NASHVILLE, TN. (WLAF)- Tennessee has received $7.5 million dollars in stimulus money for youth who have aged out of the foster care system.

The latest numbers indicate over 300 people so far have applied for the funds. But the money is just now being rolled out.

July 31 is the deadline for Tennessee DCS foster care alumni to apply for the stimulus money.

“If you were in foster care at the age of 14 and now you’re between the age of 18-26, or if you aged out of foster care, or if you left foster care you can apply to re-enter foster care,” DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said.

The money coming from the federal government in the ‘Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021’ was slowed due to legislative approval being needed.

“We have to expand our budget and so to expand our budget we have to put in a request to the legislature to expand it and they review the funds, and how the funds will be spent and then they give us permission,” Nichols said.

Officials estimate there are 10,000 young people between the age of 18 to 26 that may be eligible for the funds.

The funds, up to $1,200 per person, are intended to help qualified former foster care children amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline for money to be disbursed is September 30.

The department encourages anyone who qualifies to fill out an application HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 7/12/2021-6AM)