Tennessee Gives Families Extra $500 TANF EBT Benefits For Holiday Expenses

Happy boy enjoying while communicating with his family during Christmas lunch at home.
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To lighten the burden endured by low-income households, Tennessee will be helping out approximately 24,000 children and their families with a little extra support this holiday season.

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According to NBC’s Knoxville affiliate, KBIR-TV News 10, families participating in the state’s Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will receive a one-time additional payment of $500 to help with holiday expenses from the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS).

Families First is a state-administrated, federally-funded program that provides needy Tennessee families with monthly cash deposits to recipients’ electronic benefit cards (EBTs) to buy goods and services. The extra payment will be available through existing EBT cards starting Thursday, Dec. 1.

“We serve some of the most economically vulnerable families and children through the Families First program and recognize the challenges they’re facing,” stated Commissioner Clarence H. Carter in the TDHS news release. “Keeping up with the demands of the holiday season can introduce additional hurdles in caring for children, such as accommodating school breaks, providing extra meals, and so much more.

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“This one-time boost in financial assistance is intended to help Families First participants overcome these temporary hurdles, positioning them to start the year off strong,” Carter added.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) site, the Office of the Administration for Children & Families administers Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to low-income families with children to help achieve self-sufficiency.

The federal government currently provides approximately $16.5 billion in TANF block grants to U.S. states and territories that fund monthly cash assistance payments to their eligible residents through programs like Families First in Tennessee.

Families First is a temporary assistance program time-limited to 60 months in a participant’s lifetime. Additionally, the program carries a responsibility pledge for heads of households, which includes stipulations like agreeing to work or attend work preparation activities and ensuring children receive immunization shots, health checks and attend school regularly.

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For more information on the Families First program and guidelines on how to apply, or to manage your Tennessee human services benefits online, visit TDHS’s ONE DHS website.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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