Vermont Reach Up (TANF) Application Information

Vermont's Reach Up program stands as an important support system for Vermont families going through financial hardships. Created to address the specific needs of Vermonters, Reach Up not only extends financial aid to families with dependent children, but also paves a path toward lasting independence through various employment and educational initiatives.

The Reach Up program is dedicated to empowering families, helping them transition from financial assistance to self-reliance by providing the necessary tools and resources for securing stable employment and achieving economic stability. Reach Up's holistic approach underscores Vermont's commitment to nurturing strong, self-sufficient families and fostering healthier, more resilient communities across the state.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for Vermont's Reach Up program depends on several key factors aimed at helping families with minor, dependent children achieve economic self-reliance:

Household Income and Expenses: The program reviews your family's financial situation by comparing your household income to your living expenses. This evaluation helps determine your need for financial support.

Assets: Reach Up also looks at the value of assets you own or are currently financing, such as property or vehicles, to gauge your financial resources.

Household Composition: The program specifically targets families with minor, dependent children. Eligible applicants can be single parents or couples working together to provide for their children.

Benefits for Approved Applications: Once approved, you'll gain access to a range of benefits aimed at improving your family's well-being. This includes monthly cash payments to help with basic necessities like food, clothing, housing, and utilities. Additionally, the program offers case management services to help you set and achieve goals in areas such as employment, education, health, and housing.

Work Requirements: Central to Reach Up is the expectation that participants engage in work-related activities. The program mandates that if you are able to work, you must actively seek employment, participate in job training, or pursue educational opportunities that can `lead` to employment. Your specific work requirements will depend on your current situation, including your recent work history and employability. The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) provides support in preparing for and securing employment, ensuring that you have the tools and resources needed to transition to financial independence.

Reach Up is committed to helping low-income parents gain the skills and employment they need to provide for their children, showcasing Vermont's dedication to building strong, independent families.

Vermont's Reach First Program

Reach First is a part of the Reach Up programs designed to support families going through short-term financial hardships. It's available to help you get back on your feet quickly and avoid the need for long-term help.

Who Can Get Reach First Help?

You might be able to get Reach First if you meet the program's eligibility requirements, are applying for the first time, and you think you'll only need this help for a short period of time, typically 4 months or less. This program is perfect for those unexpected moments in life when you just need a little extra support to help you and your family through a temporary challenge.

Using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

In Vermont, Reach Up benefits are paid to families using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works similar to a debit card. Each month, the financial help you're eligible for is added to this card. You can use your EBT card to buy necessary items, like food and clothes, at stores that accept it, and you can even withdraw cash from ATMs.

This EBT card makes it easy for families to access their benefits safely and conveniently, allowing them to manage their assistance funds effectively as part of their daily financial activities.

Reach Up Application Instructions

Applying for Vermont's Reach Up program is straightforward, with a few different methods available for your convenience:

Online: The fastest and most convenient way to apply is through the program's online application on the Department for Children and Families website. This digital option allows you to fill out and submit your application from anywhere, at any time, making the process smooth and accessible.

By Mail: If you prefer a paper application or don't have internet access, you can easily request one by calling 1-800-479-6151. Once you receive and complete the application, you'll mail it back to the provided address.

In Person: For those who wish to apply face-to-face or might need some guidance with the application process, visiting your local Department for Children and Families district office is a great option. Staff members are available to help you fill out your application and answer any questions you might have.

After submitting your application, the next step is to participate in an interview. This can be done over the phone or in person, depending on what works best for you. The interview is an important part of the process, allowing you to discuss your situation in more detail and clarify any information from your application.

Vermont's Reach Up program provides support to families facing financial challenges, offering both financial assistance and services aimed at fostering self-sufficiency. Through personalized case management, the program helps participants set and achieve goals related to employment, education, and overall well-being, ensuring they have the necessary tools to build a stable and independent future for themselves and their children.