Tennessee Approves $500 ‘Christmas Bonus’ for TANF Participants

The Tennessee Star posted an article yesterday that seemed to awaken a few readers.

Can’t say we blame them.

Participants of Tennessee’s Families First Program will receive ‘extra support’ this holiday season, according to the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS). On Monday, TDHS announced that all households enrolled in the state’s assistance program as of December 1st will receive a one-time additional payment of $500 on their existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards beginning on that same day.

The TDHS statement pointed to the “nearly 24,000 children” that will benefit from the one-time payment to TANF households.

“We serve some of the most economically vulnerable families and children through the Families First program and recognize the challenges they’re facing,” TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter said. “Keeping up with the demands of the holiday season can introduce additional hurdles in caring for children, such as accommodating school breaks, providing extra meals, and so much more. This one-time boost in financial assistance is intended to help Families First participants overcome these temporary hurdles, positioning them to start the year off strong.”

With the newly-announced payment and holiday season approaching, TDHS and the Office of Inspector General are warning recipients of an increase in EBT fraud. To prevent falling victim to fraud, recipients are “encouraged to be aware of EBT card skimming and phishing schemes,” the statement noted.

The Families First Program is also known as Tennessee’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Families First was created as part of the larger Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (commonly referred to as “welfare reform”), according to TDHS.

The TANF program “provides temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational support, job training, and other support services,” TDHS adds.

Perhaps you should give them a hand up instead of a handout. Funny not a word of thanks to the taxpayer that provides the funds for these programs. The praise always goes to the government that only exists because of the taxpayer. I am all about helping people but we need to put more effort into education (TN still is using the failed, renamed Common Core standards) and jobs for these people. These handouts encourage people not to better themselves and makes them dependent on the government which most governments prefer. It secures a voter base. Every able bodied person on assistance should be required to work. They could still be given some assistance but work builds pride and the opportunity to advance and eventually get off assistance forever.


This is absolutely outrageous. I guess the “demands of the holiday season” are buying a bunch of stuff that these folks cannot afford. Now that is really teaching financial responsibility. People already getting welfare from our tax dollars are now getting a $500 bonus. My family could feed itself for over a month with $500. But, instead, my money is taken from me and given to someone else. That is called socialism where I come from.


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