Coronavirus in Tennessee: Emergency cash assistance applications to start Thursday

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Human Services is making essential financial resources available to families that have been impacted by the novel coronavirus.

TDHS says that emergency cash assistance applications are being accepted from families starting 10 a.m. CST Thursday for up to two months of financial assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020 and they’ve lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic.

TDHS says all offices are currently operating on appointment only as a precaution for COVID-19.

The department is asking applicants to complete the application process for emergency cash assistance online at

Applicants are required to upload their 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 receive a notification of denial or approval via email within 5 days. If approved, applicants can expect an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to be sent within 5-7 days of approval via mail.


The emergency cash assistance will provide 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 COVID-19.

The money will be funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and will provide:

  • $500 for a household of 1-2 persons
  • $750 for a household of 3-4 persons
  • $1,000 for a household with 5 or more persons

This would be 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, 2020, but have since then lost employment or at least 50% 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 $2,000, and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Incomethat’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 $4,356for a household of three.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $5,185for a household of four.
  • Gross Monthly Income of $6,015for a household of five

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