COVID-19 shutdowns may have put a bit of financial strain on people across the country, but there have been some programs to help those in need. The initial stimulus that went out to qualifying Americans was a welcome wave of help for many, and now local state governments are doing what they can to find other ways to further assist their citizens. In Tennessee, those who have lost their jobs or have taken a pay cut may now be eligible for some financial assistance.

It was announced on Thursday, May 21, that the State Department of Human Services in Tennessee is accepting applications for their Emergency Cash Assistance program. 

The program will help families that have been directly affected by COVID-19. This includes those that had a job as of March 11, 2020 and have lost it or employees that have lost at least 50% of their usual earned income during the pandemic according to the official website.

Other requirements for families to be eligible to receive these funds include having a child under the age of 18 or being pregnant. They must also have a valid Social Security Number and not have any resources totaling more than $2000.

Families that qualify for the program will receive two monthly cash payments if they're accepted. Applications can be submitted online and will be open until June 30, 2020.

If anyone in the family is already receiving unemployment benefits, that will not affect eligibility to receive this cash assistance.

So how much can eligible families receive?

A home with one to two people can get $500. Homes with three to four people would be eligible for $750, while larger households with five or more would get up to $1000 through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The DHS also tweeted a link to their website with commonly asked questions and answers.

Tennessee families seeking assistance are able to apply for the benefits online through the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

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