New Jersey cash assistance TANF and WorkFirst program.

Cash assistance is available for very low income families and individuals in New Jersey. The Department of Human Services (DHS) administers this Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) type welfare program for households with kids, including single moms and dads. The cash assistance, also called WorkFirst (WFNJ) can be used to pay for bills, housing, child care, job related expenses and more.

The government benefit is only for residents with children. If they do not have kids, or the child is over the age of 18, then General Assistance can be used for paying bills. However, WorkFirst New Jersey is only for low income families as well as those living in poverty that have children. It can also help immigrants if they have been in the state for a few years.

Applying for WorkFirst New Jersey cash assistance

Cash based grants are only given to individuals who are (1) employed (2) in job training or (3) actively seeking a job. WorkFirst NJ was created to ensure personal responsibility, which involves families getting a job with a livable wage and addressing the root cause of their hardship. The financial aid also requires other obligations from the family, including the child needs to be in school, they need to be vaccinated, and meeting other goals. As far as the work requirements, even classes may qualify the applicant, and they may be English as a Second Language classes, skills remediation, or vocational classes.

New Jersey County Welfare Offices will determine whether a family is eligible for cash-based aid. They will also calculate the monthly payment to be made, and the amount will be based on family size, how many parents as well as children live in the home. The average payment from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will vary, but in New Jersey it is about $425 for a family of 3. More children equate to more financial aid and less children equals less money.

Any residents can only get financial help from TANF welfare for at most 60 months over their life time. After that timeframe the cash assistance will end, and the person can’t reapply. In addition, the assistance is only for very low-income households that live in poverty.





Financial aid from TANF - WorkFirst

If approved for cash-based aid from WorkFirst New Jersey, then the family can use the money to pay for a wide number of bills. The cash can help them buy food and groceries each month. Or the money can be used to pay for rent or cover housing costs the resident may have, ranging from utility bills to winter heating costs. Many other bills can be paid by WorkFirst as well, such as medications, health care needs, bus or train passes, cars, and more.

Cash assistance from the state of New Jersey can also be combined with other benefit programs. This is done as the government relies that receiving a few hundred dollars per month is not a lot of money. So many people who receive free cash each month from their county welfare office will also receive free food from SNAP or medical care from Medicaid. Or they are often receiving vouchers to pay for child care while they work, and many other public benefits can be given to them. Other assistance that is often combined with TANF includes any needed substance abuse treatment, child care subsidies, grants to pay for a one-time moving allowance, parenting and nutritional education, work uniform allowances, and funds for job training.

WorkFirst NJ cash-based grants are not meant to solve a family’s financial problems. It is intended to be a small amount of cash given to the household so that they are their kids can work towards long term stability. So, the financial laid is limited for certain critical living expenses and the funds will end after a short period of time.

The cash assistance WorkFirst New Jersey application phone number is 1-800-792-9773. This is a hotline number, but the best place to go to apply, learn how to calculate the amount of cash assistance, and to get more information is a local social service or welfare office.



By Jon McNamara

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