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Supporting a family can be a real challenge, and getting a job is just the beginning. In order to keep a job, you need reliable and affordable child care, transportation, health insurance and more. Work First New Jersey offers a number of "post-TANF" benefits to families that leave welfare for a job or agree to close your case. These are time-limited supports intended to help you stay employed and move closer to an independent life:

For more information about the following programs and to find out if you qualify, contact your County Board of Social Services or welfare agency.

Supplemental Work Support
If you are now employed and have been working at least 20 hours per week for at least the past four months, and still receive a partial cash grant, you may be eligible to receive $200 per month for up to 24 months. To be eligible, you must have been on WFNJ/TANF for at least six months and agree to voluntarily close your case.
 
 
Transportation
You may be able to get assistance with travel costs when you begin to work. If you take public transportation, you may receive a one-time free monthly bus or train pass from NJ TRANSIT. You may also be eligible for an additional six months of free or low-cost bus or train passes.
 
 
Career Advancement Vouchers
This program is for people who have left welfare in the last 24 months and have been working for at least the past four months. If you are interested in taking work-related classes or training, this program offers opportunities to advance in your job.
 
 
Transitional Child Care
You may need to find child care so that you can work. If you participated in Work First New Jersey, you may be eligible for extended child care benefits for up to 24 months after you leave welfare. Once you are earning an income, you must pay a part of the cost of child care (a "co-pay" or fee). The amount of your co-pay changes as your income changes.

You may apply for transitional child care if your child is younger than 13 years old. Even if your case was closed for reasons other than employment and you are now working, you may be eligible.

Let your caseworker know that you have a job, and bring your pay stub to show how much money you earn. Your caseworker will give you a referral to an agency in your county that will help you find child care.

For more information, call the
Child Care Help Line toll-free: 1-800-332-9227.

 
 
Medicaid
If you have children under the age of 18, and you are working, your family may be eligible for a 24- month extension of Medicaid health benefits. As your income changes, so will your Medicaid eligibility. Exactly when the two years begins depends on the amount you are earning. If  your new job already provides health benefits, you will use those first, then your Medicaid benefits,  if  needed, to pay for health care costs.

  For more information, call the
Medicaid Hotline toll-free: 1-800-356-1561.

 
 
NJ Family Care
Depending on your family size and monthly income, certain low-income parents can qualify for free health insurance. You also may be able to get free or low-cost coverage for your children.

For more information, call the
NJ Family Care Hotline toll-free: 1-800-701-0710
or visit the website at
www.njfamilycare.org

 
 
NJ Earned Income Tax Credit (NJEITC)
NJEITC is a special tax benefit for low-income working people raising children. You may get money back even though you do not owe any state taxes. To get the credit, you must file a federal tax form and be eligible for the federal EITC, have an income of $20,000 per year or less and you must file a state tax form.

For information on the state EITC, call toll-free 1-888-895-9179

For information on the federal EITC, call the 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
toll-free at 1-800-829-1040.

 
 
NJ SNAP
You may be eligible to receive nutrition assistance benefits to help pay for food for you and your family. The NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) is separate from welfare; but your county Board of Social Services or welfare agency will determine whether you qualify.

Call toll-free 1-800-687-9512 
to find out more or apply online at
www.njsnap.org

 
 
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
If you need help to pay your heating bills or medically-necessary air conditioning -- even if your heat is included in your rent -- you may be eligible for LIHEAP.

Call toll-free 1-800-510-3102 
for more information, or visit
www.energyassistance.nj.gov

 
 
Universal Service Fund (USF)
USF can lower the amount you pay for your natural gas and electric bills.

Call toll-free 1-866-240-1347 
for more information or visit
www.energyassistance.nj.gov

Note: You can apply for LIHEAP and USF with one application.

 
 
Child Support
Child support services help parents meet their children’s needs. If you are off welfare and working and no longer receive cash assistance, you will keep the entire child support payment, in addition to your paycheck. Child support is also important for those who are working but still receiving partial cash assistance.

Services include finding the non-custodial parent, establishing paternity and establishing financial and medical support orders.

For more information,
call toll-free 1-877-NJKIDS1 
or visit
www.njchildsupport.org

 
 
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