Those raising relatives’ children receive extra TDHS cash

Published 2:07 pm Monday, December 6, 2021

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The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is providing extra support to thousands of families who receive monthly cash assistance through the state’s Families First program. Households who qualified as a “child-only” case in October has had their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards bumped up by a one-time payment of $950. The increase was deposited to the cards on Dec. 1.

The payment provides extra support to caregivers who do not receive other Families First services like child care assistance, job training and transportation support. These “child-only” cases are those where no adult receives Families First benefits themselves and the child living in the household is being raised by relatives instead of the child’s parents.

“Families who receive ‘child-only’ benefits are often grandparents, aunts and uncles stepping in to provide a stable and nurturing home to vulnerable children,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “These families don’t receive all the same benefits, goods and services as our other Families First participants despite playing an impactful role in the development of children. We hope this one-time payment provides support to address challenges they might be facing.”

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This Families First Pandemic Payment for Children Living with Relatives is funded through the federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF). Tennessee qualified for more than $12 million in PEAF dollars. This payment is the first investment TDHS is making with those dollars. Additional PEAF support will be announced in 2022.

Families First is Tennessee’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF is a federally funded program that emphasizes work, family strengthening and personal responsibility to empower families for long-term success. The program helps participants reach this goal by providing temporary cash assistance, transportation, childcare assistance, educational support, job training and other support services. The Tennessee Department of Human Services is dedicated to making the state a place where all Tennesseans can move beyond the barriers they may face to self-sufficiency and on to new heights.