Tennessee Families First

Tennessee Families First is a welfare program that assists qualified low-income families with children through temporary cash benefits for up to 60 months. 

They require you to sign a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) to be eligible for the program. Signing the PRP agrees on:

  1. work or participate in work-related activities for 30 hours a week (not participating will deny you of benefits)
  2. Cooperate with child support requirements
  3. Make sure your children stay in school and receive regular health checks and immunization shots.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tennessee Families First


What are the qualifications for Families First? 

  1. U.S. citizen or legal alien, or permanent resident who live in Tennessee
  2. Pregnant, disabled, elderly, or uninsurable
  3. Responsible for a child under 19 years of age
  4. Unemployed or underemployed (working for very low wages)
  5. Signed the PRP, agreeing on working or participating in work-related activities

How much is TANF in Tennessee? #

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How much money you get for TANF in Tennessee largely depends upon your family’s income and size. Tennessee pays a maximum of $277 a month to a family of three, which is among the lowest in the nation.

How do I sign up for Families First? 

Application for Families First benefits can be done in person through your local Department of Human Services county office. Visit this page to see a list of county offices’ location and numbers to locate which one is nearest to submit your application.

Application online is available through Family Assistance (FA) Online Application

Those who qualify will receive their benefits through their Benefit Security Card or EBT card.


How do I get emergency cash assistance in TN? 

Those affected by COVID-19, losing their jobs or losing at least 50% of income may apply for Emergency Cash Assistance. 

Apply online and provide your layoff notice or proof of reduced hours resulting in lower income due to COVID-19. Call (866) 311-4287 for updates on your application status.

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