Learn About Government Assistance Programs You Can Benefit From
Major welfare programs, such as the Housing Voucher program or food stamps, have helped millions of low-income Americans. There are several other government programs that can supplement any other government aid you are receiving.
If you are currently receiving government aid, you may qualify to reduce your energy bills or get additional nutritional assistance for your family. If you or a family member plans to go to college, the government may provide you with a grant to cover your tuition costs. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about eligibility and how to apply.
About the LIHEAP Utility Assistance Program
LIHEAP provides local governments and non-profit agencies grants to give to low-income households that need financial assistance with utility costs. There are three types of assistance LIHEAP can provide including:
- Crisis assistance.
- Home energy assistance.
- Nature-related or supply shortage energy crisis assistance.
In order to be found eligible, potential recipients must earn between 150 to 110 percent below the federal poverty level. A member of the household must also be receiving assistance from another income-related government program, such as food stamps or receiving veteran benefits.
To apply, your entire household may be required to complete an application or just one representative. There are also waiting lists and preferences, so contact your local agency to know if you can be placed on a priority waitlist.
About Emergency Housing Assistance Benefits
In extreme situations, you may need to enroll in an emergency housing assistance program near you. Most often, candidates qualify for these benefits because they are facing immediate eviction or homelessness. However, the specific requirements you need to meet to receive benefits through these initiatives are determined by the organization that sponsors them.
Sometimes, state governments offer their own emergency housing assistance programs. Other times, nonprofits and other independent organizations have their own programs you can enroll in. For these reasons, it is important that you understand your local resources and how they can help you. Generally, you can find programs available through:
- City, county or state governments.
- Nonprofits and community service organizations.
- Homeless shelters.
Additionally, remember that the federal government also provides emergency housing solutions to qualifying applicants. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers emergency housing options to certain applicants. To qualify, you need to be:
- Currently homeless.
- In immediate danger of becoming homeless.
- Fleeing domestic violence.
Learn About Medicaid
This welfare program can help individuals or households who need affordable health care. Medicaid has provided financial assistance to millions of Americans every year. Although there are several eligibility factors, the main requirement applicants must meet is the income-limit requirement. This may vary depending on the state.
There are mandatory services that the federal government requires every state to provide, most the time for free. Two examples are preventative care and wellness checks. However, every state can also choose to cover additional medical expenses, which are called optional services.
Medicaid also has expansions such as the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Exploring the many subprograms Medicaid provides can give you a chance to make a more well-informed decision.
About the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The WIC program is meant to help low-income women, infants and children up to 5 years of age with nutritional assistance. Participants of WIC benefit from receiving nutritious food, nutritional education and counseling as well as screening and referrals to health clinics. WIC also provides referrals to health care and promotes breastfeeding.
Administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, the WIC program eligibility will primarily depend on the applicant’s household income as well as the physical status of the woman and age of her children. To apply, applicants must contact their local agency to set up an appointment. The agency may also notify callers of the nearest location to their home and the required documents.
Find Out About the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The U.S. Department of Education oversees the federal FAFSA program, which has different types of financial aid available for low-income students going to college or trade school. FAFSA provides loans, grants and work-study funds to qualifying students.
If you are a prospective college student with financial needs, then FAFSA can help you. To qualify, you must meet the main requirement, which is the income limit. They verify your income by reviewing the information on your or your parents’ tax return documents.
Other requirements may include having a GED or high school diploma, your Social Security Number and eligible citizenship status. Your degree selection does not affect your eligibility. There are additional requirements for specific students such as individuals who have committed a crime or are homeless. It is important to look through the requirements to find which category you fall under.