New Jersey has a history of providing a relatively strong safety net to support low-income families—both those on welfare (public assistance) and the working poor.
The State’s welfare program is known as WorkFirst New Jersey (WFNJ) and includes assistance for families (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and single individuals (General Assistance). WFNJ is designed to help families move to self-sufficiency by offering a full array of supports—from child care, health insurance and transportation, to substance abuse treatment and emergency funds. Recipients face a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance.
To achieve aid, you must work, be looking actively for work, or participate in an approved work activity. After attending an intensive 30-day job readiness workshop at the Bergen One-Stop called G-Job, you either move on to occupational training, basic skills remediation, or to the Community Work Experience Program (CWEP) for on-the-job training and mentoring. OJT grants are also available for WFNJ participants. For complete information regarding welfare benefits, please visit the New Jersey Department of Human Services website.
If you are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or have a low income, you may be eligible to receive a Health Profession Opportunity Grant, an initiative offered at Bergen Community College (BCC). The One-Stop has partnered with BCC to recruit and screen over 20 individuals preparing to enter and advance in careers in the health care sector. Learn more about temporary cash assistance and other support services offered through TANF.
New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-Ed Outreach program is a collaboration of public and private business, non-profit organizations, voluntary health agencies (e.g., the American Cancer Society), trade organizations, faith-based organizations, and government agencies whose mission is to provide nutrition education to increase the food security of New Jersey’s limited-resource population. The goal is to help improve dietary quality, food safety, fitness, and food resource management/shopping skills. Learn more about the SNAP-Ed Outreach Project in Bergen County.
Other Resources for Individuals on Public Assistance
Bergen County Division of Family Guidance