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Tennessee Making it Possible for More Families to Receive COVID-19 Assistance

The deadline has been extended to apply for a unique program that provides emergency cash assistance to families who lost employment
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 05:37pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is giving more families an opportunity to apply for a program that’s already provided valuable financial assistance to thousands across the state who’ve been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TDHS has extended that deadline to apply for Emergency Cash Assistance until Saturday August 29, 2020. This change follows Governor Bill Lee’s decision to extend the State of Emergency until August 29. The application process for Emergency Cash Assistance was set to end today.

The Emergency Cash Assistance program provides two months of cash payments to families. This money is funded by Tennessee’s surplus Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding 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 have been employed as of March 11, 2020 but have since lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency, include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2000, and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% 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.

Families can apply online here. Individuals who have already received Emergency Cash Assistance should not reapply. The program provides a maximum of two months of benefits.

“Through sound fiscal management of our federal dollars, Tennessee had the resources to immediately begin providing emergency cash assistance to families who unexpectedly needed help during the pandemic,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “Extending the application deadline until late August gives families that are losing employment now an opportunity to apply for this program. By supporting families when they need it the most, we are helping to build a thriving Tennessee when the COVID-19 pandemic passes.“

Individuals who need assistance completing their Emergency Cash Assistance applications or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661.

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

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.

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