TANF For Single Mothers In Tennessee

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Lori Pace

If you are a resident of Tennessee and are struggling financially, you may be eligible for assistance through the Tennessee Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

TANF is a federal program that provides financial assistance and supportive services to low-income families with children, intending to help them become self-sufficient.

Administered by the Department of Human Services, the Tennessee TANF program emphasizes work, training, and personal responsibility to help participants gain self-sufficiency through employment. 

This article will provide an overview of the Tennessee TANF program and its eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process, so you can determine if this program is the right fit for you and your family.

Understanding Tennessee TANF and Its Purpose

The program promotes personal responsibility and self-sufficiency through temporary cash assistance, employment programs, and childcare assistance.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services county offices are responsible for implementing the program, and applicants must provide proof of income, residency, and citizenship or legal residency status.

Once approved, families receive a benefit security card or EBT card that can be used to access cash assistance benefits and are required to participate in the Families First program, which includes work-related activities and employment services through the state’s workforce development program.

Overall, Tennessee TANF is an important resource for families facing financial hardship, but it also aims to help individuals and families become self-sufficient and achieve long-term stability. 

Eligibility Requirements for Tennessee TANF

You may be eligible for assistance if you meet certain income and resource limits set by the Tennessee TANF program

Here are the eligibility criteria that you must meet:

  • You must have a dependent child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman in the household.
  • You must be a resident of Tennessee.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant.
  • You must have income and resources below the program’s limits.
  • You must comply with child support requirements and participate in job training if required.

Additionally, your child must receive immunization shots, and you must participate in family-focused solutions to receive aid to families in need.

Keep in mind that eligibility criteria may vary depending on your individual circumstances, and it’s best to contact your local DHS county office for more information.

Eligibility Requirements For Tennessee Tanf

Applying For TANF In Tennessee

When applying for Tennessee TANF, bring all necessary documents to your local DHS county office. The office will require proof of income, residency, and identity. You must also provide information about any children in your household, including their birth certificates and social security numbers. Additionally, if you are receiving child support, you must provide documentation of those payments.

Once you have submitted your application, the DHS county office will determine your eligibility for temporary cash benefits. If deemed eligible, you may be required to participate in job training and work a specific number of hours per week.

Tennessee TANF is a family-centered program that provides aid to eligible low-income families. However, application processing times may vary depending on the county office’s workload. 

Benefits and Services Provided by Tennessee TANF

Families needing financial assistance may find relief through the benefits and services provided by Tennessee TANF. This temporary assistance program is aimed at aiding families with low income and providing them with family-focused solutions.

The financial assistance program helps families with dependent children by offering aid to needy families. Besides, TANF provides job training and employment services to help participants become self-sufficient and obtain better employment opportunities.

The program also offers various supportive services, including childcare assistance, transportation, and referrals to other community resources. 

Job Training and Educational Opportunities

Participants in the Tennessee TANF program can take advantage of various job training and educational opportunities to enhance their employment prospects and achieve greater financial stability. The program offers employment activities and preparation activities to able-bodied adult recipients.

Training activities offered by Tennessee TANF can include vocational training, on-the-job training, and education and training related to work. To be eligible for these services, participants must meet financial eligibility standards, which are determined by their household income. Monthly cash benefits are also available to eligible participants to help support them during their training and education.

Overall, the job training and educational opportunities provided by Tennessee TANF aim to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to secure better-paying jobs and improve their financial well-being. 

Job Training And Educational Opportunities

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t meet the work requirements for Tennessee TANF?

If you don’t meet the work requirements for a welfare program, your benefits may be reduced or terminated. This is to encourage self-sufficiency and ensure that funds are being used effectively. It’s important to understand the rules and seek assistance if needed.

How often do I need to recertify for Tennessee TANF benefits?

You must recertify for TANF benefits every 12 months in Tennessee. You will receive a notice beforehand with instructions on recertification and what documents you must provide to continue receiving benefits.

Will receiving Tennessee TANF affect my eligibility for other government assistance programs?

Receiving Tennessee TANF may affect your eligibility for other government assistance programs. Each program has its rules, so it is essential to check with each agency to determine how your TANF benefits may impact your eligibility.

Can I receive Tennessee TANF if I am already receiving unemployment benefits?

You can receive Tennessee TANF even if you already receive unemployment benefits. However, the amount of TANF you receive may be affected by your unemployment benefits and other income sources.


As you’ve learned, Tennessee TANF is designed to help low-income families with children obtain the necessary resources to become self-sufficient. By providing job training and educational opportunities, Tennessee TANF aims to equip individuals with the skills necessary to secure and maintain employment, ultimately leading to financial stability.

Overall, Tennessee TANF is a vital resource for those needing temporary assistance while working towards long-term self-sufficiency. If you or someone you know meets the eligibility requirements, consider applying for Tennessee TANF to take advantage of the benefits and services offered by this helpful program.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!