You have access to some federally supported financial assistance programs that could help you recover financially. People who need this financial support can choose from different opportunities. Each of them has its own set of benefits, so knowing the difference between them is essential. There may be even more help available than you realize. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will find a decent option to help you get back on your feet.
The Available Financial Assistance Options
It might be challenging to determine which financial assistance options would be helpful in your current scenario, given the different options available. Luckily, the federal government is aware that this can be a common concern. Below are several resources that can help you filter through the available benefits.
Over 1,000 benefits are available on Benefits.gov, a website created by the government. People can search for jobs by agency or category, but there is also another way to browse benefits using the Benefit Finder tool.
The Benefit Finder is a feature on this website. This feature allows users to complete a survey about their current circumstances. Some of these inquiries include their citizenship status, household information, a person’s date of birth, state of residence, and so on. These inquiries help the benefit finder determine the options for which the applicant can be eligible.
Benefit Finder identifies benefits that people are likely to qualify for. However, you must know that the results are not a guarantee that the user will actually be eligible. Applying is the only accurate way to see if you qualify for a program’s support.
Besides the opportunities mentioned above, other options are out there for financial assistance with housing, food, financial support, healthcare, nutrition, and more. Therefore, based on your current situation, you should be able to determine the best aid to enhance your everyday living conditions. Here are a few options for financial support that could be useful to you:
- Public Housing
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF)
Many American households struggle to find decent, affordable homes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable living as a portion of a person’s gross income that goes towards housing costs like rent and utilities. According to their guidelines, a family’s housing costs shouldn’t account for more than 30% of their total income.
Public housing focuses on providing qualified beneficiaries with secure and sanitary rental properties. Usually, when people think of public housing, they picture apartment buildings. However, it may also be found in different forms, including scattered single-family homes.
Despite being an option available thanks to HUD, this program is managed locally by housing agencies (HAs). These HAs will manage the properties at a reasonable rent for the beneficiaries. Not everyone is eligible for this benefit, however. While particular eligibility requirements may vary, HAs determine a person’s eligibility by considering the following:
- Status of their citizenship and also their household information
- Income level and the references provided by the applicant
You must get in touch with your closest HA if you want to apply for this program. You may also get in touch with your closest HUD Field Office. Your current housing conditions will determine how much rent you will pay for the property. Total Tenant Payment (TTP), also known as rent, is calculated based on your household’s anticipated gross yearly income.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This aid offers nutritional support to low-income families. Those who benefit from SNAP (also known as food stamps) and meet the program requirements will be issued an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
The EBT card will get money each month. The recipient’s application will determine how much money is given to the card. You can use it at any retailer that accepts EBT cards as a form of payment. However, the card can only be used to buy approved items, like:
- Bread, cereal, and snacks
- Poultry, meat, fish, and fruits
- Dairy goods and alcohol-free drinks
- Vegetables, plants, or seeds that produce food that the family can consume
- Additional items similar to those previously listed
How to Apply?
You must determine your eligibility if you want to apply for SNAP assistance. It’s essential to keep in mind that each state may have its own requirements for SNAP eligibility. If you want further details, you should get in touch with your state’s agency. You may either:
- Visit their local office or go to their online website
- Call the toll-free number
Medicaid can provide qualified Americans with discounted or free health coverage. Each state will have its own criteria for this program. Generally speaking, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
- Remains a resident of the state for which they are applying
- Has a qualifying low-income status and also has a valid citizenship status
You must keep in mind that this program is a joint effort between the federal government and state governments. This is important because some federal regulations apply to all Medicaid systems across all states. For instance, this healthcare assistance option must provide some “mandatory” services. These include:
- Hospital Care and Home Health Services
- Physician Care and Laboratory Services
- X-Ray Services and Nursing Home Facility Services for Adults
If you want to apply for this program, you may either go to
Get in touch with your state’s Medicaid office if you need any further information. They should be able to provide you with some valuable advice.
Although the titles of Medicaid and Medicare sound similar, they shouldn’t be confused. They offer very different kinds of support. People who meet Medicare (a government health insurance program) criteria may get assistance if they fit at least one of following descriptions:
- Are 65+ years old
- If they are younger than 65 years old but have a disability
- Have End-Stage Renal Disease, which is permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant
The Four Components of Medicare
Medicare covers four distinct components. These are Parts A, B, C, and D, all with their own set of services, each offering different coverage:
- Hospital Insurance (Part A): This covers specialized home health care services, along with inpatient hospital stays, nursing home stays, hospice care, and other types of home health care services.
- Medical Insurance (Part B): This coverage would include outpatient treatment, preventative services, medical supplies, and certain doctors’ services.
- Medicare Advantage (Part C): This is only accessible from private insurance companies.
- Prescription Coverage (Part D): This insurance would cover prescription medications, injections, and vaccinations.
How to Apply for Medicare?
If you want to enroll in Medicare, you must be aware that the process may vary from one applicant to the other. This is due to the fact that some individuals are automatically covered by Original Medicare (which consists of parts A and B). However, others must go through the process of signing up for it.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States and territories receive grant funds from the federal government. Once they receive these funds, they will put them towards running their own version of the TANF program. People that want to participate in this program should:
- Have a valid citizenship status, and live in the state where the application is being submitted
- Be unemployed or underemployed
- Be low-income
Important Requirements for applying
Keep in mind that to qualify, a household must have a child under the age of 18, have a head of household who is at least 18 years old, or the applicant must be pregnant. The benefits of this program are not permanent for those who are eligible. Only five years’ worth of help is available to them. In addition, there are other employment requirements for this program. However, these employment requirements can have certain exceptions.
TANF Main Aim
The priority of this program is to assist families in becoming self-sufficient, especially when it comes to finances. This includes goals that can be broken down into:
- Helping families with children in need to get care at either their own or a relative’s home
- Ending parents’ reliance on government assistance by encouraging healthy habits like employment, career preparation, etc.
- Reducing and avoiding accidental pregnancies
- Encouraging two-parent homes
Contact the TANF office in your state if you wish to apply for this program.
To sum up, there are a number of things you can do to improve your current circumstances. Consider applying for government aid programs as it might be one of the best options available. As mentioned before, several aid options are available to help with housing costs, food costs, cash assistance, and more.
You may find it stressful to deal with. Luckily, if you manage to get past that, it may change your life significantly. The best thing is that these programs are free, so they won’t affect your budget! Finally, we know that the number of available services can be overwhelming at first glance. However, there are tools to help you look through what opportunities are out there. One tool in particular is benefits.gov. This can help point you in the right direction!