Reach Up in Vermont (TANF)

The official State website for Reach Up (TANF) in Vermont.

Reach Up helps families with children by providing cash assistance for basic needs and services that support work and self-sufficiency.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility depends on your income, resources, living expenses, family members in your household, how many months of Reach Up you've already received, and other factors.

Click here to learn about lifetime limits for benefits.

If you will likely be self-sufficent in 4 months or less AND meet eligibility requirements, you may participate in Reach First instead.

How do I apply?

  1. Apply one of three ways:
    1. ONLINE: Click here to go to our online application.
    2. BY MAIL: Call 1-800-479-6151 or visit a district office to get a paper application.
    3. IN PERSON: Apply in person at your local district office.
  2. Participate in an interview and orientation. You’ll have to complete an interview — by phone or in person — before we can make a decision about your eligibility. We will inform you about the interview process after you apply. Reach Up applicants may also need to attend an orientation.

What if I have questions? Need help applying?

Call 1-800-479-6151 during business hours ((Monday to Thursday, 8AM to  5:45 PM, Fridays, 8AM – 4:15 PM). You can also visit a district office or click here for a list of other organizations that can help.

How does Reach Up work?

  1. If we determine you're eligible for Reach Up, we'll assess your readiness for work. We'll look at your skills and abilities, job interests, and training or education. We'll also look at any challenges that make it difficult for you to work (e.g., child care, transportation, health needs, or personal issues).
  2. You and your case manager will create a family development plan that maps out your work goals and steps you'll take to achieve them. Your goals might include looking for a job, getting your GED or high school diploma, attending job training, pursuing higher education, and getting on-the-job experience. You'll update the plan together as you make progress.
  3. Reach Up may provide case management, cash assistance, and support services.

What else do I need to Know?

Work Requirement:

To keep maximum Reach Up benefits, you'll need to spend a certain number of hours each week either working or participating in approved activities that will lead to a job. The number of hours you will be required to work, or participate in approved work activities, will depend on your children's ages and your family situation.

You may not have to work or engage in work activities right away if:

  • You have a health problem;
  • You are caring for a very young child; or
  • Childcare is not available.

While Reach Up provides you with benefits and services, you are expected to follow your family development plan. If you do not follow your plan, your financial assistance grant may be reduced.

Cash Assistance:

Your Reach Up cash assistance will be deposited directly into your bank account through direct deposit. If you don't have a bank account, you'll receive your cash assistance on an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card called Vermont Express. Click here to learn how the card works and where it can be used.

When you leave Reach Up:

When you leave Reach Up, you'll automatically be signed up for Reach Ahead benefits and services if you are eligible.