Apply For New Jersey TANF

This page provides the New Jersey TANF eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet both state and federal guidelines for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Individuals who apply for TANF must meet the monetary and non-monetary state guidelines, complete work-related activities, provide paternity information about the children in the household and report as required by the state.

New Jersey residents who qualify for welfare are required to furnish information such as citizenship, income, resources, and age. Only household members who are eligible can receive New Jersey welfare benefits. Read on for more information about applying for TANF. If you have additional questions or issues about this program, then contact TANF New Jersey.

New Jersey TANF Eligibility

To determine whether you are eligible for Work First New Jersey benefits, contact your County Welfare Agency.

Family Cap

Under WFNJ, you are not entitled to an increase in your cash assistance benefits if you give birth to another child 10 months after applying for and receiving cash benefits. However, the child may be eligible for other benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care.

Teen Parents

If you are a teen parent (under age 18), you must now live at home with your parents, or with another responsible adult relative. If this living arrangement is not appropriate, your caseworker will help you find another acceptable arrangement.

If you are under age 20 and have not finished high school, you must attend high school or a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) program. If you are 18 or 19, you may meet this requirement by participating in another education or training program approved by your caseworker.


You must be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien resident to receive WFNJ benefits. A qualified alien who was in this country before August 22, 1996 may still receive benefits. A person who enters the country on or after August 22, 1996 who is not a citizen is not eligible for benefits for a period of five years – except for special categories of aliens. These include, for example: Amerasian immigrants, Cuban or Haitian entrants, refugees, asylees or parolees.

Drug Convictions WFNJ/General Assistance
Under the law, any person convicted on or after August 22, 1996 of felony drug distribution will be permanently ineligible to receive WFNJ/GA benefits. However, distribution offenders may be eligible for NJ Family Care/Medicaid so they can receive substance abuse treatment.

Any person convicted on or after August 22, 1996 of drug possession, or use only, of a controlled substance may be eligible for WFNJ/GA benefits if he or she enrolls in and participates in a licensed residential drug treatment program, tests drug-free at the end of the program and remains drug-free for 60 days. Some exceptions may apply.

Child Support

Both parents need to take responsibility for their children. In order to be eligible for WFNJ benefits, a parent must provide the information needed to secure child support, including identifying the other parent of your child.

When you apply for WFNJ benefits, you will be asked to provide a case manager with certain information that will help locate the other parent, if he or she is not involved or doesn’t know about your dependent child. This includes his or her full name and address and at least three of the following items, if you know them or can reasonably obtain them:

There are certain situations where you may not be required to provide child support information, such as in cases of family violence.

Child Support Collections

While you are receiving cash assistance, you will need to assign your child support rights to the state. This means that child support payments will be collected on behalf of your children who are receiving welfare. The payments are then sent to the county welfare agency.

However, as a WFNJ recipient, you may receive up to $100 per month from the child support payments that are collected. The child support order also will address medical support for the children. Once you are working and off welfare, you will receive your entire child support payment, in addition to your paycheck.

New Jersey Employment Search

Part of the requirement, while on the TANF program, is finding a job to help sustain your financial needs. New Jersey provides an online job site for you to search for employment. You can view the job site by clicking here.

Apply Online For New Jersey TANF

If you have questions about applying for TANF benefits, or you want to see if you can apply for TANF New Jersey online, then visit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families website here.