Government Assistance for Low-Income Families

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Government financial assistance programs. Free financial help with rent or other bills. These state assistance programs help those experiencing long-term unemployment or waiting for disability benefits.

Many government programs provide free financial help for low-income families.  Resources have been put in place to help American citizens and residents who need emergency help. Some programs give away free Christmas toys for kids every year.

The best thing about government programs is, there are agencies in every city, and unlike a private community-based program, they don’t run out of money as often.  Most of these residents do not have the financial support of family or friends and resort to seeking supplemental assistance.

How Government Programs Help

U.S. states receive block grants to use at their suggestion to help people eligible for aid.   Previously called Aide to Families with Dependent Families or AFDC, the program gives temporary financial assistance to families with children under 18.

Those participating are required to find work within a 24-month period.  Free Financial Help Paying Bills will regularly bring you information on both private and government assistance programs that offer:

List of Government Programs that Help Low-Income Families

Here are programs that help low-income families

  • Medicaid
  • Head Start
  • Federal Pell Grant Program
  • Women Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Childcare subsidies
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Subsidized Housing, Vouchers, Public Housing

Winter Heating Assistance (LIHEAP)

If you qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you may receive a check to help with heating bills.  The program began in 1981 as an assist benefit to the poorest families with home cooling bills.  Congress later shifted the purpose of the funds to include warm weather states as well.  

Types of Government Assistance Programs

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).   TANF helps many struggling families with young children in the United States, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Indian Territories.   They help by providing finances to pay for housing, utilities, food, supplemental necessities such as food, electricity, and housing costs for a period of time.

Many of these families have one or more adults working in the home, yet the income is not to properly care for their families. Unforeseeable circumstances such as an illness, or the loss of a job, can suddenly cripple an otherwise stable family.

This government assistance is designed to support families and offer government assistance for veterans for as long as the support is needed. (More info)

If you are a family with children under 18, you may be eligible for temporary assistance from the government, even if you work.  You can apply at your local or county welfare office or go online to download an application.  Locate your state contact information for local TANF help.

If you have been denied in the past and your financial situation has changed, please apply again with updated proof of your income. (Federal Poverty Guidelines for Alaska and Hawaii)

Number in Family Income Requirements
1 $11,770
2 15,930
3 20,090
4 24,250
5 28,410
6 32,570
7 36,730
8 40,890

WIC (Women Infants and Children)

WIC or women, infants, and children are a supplement program that provides federal grants to U.S. states for approved supplemental foods, health care, parenting, and nutritional education for disadvantaged, pregnant women and children under five years old.  Their goal is to improve the health and well-being of at-risk children.

How to get SNAP/Food Stamps

The Food and Nutrition Service Program is an assistance program that helps low-income residents buy food.  The federal government funds give those enrolled a set amount each month to purchase food and food products for their families.  Disadvantaged families don’t always have the money to provide their families with the healthiest food choices.

The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and health.   As an entitlement program, anyone can receive help, as long as they meet the financial eligibility requirement.  SNAP – Apply Online

Work for Welfare

If adults living in the home are unemployed, they must participate in the work for welfare program (non-paid position) or a job training program. This program has been suspended in many states.

Financial Aid Programs

If you would like to return to school to learn a trade or certificate of nursing degree, there are also financial programs that will allow you to do so. If you are looking to return to school, there are also childcare grants available.

There is a limited amount of money for childcare, so you should sign up for childcare assistance as soon as possible.  Educational Resources to go to School

Winter Heating Assistance (LIHEAP)

You may also be eligible for Winter heating assistance.  It is not too late to start thinking about winter heating costs or cooling costs if you live in a hot climate.  LIHEAP helps disadvantaged families each year with heating and cooling costs.

When you apply for the heating assistance program through the Department of Social Services or a private poverty organization, you can receive a check the first week in January to help you pay heating or cooling bills.

The best time to apply for help is in last Summer.  Funding is limited, and preference is given to families with children.  CLICK HERE to find help for winter heating assistance from LIHEAP.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
HHS, Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance
Aerospace Building, 5th Floor West
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

Documents Needed to Apply for Government Assistance Programs

When applying for temporary assistance, you will need proper documentation to proof, your family size, your income, or proof of employment and your address.  Gather the necessary documents and bring as many as you can get at the time you enroll.

This will get the process started, and you will receive a letter of what other documents you need to present and the deadline you have to return them. These are some of the document you will need to bring when filing for financial assistance:

  • birth certificate
  • payroll stubs
  • residence status
  • current electricity bill
  • social security for adults and children cards
  • unemployment benefits letter
  • bank statement if you have an account

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