Murphy Administration Boosts Payments for Families & Individuals in Need by 20%

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Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced WorkFirst NJ cash assistance benefits are increasing by 20 percent for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and General Assistance recipients. 

Today’s announcement builds on the Murphy Administration’s ongoing effort to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey and comes on the heels of a 10 percent increase in these programs last fiscal year, which was the first meaningful increase in WorkFirst NJ in nearly 30 years. The increases announced today were included in the state budget for this fiscal year that was signed by Governor Phil Murphy and approved by the Legislature.

“The Murphy Administration is committed to helping families get on the strongest possible financial footing,” Commissioner Johnson said. “Providing increased income assistance to our neighbors in need is the right approach. It will help families with additional income at a crucial time and put more money back into the New Jersey economy, which will benefit everyone.”

Under this year’s increase, a family of three under WorkFirst NJ will see their maximum benefits payment increase to $559 per month from $466, while an individual under General Assistance will see their maximum benefit payment increase to $185 per month from $154.

“These increases are another crucial step forward in the Murphy Administration’s efforts to build a fairer New Jersey,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira. “These increases and the benefits provided to families and individuals in these programs are critical in protecting the most vulnerable New Jerseyans.”

WorkFirst NJ provides temporary cash assistance and support services to families through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

General Assistance provides temporary cash assistance and support services to individuals and couples in need with no dependent children.

These support services include emergency housing assistance; temporary utility, rental or mortgage assistance; job training; mental health and addictions support; and counseling.

The TANF increase took effect August 1, and the General Assistance increase took effect September 1.  Both will be retroactive to July 1.

Last year, the Governor and Legislature also worked together to remove the punitive WorkFirst NJ family cap that unfairly limited family benefits regardless of family size.

Residents can apply for WorkFirst NJ benefits at their county Board of Social Services or by visiting www.njhelps.org.

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