So, you are having a tough time right now. Things have been pretty rough and you feel like there is no way out, right? That is completely natural and you should know that everyone is going through the same thing. However, there is a way out. Do not worry; things will not stay this way forever. You just need to plan your next step and the next step would be financial assistance. This article will tell you all about the financial assistance opportunities that can help you and your family. There are many federal programs that could help you get back on your feet.
Are There Financial Assistance Opportunities That Can Help You?
The simple answer is yes, there are financial assistance opportunities that can help you. You just need to know what you need and start looking. The opportunity will not fall in your lap; you need to put in the work. But, you should find solace that there is help on the way. There are different types of financial assistance opportunities. From housing to food, you can find a federal program that can help you. But, you have to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements that follow each federal program. It is quite disheartening to apply for assistance and find out that you do not meet the conditions.
Types of Financial Assistance Opportunities
You can find financial assistance opportunities for every aspect of your life. These financial assistance opportunities offer relief for low-income families and individuals who cannot support themselves. However, you should keep in mind that each type of financial assistance from the government has its own conditions. These eligibility requirements allow the federal government to filter through candidates and find out who needs assistance. The federal U.S. government offers different types of financial assistance programs that focus on helping certain target groups, such as the elderly or new mothers. Typically, the federal government, state governments, and local governments are responsible for managing these programs.
There are four main types of federal financial assistance, which are:
- Children Nutrition
What are the Different Government Programs That Can Help You?
Each type of government program offers a type of assistance. This assistance will help you get out of your current situation and get back on your feet. But, you will find that most of these programs are known for providing financial assistance towards low-income families. These programs include: The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program
The TANF Program allows you to live efficiently and independently through different types of assistance you might need.
With state funds, the TANF Programs provide up to five years of cash support with employment opportunities and assistance. This type of financial assistance is a government program that is federally-funded and run by state governments. It assists struggling families achieve self-sufficiency. Families who receive assistance will be given food, housing, energy, child care, and job training. Each state administers its own Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, which means that each state decides who is eligible to receive TANF assistance. You should keep in mind that if you are eligible for other programs, that does not mean you are automatically qualified for the TANF Program. (Probasco, Government Assistance Programs)
Main Purposes of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program
There are many goals of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, which is to provide qualifying families with:
- Transitional forms of assistance to decrease dependency of the beneficiaries and promote responsibility. This is done through means like GED preparation, vocational training, rehabilitation, post-secondary education, child care assistance, language skills, and more.
- Temporary financial assistance to afford basic needs such as housing, food, clothes, etc. (Think of your basic necessities and the TANF Program will help you to buy them).
- Proper support with significant issues such as mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, and so on.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
There are several energy financial assistance programs that can help qualifying individuals and families who cannot afford to fix their homes. But, one of the main programs to provide energy assistance is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This is a program that is designed to help low income families to pay utility bills and use different energy services at home. You may be eligible to receive assistance. But, you will have to categorize within the Low Income Home Energy Assistance income classification. One of their main goals is to decrease the possibility of risk that follows unsafe cooling and heating systems.
With the LIHEAP, the federal government funds the program. But, the state you live in will determine how to administer the Program. Typically, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can assist with financial relief for: cooling and heating energy costs, utility bill assistance for low income families, home repairs, and emergency services during hard times.
Each state varies from one to another, but most states offer assistance in energy-related home repairs. This also includes weatherization of homes. They offer all of these assistance options to help low-income families to try to reduce the ongoing costs of energy per household.
You will not be able to spend your LIHEAP benefits on sewer and water bills. But, the exception to this rule is if the water is used for an air conditioner. If you need any housing repairs or home improvement, then you should think about applying to this program. These are hard times and we could all use a little help, so why not energy assistance?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
One of the most common financial assistance programs for families in food assistance is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This Program is renowned for providing food stamps to eligible individuals and families. Food stamps are distributed in benefit cards, which you can use to buy food and necessities, similar to credit cards. Simply put, these food stamps will assist people to buy food and other basic necessities from designated grocery stores and farmers markets that participate in the program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers temporary food stamps to eligible individuals and families, who are unable to pay for groceries on their own. You just have to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements of the SNAP, so you can receive the benefits. But, you need to remember that the SNAP program provides temporary help; it is not a long term solution.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program)
Another food assistance program that people turn to every day is the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The WIC Program provides food or vouchers, nutrition educational opportunities, and referrals to help qualifying pregnant women and children up to six years old. The Food and Nutrition Service, which is a federal agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is responsible for the administration and management of the WIC Program. With the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), it offers grants to states to provide food, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education to qualifying women and children that are at nutritional risk.
Section 8 Housing Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is mostly known as “Section 8,” this is one of the most popular housing assistance programs. The main purpose for the Section 8 Program is to provide an affordable home that is comfortable, safe, and hygienic. All types of residences are eligible, such as: single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses.
Section 8 is famous for many qualifying families because of its flexibility. The Section 8 Program allows you to move anywhere where the housing vouchers are accepted. But, you will need to make sure that the new place you move into accepts housing vouchers. You will not be stuck in that small town or big city because you have to be. If you ever decide to move somewhere else, then all you have to do is terminate your current lease and you can be on your way. (You can take your housing voucher with you, just like your favorite sweater.)
The local Public Housing Authority (PHA) issues and approves these housing vouchers. It is free to apply, so you should check if you are eligible. There are four major components that determine whether you are eligible or not, which are: Eviction History, Citizenship Status, Household Size, and Income Level.
You should keep in mind, though, that the Section 8 Program aims to help families that fall in the extremely-low income level. For the Section 8 Program, the extremely-low income level is the main priority. To fall under the extremely-low income level, your income level “does not exceed 30 percent of the median family income for the area.” This means that your income level is not greater than 30% of the average family income of the surrounding area. (HUDUser)
HUDUser. “Methodology for Determining Section 8 Income Limits.” 2019. HUDUser. 15 07 2021 <https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il19/IncomeLimitsMethodology-FY19.pdf>.
Probasco, Jim. Government Assistance Programs. 21 06 2021. 15 07 2021 <https://www.investopedia.com/government-assistance-programs-4845368#subsidized-rental-housing>.