Life is overwhelming for plenty of reasons. One reason in particular, is dealing with finances.
This is exactly why federal assistance programs exist, to help you overcome your financial struggles with ease.
The government pays for a variety of these programs, leaving managing responsibilities to the states.
The federal government designed each program with a certain group of needy people in mind, and there are so many of them available to you.
Therefore, finding the right one to fit your needs is important if you want to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Get the help you need
Keep in mind that different programs deal with different issues, and there’s no “one size fits all” solution.
This is why it’s important to find out what options are available to you.
Aside from this article, you can explore some government resources too.
A popular one is benefits.gov, which details over 1k programs to help those in need.
One of the biggest perks of the site is its Benefit Finder Tool, which takes details about your financial situation and finds the best fit for you in a matter of seconds.
Available assistance programs
Naturally, the tool can’t guarantee any of the programs will be the right fit for you.
What it can do is provide extensive information about every program, helping point you in the right direction.
The most popular assistance programs are:
- Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Weatherization Assistance Program
- Education Grants
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
So let’s go through these together!
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The first program on our list is the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
This program’s users also call it Section 8 at times.
The government designed it with the intent to provide low-income Americans with access to affordable housing.
The program’s beneficiaries receive vouchers that are used to cover rent costs in the private market.
While the US Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the program, local Public Housing Authorities still manage and apply it.
This is why the application process starts with a trip to your closest PHA office.
If you can’t get in touch with them, your next stop should be the local field office for the HUD.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The US Department of Energy provides the funding for this program.
It helps lower the energy costs of some qualifying households by making adjustments to the energy efficiency of the home.
Aside from increasing their home’s energy efficiency, these changes can also help ensure their safety in the long run.
The application process is fairly simple, and it can start with a call to the closest weatherization agency in your state.
The cost of higher education is very high in the US and as a result, people often consider it a privilege reserved for Americans who have more money.
However, there are education grants that can help with this cost to make it more accessible to people.
In general, the funds’ students receive through these grants don’t have to be returned, except for some cases where a student fails to meet the terms and conditions of the grant.
The majority of the grants available help students cover tuition, fees, and other costs, with the most popular ones being:
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
- Pell Grant
Each of the previously mentioned grants has its own terms and conditions surrounding the eligibility status.
Ultimately, although you might be interested in a specific option, the application process is practically the same for all of them.
The first step is filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.
But before you do that, it might be a good idea to head to your school’s financial aid office and find out more about the process.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TANF helps families who are having trouble paying their bills and getting by.
It gives them the tools and support they need to become financially independent.
Unfortunately, even if it does target low-income families, the program is only applicable to families that have children.
As it stands, the benefits that TANF provides may vary from state to state, and it’s best to ask the office yourself.
The main support provided by the program comes in the form of cash payments as well as some other supportive services.
To apply for the program, you’ll want to get in touch with your local TANF office.
Much like education, healthcare in the US can be ridiculously expensive at times.
Medicaid aims to provide health coverage for qualifying low-income Americans in need.
The federal government and state governments fund the program together, with each state having its own rules for the program.
Despite this, the program still follows federal guidelines, and you can apply through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Instead of this, you can also apply by contacting your state’s Medicaid agency directly.
This program is slightly different from the rest, as it provides coverage for a service that isn’t considered “essential“.
As a result, Lifeline offers its users up to a $9.25 discount for wireline and wireless services.
Broadband internet and voice bundles are included in the program, although it’s limited to one beneficiary per household.
The added benefit is that the discount goes up to $34.25 if the user lives on tribal land.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
SNAP is popular across America and you probably have heard of it by the name of food stamps.
It provides users with funds on a monthly basis through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card.
The SNAP EBT card works like a debit card, so you can just swipe it at the participating stores on eligible food items.
A person’s monthly support depends on a number of factors such as family size, income, expenses, employment status, number of disabled family members, etc.
In addition to that, the application process can vary from state to state, so the best thing to do might be to contact your local SNAP office if you’re interested.
There are more than a few options available to you if you’re looking for federal assistance.
You must remember that these programs might vary from state to state. On top of that, not every one of them is applicable to your financial situation.
With it, you may find that there are more support options that fit your needs than you initially expected!