WorkFirst NJ (WFNJ)

Updated June 28, 2019

WorkFirst NJ, the state’s welfare program, 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 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.

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FAQ

  • Who qualifies for TANF in NJ?

    In order to qualify for TANF in NJ, you must be a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien or permanent resident, and be a resident of the state of New Jersey.

    You must also be responsible for a child under 19 years of age and be either unemployed or under employed (working for very low wages).

  • How much cash assistance will you get in NJ?

    If you’re a family of three, you may receive about $454 a month in cash assistance for a total of 24 consecutive months and a lifetime total of five years.1

    As a WFNJ recipient, you may also receive up to $100 per month of child support payments that are collected on behalf.2

  • How do I apply for WorkFirst NJ?

    You can apply for WorkFirst NJ online at NJOneApp or in person at your County Welfare Agency. After your application is filed, an interview will be arranged, either by phone or in person, to determine your eligibility.

    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.

  • 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).3

    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.4

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

WorkFirst NJ recipients may also receive Emergency Assistance (EA) in certain emergency situations. Assistance is limited to no more than 12 months, maybe longer under certain hardship circumstances.


For additional information, call
Work First New Jersey Hotline
1-800-792-9773

References
  1. WorkFirst NJ limits assistance to a maximum of 60 months over a participant’s lifetime, with certain exceptions.
  2. For more information about child support, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 (1-877-655-4371)
  3. What is General Assistance program in NJ?
  4. NJ Spotlight, NJ’s Welfare Programs Pay Well Below Federal Poverty Level
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