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

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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.

“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.

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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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