Starting tomorrow at 10 a.m., families who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 can apply online for up to two months of emergency cash assistance, the Tennessee Department of Human Services announced today.

The Emergency Cash Assistance provides two monthly cash payments to families that were employed as of March 11 and have lost a job or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic. The money is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and will provide the funds as follows:

  • $500 for a household of one to two persons,
  • $750 for a household of three to four persons, or
  • $1,000 for a household of five 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 meet the loss of income guidelines and include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security number, must not have resources exceeding $2,000 and the gross/unearned monthly income (GMI) may not exceed 85% of the state's median income, which is currently:

  • GMI of $2,696 for a household of one,
  • GMI of $3,526 for a household of two,
  • GMI of $4,356 for a household of three,
  • GMI of $5,185 for a household of four, and
  • GMI of $6,015 for a household of five

“We know the next few months are going to be a challenge for families across our state who unexpectedly lost a job through no fault of their own,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “This emergency cash assistance will provide families with the temporary resources they need to support themselves during what we hope will be a short time away from their jobs. Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

According to TDHS, if individuals meet the loss of income guidelines, they can go to the TDHS website and apply for the emergency funds. 

Applicants are required to upload their verification to the application prior to submitting to TDHS.

All TDHS offices are operating on an appointment-only basis as a precaution for COVID-19. Those seeking the financial assistance are being asked to fill out the application online. They are not required to call TDHS for an interview for these funds.

Applicants will receive a notification of denial or approval via email within five days. If approved, applicants can expect an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to be sent within five to seven days of approval via mail.

The full press release from TDHS can be seen below.

Erin McCullough may be reached at

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

Recommended for you