Tennessee Establishes Hotline For Applicants For Emergency Cash Assistance

Monday, April 6, 2020
The Tennessee Department of Human Services launched a special hotline this month to help make it easier for families with children to check on their application for emergency cash assistance. Applicants can call 833-496-0661 to learn the status of their application, including approval or denial and how much money the approved family can expect to receive.

Applications for emergency cash assistance will be accepted through May 29. All TDHS offices are currently operating on an “appointment basis” as a precaution for COVID-19, so the department is asking applicants to complete the application process online.
Applicants are required to upload verification to the application prior to submitting to TDHS. Once the application and verifications have been submitted, no further action will be needed. Applicants DO NOT need to call the DHS office for an interview. Applicants will be emailed a response and if approved they should receive an EBT card in the mail within 10 to 15 days.

The emergency cash assistance program is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and provides two monthly cash payments to approved families depending on their size:
$500 for a household of 1 to 2 persons.
$750 for a household of 3 to 4 persons.
$1000 for a household with 5 or more persons.

This assistance is available in addition to any unemployment benefits individuals in the family may be receiving.

To be eligible, families must have been employed as of March 11, but have since then lost employment or at least 50 percent of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency, include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2000, and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Income that’s currently:

Gross Monthly Income of $2,696 for a household of one.
Gross Monthly Income of $3,526 for a household of two.
Gross Monthly Income of $4,356 for a household of three.
Gross Monthly Income of $5,185 for a household of four.
Gross Monthly Income of $6,015 for a household of five.


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a federal workforce development and employment program emphasizing work, training, and personal responsibility. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. Existing TANF customers receiving Families First benefits will be eligible to apply for this emergency cash assistance.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.

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