Tennessee Making it More Convenient to Apply for ServicesTennessee Department of Human Services is waiving the interview requirement for many individuals seeking benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has received approval from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to temporarily waive one step in the process for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
During the months of July and August, new customers filing initial applications and existing recipients filing recertifications no longer need to do an interview if their identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications have been completed. This waiver includes customers who have interviews scheduled.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, these interviews have largely been done by telephone unless the customer requests an interview in-person. The temporary interview waiver follows other steps TDHS has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to make it more convenient for families to apply for services from home.
These 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 here.
· Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational supports, job training, employment activities, and other support services. Apply for services online here.
· The Child Support program provides services that promote parental responsibility to meet the financial needs of children and their families. Apply for services online here. Payments can be made online here.
· 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 here.
· 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 here.
Additionally, TDHS is offering assistance related to COVID-19 that can be accessed online including:
· Emergency Cash Assistance provides two months of payments to families who’ve lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply online until August 29 here.
· The COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program supports the child care needs of families that are serving the state in essential workforce positions. Apply online through mid-August here.
· Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) provides food benefits to families to replace meals lost during the months of March, April, and May due to COVID-19 school closures. Apply online until August 14 here. Families can also download applications in Spanish, Somali, and Arabic languages to fill out and email to P-EBT.DHS@tn.gov.
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.