Tennessee families with lost income due to COVID-19 could get cash assistance

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee families who have lost a significant amount of income due to the coronavirus could get help from the state.

Beginning March 26 at 10 a.m., families in the state can apply online for cash assistance from the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

A member of the family can apply for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11 and have lost employment or at 50% of their income as a result of COVID-19.

The emergency assistance could provide two monthly cash payments to families who lost jobs or lost at least 50% of income. Eligible families must include a child under 18 years old or a pregnant woman.

Approved parents will receive funds twice a month for up to two months. The amount of each payment varies depending on how many people are in the household.

  • $500 for household of 1 to 2 persons
  • $750 for household of 3 to 4 persons
  • $1,000 for household of 5 or more persons

You do not qualify if your gross monthly household income exceeds the following amounts:

  • $2,696 for household of one
  • $3,526 for household of two
  • $4,356 for household of three
  • $5,185 for household of four
  • $6,015 for household of five

Reuben Skahill is a single father who wants to apply. He was laid off from his bartending job at River Oaks in East Memphis when the restaurant closed this week. Now he’s out of work, and his savings won’t last long.

“It’s not fun,” Skahill said.

He’s hoping this program will help him pay the bills, especially because he doesn’t know how long he’ll be unemployed.

“Whatever the numbers are, if it’s more money than we have right now without having a job, then it’s help,” he said.

This assistance is in addition to any unemployment benefits a family may receive.

The application must be completed online here. Applicants should receive approval or denial in five days.

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