Emergency Cash Assistance: Eligibility, Documents Needed and How to Know if you are Accepted

The Emergency Cash Assistance provides two monthly cash payments to families that were employed as of March 11, 2020, and have lost a job or lost at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency. Applications for emergency cash assistance were accepted through August 29, 2020.

Emergency Cash Assistance

The application cycle is now closed. This money is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and provides for households that are eligible depending on the number of people in a household.

The Emergency Assistance Program provides help to families in situations that are threatening the health or wellbeing of an eligible child and family.

Emergency Cash Assistance

The emergency cash assistance is actually initiated due to a well-known fact.  “We know the next few months are going to be a challenge for families across our state that 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.”

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a federal workforce development and employment program emphasizing work, training, and personal responsibility.


Below are the eligibility criteria needed for you to apply for the emergency cash assistance;

  • To be eligible, families must have been employed as of March 11, 2020, but have since then lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency,
  • And also a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2000,
  • And lastly, the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Income. You can get more details about the eligibility status here.

How to know if your application is accepted

You will receive an email at the email address you listed when applying once the application has been submitted. Be sure and check your SPAM folder if you do not receive one.

You will receive a response via email within 10-15 days.  If approved, a card will be mailed to you. You can also call our Family Assistance Service Center. You can get details about the number to call here.

Documents Needed From You

It is expected of you to provide some documents. You will need to provide a layoff notice or proof of receiving reduced hours due to COVID-19 as part of the application along with verification of income prior to being laid off.

You additionally must have valid Social Security numbers for all household members and provide a birth certificate for all household members born outside Tennessee. Proof of checking and/or savings account is required. Proof of unemployment benefits letter or any other income is required. You can get more details about emergency cash assistance here.

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