There are a lot of benefit opportunities available for those who are in need. Oftentimes situations can feel hopeless but that may not be the case. Support is available to help a bunch of different issues from getting financial support, to pursuing a higher education, to dealing with debt, and more. Sadly, even if you are dealing with hardship, you may not automatically qualify for assistance. Which is why it is important to review available assistance opportunities and to learn about eligibility criteria for each program as well.
How to Find Assistance
There are plenty of ways that you can find assistance if you are in need of some help. One of the best tools to use is Benefits.gov. This tool can help you navigate the world of assistance for free! The best part? It is a government website so you can feel confident when reading the information you see!
What is Benefits.Gov
Benefits.gov is a tool that people can use to help them find government assistance programs for free. The assistance information found on this site can be helpful to people dealing with difficult situations. There are two options on the site that can make it easier for people to find benefits they are looking for:
Benefits.gov provides a survey for people to fill out that can help them review assistance options that would be best for their situation. The questionnaire will have a variety of questions that you will need to answer in order to more accurately show you a list of what options may be able to provide support. This can make it easier to review programs so that you don’t spend time looking at opportunities that won’t be applicable to what you’re dealing with.
Browse by Category (or Browse by Agency)
Users also have the option to review by category or agency if they don’t want to fill out a questionnaire. When you search by category you can review assistance for different issues like disaster relief, financial assistance, food and nutritional assistance, etc. If you choose to browse by agency you can review assistance options offered by a specific agency like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Education (DOE), etc.
Other Federal Assistance Opportunities
Besides reviewing assistance opportunities through benefits.gov, you can also do online research for assistance opportunities that may be able to help. Other assistance programs you may want to consider include:
- Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (also referred to as section 8 assistance) can help eligible low income individuals get assistance for housing costs. This program provides housing vouchers for a set amount based on information found on the recipient’s application. These vouchers can be used towards properties to help people handle housing costs like rent.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Utility bills are expensive to deal with. That is nothing new to struggling Americans. Which is why LIHEAP can help those in need deal with their bills. This program can provide benefits like home energy bill assistance, home weatherization, energy related home repairs, and more.
Healthcare is an expensive medical cost that countless people need to deal with. That is why people choose to get help from Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal health insurance program that can give eligible recipients low cost (or even free) healthcare.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Sometimes families may be stuck in a tough spot. They may make too much to qualify for Medicaid but don’t make enough to comfortably afford the cost of healthcare from the marketplace. This program gives families the opportunity for affordable medical coverage to children until they reach the age of 19 years old.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Another hefty cost that Americans have to deal with is the cost of groceries. That’s why countless people benefit from SNAP assistance. The USDA offers SNAP that can provide financial support through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The card can be used at any location that accepts them as a form of payment and will receive funds monthly that can go towards the cost of groceries.
Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The government realizes that women, infants, and children may require additional specialized assistance. If eligible to receive benefits people can get vouchers, food, referrals of assistance, and even education!
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Seniors and individuals with a qualifying disability may be able to receive financial assistance every month from the SSI program. Recipients can use their funds of up to $536 a month towards items like food, clothing, housing, etc.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Families dealing with hardship may be able to benefit from TANF. This program aims to help families achieve self sufficiency through programs like child care, job preparation, cash assistance, and more.
Additional Assistance Opportunities
Besides federal programs that can help, people may be able to benefit from additional assistance opportunities like:
- Unclaimed Money
- Local Organizations
Many people don’t realize that they may be due unclaimed money or assets. When a person does not claim their money or assets after a specific period of time then those items become unclaimed property. You can claim this property if it rightfully belongs to you. There are tools that you can use (generally provided through your state’s treasurer’s office) that can help you look through what may be due to you.
You may also be surprised to find out that there are assistance opportunities through local organizations. These organizations may be able to provide assistance similar to federal assistance programs. You can check out what’s near you through an online search or getting in touch with local organizations near you.
Are There Government Assistance Scams?
Unfortunately, yes. Scammers like to take advantage of those in need since people in desperate situations may not be able to easily catch scams. That is why it is important to be cautious when providing personal information. People may try to scam through fake means of communications or even lie about having an official status.
You have a variety of assistance options available. That is why it can be hard to navigate all of the options that are out there when you need help. Luckily, there is a tool available that can help you easily review your assistance options from a federal level for free. Besides federal assistance there are other options that you may be able to find through unclaimed property or even local organizations. Your situation may not need to be as stressful as it feels.