreational vehicles)
  • School Attendance/Grades ( For any dependent child for which you wish to receive assistance)
  • Immunizations and Health Checks ( For any dependent child for which you wish to receive assistance)

You may be asked to provide more information during your interview. Your eligibility counselor will explain what information is needed, how to get it and help you if you need assistance.

New Customer Chat 

Need help finding the right information? Click the chat icon in the red circle located in the lower right corner of this screen to find many answers related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs(SNAP), Families First Program and contact information.

Learn more about:

Job Opportunities -

Tennessee EBT Cash Access Locations

Family Assistance program informational training

Federal Student Aid

Enroll a child in the Imagination Library

Family Focused Solutions

Family Focused Solutions  (FFS) is a voluntary support service that is provided by agencies who are contracted with the Tennessee  Department of Human Service (DHS).  The purpose of FFS is to assist TANF clients with removing barriers to employment and education. Whether it’s a referral or a direct service, FFS will provide you with a counselor that will collaborate with you as you take your next step to self-sufficiency.

What can Family Focused Solutions do for You? 

Life comes with challenges for everyone.  By partnering with FFS, you will be well on your way to achieving your life long goals. You will guide the focus of services with your counselor who will assist and encourage you to build on your strengths throughout your journey.

Learn more, by clicking here.  Look here to find a provider near you: Family Focused Solutions Providers

Reports and Information:

Families First was created as part of the larger Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (commonly referred to as “welfare reform”). It replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and is the federal funding source for Tennessee’s TANF Program.

The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 set forth new reporting requirements for States as it extended the funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) financial assistance program through September 30, 2011. Sec. 812 Modifications to TANF Data Reporting specifies that new reporting requirements for engagement in additional work activities be published on each state's website.

Report on Engagement - April to June 2011

TANF State Plan

TN WIOA 2020 Combined Plan Completion Letter

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Under the Food Stamp Act and USDA policy, discrimination is prohibited also on the basis of religion or political beliefs.

To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA or HHS. Write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). Write HHS, Director, Office for Civil Rights, Room 506-F, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 or call (202) 619-0403 (voice) or (202) 619-3257 (TDD). USDA and HHS are equal opportunity providers and employers.

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