The Department of Human Services Division of Family Assistance announced Wednesday that a one-time cash allotment totaling $192,000, authorized by the federal American Rescue Plan through the Administration of Children and Families, will be issued to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients during the week of May 16. On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act establishing the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund which provided funding to states and territories to assist needy families impacted by COVID-19.
In a release, Human Services Commissioner Causey-Gomez said, “The PEAF funding will provide much needed resources to aid families with the lowest incomes in the territory meet their added expenses or debts related to the pandemic. The extra costs of weathering the pandemic have made it even harder for TANF recipients to make ends meet. By using the PEAF funds to provide non-recurring payments to TANF recipients in addition to their regular monthly benefit, the PEAF Funds can help reduce new hardships for low-income families throughout the territory.”
The PEAF will be issued to eligible TANF families’ bank accounts via direct deposits. Each TANF head of household will receive a one-time cash allotment of $1,200 and $300 for each eligible minor in the household. Clients who were enrolled in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program from March 2021 through March 2022 have been deemed eligible to receive PEAF benefits. DHS will issue notices to eligible TANF Heads of Households indicating the amount of funds to be issued to their bank accounts.
Causey-Gomez also said PEAF funding will soon be made available to non-TANF recipients. Eligibility requirements will be issued along with the date PEAF applications will be available to the public. For any questions or clarification, please contact the following telephone numbers:
St. Croix District
(340) 772-7100 (Ask for the TANF/JOBS Office)
St. Thomas/St. John District
(340) 774-2399 (Ask for the TANF/JOBS Office)
Territorial PEAF Hotline
For more information on the new strain of coronavirus, please visit the USVI Department of Health’s website or text COVID19USVI to 888777.