Low-income families often lack the money necessary to pay all of their bills every month. Instead of having them starve or live on the streets, government assistance programs help plug any gaps so families can function, even when cash is low.
While the number of government assistance programs is vast, we’ll focus on some of the most popular ones so you can get an idea of what type of benefits exist.
Eligibility Requirements for Government Assistance Programs
Before we jump into the available programs, let’s discuss eligibility.
Most of these programs were created to help low-income families stay afloat. As such, you’ll probably have to meet specific income requirements to be eligible. If your income is too high, you may not be able to receive benefits.
Besides income, other factors may be considered to determine eligibility, such as family size and citizenship status.
When applying for a government assistance program, pay attention to the requirements beforehand to ensure you don’t waste your time.
Government Assistance Programs for Low-Income Families
Housing Choice Voucher Program
Previously known as Section 8, this housing program helps low-income families put safe roofs over their heads, so their families have a better chance to flourish.
If approved for a voucher, you’ll pay at most 30 percent of your income towards rent. The government will help you pay the rest.
Since the waiting list for this government assistance program can be quite long, get your application in now by finding your local Public Housing Agency.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Even though you may be able to pay rent, keeping the lights on could be an entirely different story.
If you find yourself struggling to pay the utility bill every month, LIHEAP can help, so you and your family aren’t left in the dark.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Putting food on the table can seem harsh if you’re barely making ends meet. With SNAP, you can get help buying groceries via a benefits card. The average monthly SNAP benefit is $133.
The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
If you’re pregnant or have young children under the age of six, WIC can provide food vouchers, referrals, and education to keep you on your feet.
Millions of residents use Medicaid to ensure their medical needs are covered, regardless of their lack of income.
Children, adults, seniors, people with disabilities, and pregnant women can enjoy low-cost or free healthcare via Medicaid, if eligible.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Are you not able to pay all of your family’s bills, yet doing your best to do so? You may be eligible for TANF benefits to give you that much-needed boost for the time being.
As its name suggests, TANF helps low-income families for a limited time as they strive to advance. TANF often caps benefits at a maximum of five years. Until then, you can receive cash to help you meet your expenses, if you qualify.