WorkFirst NJ (WFNJ)

WorkFirst or NJ's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is the cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.

The goal of WFNJ is to help them get off of welfare and become self-sufficient through job training, education and work activities.

Unless otherwise exempt, all adult recipients are required to participate in a work activity or a job for at least 35 hours a week as soon as the first month of receipt of WFNJ.


Who qualifies for TANF in NJ? #

To qualify for TANF in New Jersey, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen, legal alient or a lawful permanent resident.
  2. Be a resident of the state of New Jersey.
  3. Be pregnant or have a child under age 19.
  4. Be unemployed or under employed with very low wages equal to or less than the maximum allowable income limit shown below.

What is the income limit for TANF in NJ? #

In New Jersey, a family is considered “needy” when their countable income is less than $839 a month for a family of three. The limit for countable resources is $2,000.

The income limits for families of different sizes are listed in the table below.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $321
  • 2 $638
  • 3 $839
  • 4 $966
  • 5 $1,092
  • 6 $1,221
  • 7 $1,341
  • 8 $1,442

How much cash assistance will I get in NJ? #

If you’re a family of three, you may receive $559 a month in cash assistance for a total of 24 consecutive months and a lifetime total of five years, with certain exceptions.

As a WFNJ recipient, you may also receive up to $100 per month of child support payments that are collected on behalf.

For more information about child support, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 (1-877-655-4371)

How do I apply for WorkFirst NJ? #

Applications for WorkFirst NJ can be done online at MyNJHelps or in person at the County Welfare Agency that serves your area. After your application is filed, an interview will be arranged to determine your eligibility.

If deemed eligible, you’ll receive your benefits through the “Families First” card which can be used at merchants POS (Point-of-Sale) terminals and ATM’s.

What is General Assistance in NJ? #

New Jersey is one of only a few states that still provides a cash benefit to childless adults and couples, known as WFNJ General Assistance (WFNJ/GA).

In New Jersey, maximum GA benefits are $140 per month for an employable recipient and $210 per month for a disabled or otherwise unemployable recipient.

As a condition of eligibility, GA assistance recipients must participate in a work activity or a job for 30 hours a week.

Who qualifies for NJ Emergency Assistance? #

WorkFirst NJ recipients who are homeless, at immediate risk of homelessness, or have experienced a substantial loss of housing, food, clothing, or household furnishings due to fire, flood, or similar disaster may apply for Emergency Assistance (EA).

Emergency assistance is limited to no more than 12 months, maybe longer under certain hardship circumstances.

If you have experienced a disaster and are in need of emergency assistance, please call

Work First New Jersey Hotline

Share this article