While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial assistance to low-income families. The goal of TANF is to help families become financially self-sufficient. States and U.S. Territories receive block grants from the federal government, which are used to fund each state and territory’s specific TANF program.
Learn more about the TANF program and its primary purposes here.
In New Jersey, the TANF program is known as WorkFirst NJ (WFNJ). To learn more about WFNJ and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the New Jersey WFNJ website here.
WorkFirst NJ (WFNJ) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The WFNJ program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment.
For more information on the services the WFNJ program provides to participating families, review the New Jersey TANF website found here.
WFNJ and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, WFNJ benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
Both WFNJ and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. Many WFNJ participants also qualify for Food Assistance due to the low-income requirement of both programs. For more information about Food Assistance, click here.
To apply for Food Assistance and/or WFNJ, visit your local County Boards of Social Services office. Find your nearest office location here.
If you have questions about WFNJ, call the WorkFirst New Jersey Hotline at 1 (800) 792-9773. If you have any questions about Food Assistance, call the NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Hotline at 1 (800) 687-9512.
The exact benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources.
Families can receive these benefits for up to 60 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about WFNJ and benefits in New Jersey in the WFNJ handbook here.
To qualify for WFNJ in New Jersey, you must meet the following requirements:
To learn more about who can receive WFNJ benefits, click here and review page 6 of the New Jersey State Plan for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Before you apply for Workforce NJ, complete the following two steps:
Learn about the WFNJ eligibility requirements on page six of the TANF plan here.
In New Jersey, you can only apply for WFNJ benefits in person by visiting a County Boards of Social Services location. Click here to find the nearest office location.
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the WorkFirst New Jersey Hotline at 1 (800) 792-9773.
When you apply for WorkFirst NJ, you may learn whether or not your family is eligible for benefits right away.
Otherwise, you can check the status of your application by contacting your local County Boards Social Services location or by calling the WorkFirst New Jersey Hotline at 1 (800) 792-9773.
After you apply for WFNJ, you may learn whether or not your family is eligible for benefits right away.
You should also receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Human Services after your application has been processed. This notice will include your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits, if you are eligible. You should also receive an EBT card in the mail.
Once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
Learn more information about how to use your EBT card and how benefits will be distributed here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination call 1 (800) 792-9773.
If you do not agree with the WFNJ benefit decision given to you by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, you can appeal your decision after receiving your determination letter.
Your determination letter will include instructions for filing an appeal. You will also be given a date that you must submit your appeal request by should you wish to appeal a decision about your benefits.
If you have any questions regarding the appeal process, contact the WorkFirst New Jersey Hotline at 1 (800) 792-9773.
For help with obtaining WorkFirst NJ, or for any further questions about your application, call the WorkFirst New Jersey Hotline at 1 (800) 792-9773.
You can also visit or call a local County Boards of Social Services office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and compiled a guide and these answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Our free TANF Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply, program eligibility requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.