Reach First

Reach First helps families overcome temporary, short-term financial crises and avoid the need for ongoing assistance.

You may choose to participate in Reach First, if you:

  • Are filing a new application for Reach Up;
  • Only need temporary, short-term help; and
  • Are likely to be self-sufficent in 4 months or less.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for Reach First is the same as for Vermont’s Reach Up program with one exception: income from child support (after a disregard of the first $50 received in a month) is counted as unearned income to determine eligibility and potential benefits.

What assistance is provided?

Reach First provides case management, financial help, and support services. A cash benefit may be provided in a lump sum or in payments, based on a family’s needs.

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. Check the Reach Up box on the application.  When you speak to a worker, mention that you'd like to participate in Reach First.
  3. 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.