New Jersey TANF Application Information

WorkFirst New Jersey is an initiative by the state of New Jersey that emphasizes on the importance of work as a first step towards building ones future. WorkFirst New Jersey works in conjunction with TANF, an initiative by the state of New Jersey to provide temporary cash assistance to residence in financial need. The chief objective of the program is to help its members to be ready for employment, find employment and become self sufficient.

Services provided by work first New Jersey include:

  • Education to individuals who have not completed their schooling
  • Job training in specific job specialties that the participants have skills for
  • Child Care
  • Transportation Help
  • Temporary allowance to facilitate the transition from unemployment to employment

The beneficiaries of the Workfirst New Jersey program are given different options of finding work. These options include on the job training which exposes the participants to a real work environment with the option of allowing them to eventually stay with a specified employer on successful completion of the program. Another helpful option is the work experience program which gives unemployed individuals in the state of New Jersey an opportunity to work with non-profit organizations, thereby benefitting from the experience gained during their stint at these organizations.

The participants of the New Jersey program that are addicted to drugs are given substance abuse treatment and counseling, an important step towards preparing for work. Those individuals with learning disabilities or any other complication that acts as a barrier to their functionality in a normal working environment can enroll for the "supported employment program", where participants are given a job coach who guides them through the process.

Benefits of the workFirst New Jersey Program

Some of the benefits of the workfirst New Jersey program include:

  • A $10 per day transportation allowance
  • A maximum of $500 aimed at providing employment expenses such as uniforms or tools and an additional $500 to cater for moving expenses
  • Child care payments that enable the recipient to work
  • An extra cash assistance payment that lasts for a period of five years or until the individual becomes self sufficient

Eligibility Requirements

The primary eligibility criterion for workfirst New Jersey is to participate in work or show proof of participation in work preparation activities such as education or training. However in addition to this requirement, there are other more specific requirements that need to be met, these are highlighted below:

  • Provision of information to establish eligibility for WorkFirst New Jersey (WFNJ)
  • One should have fully co-operated with all the states child support requirements
  • Communicating any changes such as obtaining a job, moving from one place to another, increases in income est. as and when they occur

Other important eligibility requirements include:

  • Teen Parent Requirement: For teen parents applying for WorkFirst New Jersey, they must accept to live with either their parents or in the absence of parents they must arrange with their case worker to live with another responsible adult or guardian.
  • Completion of education: If an applicant is under the age of 20 and he or she has not finished high school, they are required to make arrangements to finish high school, or attend a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). For those participants who are either 18 or 19 this requirement can be met by participating in an education program that has been approved by their individual case workers.
  • Family Cap Requirement: In the event that a participant gives birth within 10 months of application, she is not entitled to an increase in the WorkFirst New Jersey benefits. However the newborn child is eligible to such programs as food stamps, Medicaid, and child care.

TANF Application Instructions

When applying for the New Jersey workfirst one has three options, which are:

  • Online Application
  • Going to the department of human services (DHS) and applying personally
  • Seeking application assistance by calling a toll free number

Applying Online

One can get application forms for workfirst New Jersey where he can proceed to fill and submit, after which they are processed for a specified period of time. If the applicant is found eligible for the program, he is admitted into the program. Online applications are preferred by many applicants because of their convenience and efficiency in the sense that you can access application forms 24 hours a day from the comfort of your home or any other convenient place.

To find more information about online applications, you can follow this link:

Applying Personally at the Department of Human Services (DHS)

For applicants who want a more personalized application. They can visit their nearest DHS offices where they can consult with the staff that will give them an application form and assist them with the application process. The staff at the DHS offices has vast experience in dealing with WorkFirst applications and thus can be of great help.

After getting the forms and advice, you can decide to either fill the form on the spot and leave it at the DHS for processing or you could carry it home and fill it there after which you will proceed to send to the DHS. In order to contact the department of human services you can follow this link:

Phone Assistance

For those people who cannot apply online or by visiting the New Jersey DHS, there still is the option of calling the NJ DHS and requesting for information about the application process and asking for the forms to be sent to over.

Work First New Jersey Hotline: 1-800-792-9773 or 1-800-375-5283