WorkFirst NJ (WFNJ)


WorkFirst NJ, the state’s welfare program, is the cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.1

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 exempted, 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.

How much cash assistance will you get in NJ?

If you’re a family of three, you may receive about $424 a month in cash assistance for a total of 24 consecutive months and a lifetime total of five years.2

As a WFNJ recipient, you may also receive up to $100 per month of child support payments that are collected on behalf.3

WorkFirst NJ recipients may receive Emergency Assistance (EA) in certain emergency situations. Assistance is limited to 12 months, maybe longer under certain hardship circumstances.

In addition, if you are working at least 20 hours a week, you can keep all or some of your cash assistance along with your paycheck through a program called Paycheck Plus.


How do I apply for WorkFirst NJ?

You can apply for WorkFirst NJ online at NJOneApp or in person at your County Welfare Agency.4

If 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.

For additional information, call
Work First New Jersey Hotline

WorkFirst NJ General Assistance (WFNJ/GA)

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).5

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.6

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

  1. What is NJ TANF?
  2. WorkFirst NJ limits assistance to a maximum of 60 months over a participant’s lifetime, with certain exceptions.
  3. For more information about child support, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 (1-877-655-4371)
  4. NJOneApp no longer accepts Medicaid applications.
  5. What is General Assistance program in NJ?
  6. NJ Spotlight, NJ’s Welfare Programs Pay Well Below Federal Poverty Level