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Families First

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.

If you applied for Families First and would like to check the status of your application, you can check the status of your application by logging into the Case Connect App or contacting your local DHS office. Click Here for contact information for your local office.

Attention SNAP and Families First customers: 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.


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Families First and COVID-19 FAQs

1. I currently receive Families First. Can I apply for Emergency Cash Assistance as well?

Yes. Emergency Cash Assistance is a different TANF program. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can also apply for Emergency Cash Assistance here. Applications for emergency cash assistance will be accepted through August 29, 2020.

2. Can I still apply to receive Families First?

Yes, you may for apply for Families First benefits using one of the following options:

Complete and submit a Families application online. Click Here to Start an Online Application.

OR

Submit an application via online upload, fax or mail: You may submit a printed application by uploading, faxing or mailing the document. To receive a printed application you may Click Here to download and print an application from the DHS website or Contact your local office to have an application mailed to you. After you have completed your application, you have three options for submission:

Three ways to submit your printed Families First application (choose one):  

  • To upload your application on-line, Click Here. 
  • To fax your application, Click Here to locate your county office’s fax number and fax your application.
  • Mail your application to: Family Assistance Division Department of Human Services P.O. Box 620001 Memphis TN 38181

3. How long does a new Families First application take to process?

According to federal guidelines, the application timeframe for a Families First (TANF) application may take up to 45 days.

4. How do I make an appointment to speak with a DHS case worker about my Families First benefits?

Many general questions about Families First can be answered when you Click Here to view our Family Assistance FAQ page. Many inquiries can also be answered when you Click Here to live chat with our staff about your situation.

If your concern is not answered by information posted online, you may call your local office to to speak with a representative, ask questions about your case or make an appointment to come to discuss your concern in person. However, our customers’ health is important to us and during this difficult time we are asking for customers to use in-person meetings as a last course of action.

Click Here for contact information for your local office or call our Family Assistance Service Center toll free at (866) 311-4287.

5. What if I can’t make my appointment?

If you cannot attend your appointment, please call your local office to reschedule. This will allow us to help other customers who need assistance. Click Here for contact information for your local office.

Many inquiries can also be answered when you Click Here to live chat with our staff about your situation. You may also contact the Family Assistance Service Center regarding your case at (866) 311-4287.

6. I cannot get into my DHS account, what do I do?

Please contact the Family Assistance Service Center at 615-743-2000 or 866-311-4287 and ask for the Case Connect queue.

7. What should I do if I don’t hear back from my case worker?

If you have not been contacted within fourteen days of filing your application, please call your local office to assist further. Click Here for contact information for your local office.

8. How can I check to see if you have my verification?

Your case manager has up to 10 days to process your verifications. To check the status of verifications, please call your local office. Click Here for contact information for your local office.