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 office1 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. []