The state's welfare reform program, WorkFirst NJ, emphasizes work as the first step toward building a new life and a brighter future. Our goal is to help people get off welfare, secure employment and become self-sufficient, through job training, education and work activities.
WFNJ provides temporary cash assistance and many other support services to families through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A detailed description of the TANF Program is available in the New Jersey State Plan for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) FFY 2015-17 - (pdf)
New Jersey is one of only a few states that also provides cash benefits and support services to individuals and couples with no dependent children, through our General Assistance (GA) program.
Services under WFNJ are limited to five years. After that, clients may be eligible for the Supportive Assistance to Individuals and Families (SAIF) program.
Under the supervision of the NJ Division of Family Development (DFD), the 21 county welfare agencies administer the TANF program. These agencies also administer the WorkFirst NJ General Assistance (GA) program - which provides welfare services for individuals and couples without children -in most cases, although about one-third of New Jersey's 566 municipalities maintain their own welfare offices to serve those clients. For more information, contact your County Welfare Agency or local welfare agency.
The state also provides financial assistance and services to people who cannot work, due to a disability or other reason. People who are disabled may qualify for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
Work First New Jersey Handbooks
Now Available in PDF Format
* Updated 11/15 *
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