Tennesseans Encouraged to Apply for Benefits and Services OnlineThe Tennessee Department of Human Services is encouraging individuals not to travel during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is encouraging its customers to stay home during the COVID-19 state of emergency and take advantage of the online resources that are available. This includes new resources that were made available online today for those with a financial need who were impacted by the March 3rd tornado disaster.
Individuals can apply for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits and the Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Cash Assistance program from home. TDHS is encouraging applicants to start the pre-application process online and upload documents to the department’s website https://www.tn.gov/humanservices.html. Once those documents are submitted, applicants can complete the application process by calling the Family Assistance Service Center at 866-311-4287 from 8:00am until 4:30pm CST Monday through Friday.
D-SNAP provides temporary food assistance benefits loaded onto an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card that can be used at any authorized SNAP retailer or grocery store.
Anyone living or working in approved Davidson County zip codes (37209, 37208, 37218, 37243, 37213, 37207, 37206, 37214, 37076), Wilson County, or Putnam County may be eligible for D-SNAP if the household meets income requirements, isn’t currently receiving SNAP, and has experienced at least one of the following conditions as a direct result of the March 3rd severe weather:
· Unreimbursed expenses or personal property loss because of the severe weather or a resulting power outage.
· Damage to residence or place of employment
· Loss, reduction, or inaccessibility of income due to disaster related problems or damage to a work location.
· Disaster-related expenses that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.
Applicants for D-SNAP should apply by March 24 and provide any available information that indicates their identity, residence, and income. If claiming a loss of employment, applicants should also have the name, address, and phone number of their employer handy. Existing SNAP recipients who’ve already requested replacement benefits do not need to take any further action, call, or come into the office to apply for additional SNAP benefits that might be available.
The Emergency Cash Assistance program provides a one-time cash payment to families significantly impacted by the March 3rd weather disaster. This money is funded by the Families First/TANF 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.
To be eligible, families must include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, and live in a house or apartment or worked for a business that received significant damage during the March 3rd storm. The Emergency Cash Assistance program is available to eligible families in Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Gibson, Putnam, and Wilson counties.
Applicants for the Emergency Cash Assistance program should apply by March 24 and provide a home or rental insurance claim document, an official statement from the landlord, or verification showing proof of a submitted FEMA application. Household income or bank account information is also required.
Applications for the Emergency Cash Assistance program and D-SNAP will be accepted beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. If an individual is unable to apply online, local offices will have employees available to respond to questions or applications via telephone. Customers can find the number to their local office by going online at https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/humanservices/for-families/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/office-locator-family-assistance.html.
DHS employees can provide further guidance if there is difficulty locating documentation.
The additional TDHS services are always available online:
· The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families. Apply for services online https://faonlineapp.dhs.tn.gov/.
· Families First provides temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational supports, job training, employment activities, and other support services. Apply for services online https://faonlineapp.dhs.tn.gov/.
· The Child Support program provides services that promote parental responsibility to meet the financial needs of children and their families. Apply for services online https://csonlineapp.dhs.tn.gov/Home/Login. Payments can be made online https://tn.smartchildsupport.com/.
· Adult Protective Services investigates reports of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or financial exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves due to a physical or mental limitation. Call toll free 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366) or report suspected abuse online https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/
· The Child Care Certificate Program provides child care financial assistance to families who are working or pursuing post-secondary education and who meet certain income eligibility requirements. Apply for Child Care Payment Assistance/Smart Steps online
ATTENTION, ANTI-FRAUD WARNING:
You must tell the truth when you apply for D-SNAP benefits, replacements, and supplements. You may not sell, trade, or give away your EBT card. You may NOT receive Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance twice for the same disaster. All applications are subject to review. If you get benefits to which you are not entitled, you WILL be required to pay them back. If you break the SNAP rules you may be disqualified from the program, fined up to $250,000, and/or put in jail for up to 20 years.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.