Tennessee Families First

Updated June 26, 2019

Families First is Tennessee’s welfare program that provides temporary cash benefits to eligible low-income families with children.

These benefits will be limited to 60 months of eligibility in a lifetime, with some exceptions for the elderly, disabled persons, and children under age 18.

To be eligible for the program, you must sign a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) which among other things, you must agree to:

  1. work or participate in work-related activities for 30 hours a week, unless exempt;
  2. cooperate with child support requirements;
  3. ensure that your children stay in school and receive regular health checks and immunization shots.


  • Do I qualify for Families First?

    In order to qualify for Families First, you must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien, or permanent resident who live in Tennessee
    • Be either pregnant, disabled, elderly, or uninsurable
    • Be responsible for a child under 19 years of age
    • Be unemployed or under employed (working for very low wages)
    • Agree to work or attend work preparation activity, if not exempt
  • How do I sign up for Families First?

    Tennesseans may apply for Families First benefits at the local Department of Human Services county office 1 or

    Apply online via
    Family Assistance (FA) Online Application

    Families First cash assistance benefits are issued and accessed electronically using a Benefit Security Card or EBT Card which can be used wherever EBT is accepted.

For additional information, call
Family Assistance Service Center

  1. Click here for a list of county offices locations and phone numbers for which to submit your application.()